Today we hit Earth Overshoot Day, the day by which we’ve used up the ecological resources that the Earth could regenerate in one year – fully five months before the end of the year. This is utter madness: we have pushed the self-destruct button and piled our many possessions on top of it to hold it down. Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk may be choosing to launch themselves into the void to escape the – well, possibility of creating another void here on Earth – but what can be done to push that day back to 31 December or beyond? What is the role for philanthropy in creating human systems that cultivate life, rather than destroying it?
Posts from a range of voices on fostering an effective environmental movement.
Action for nature must be informed by science and knowledge or we risk wasting precious time and money
Applied research ensures that actions to combat global challenges such as biodiversity loss are effective, resources are used efficiently, and outcomes for nature and people are understood and sustained. But government funding for such research is being reduced, just when we need it most.
Summary of Dr Garnett's presentation at the EFN Retreat. Most people agree that our food system is broken, but views on what constitutes a good food system are wildly divergent. Tara sketched out four different sustainable food discourses, the arguments they make, and the questions they leave unanswered.
How can funders use the tools we have — our power, privileges and positions — to tackle those things that are most systemic? How can we support climate action that is truly intersectional, supporting both nature and people, and inclusive of everyone? Farhana put forward various suggestions in her keynote talk at EFN's annual retreat.
When thinking about how to focus their environmental giving, funders often think about three dimensions of work they can support: the thematic issue addressed, the approach used and the location or geography of the work. Jon and Harriet argue that funders tend to inhabit a fourth dimension, values (or discourses), which consciously or not bound the limits of their giving.
Notes from Steven Smith's presentation on his hugely useful research on climate-focused organisations, followed by a discussion with Steven and his collaborator and advisor Ian Christie, at the 2021 EFN Retreat. One of the most significant insights produced by the research is the observation of the dominance of the coalition of organisations who believe that the best strategy for addressing the climate crisis involves a technological, growth-led transition to net zero by 2050. This, Steve argues, is politically viable -- but ecologically unviable.
The speakers who gave the four presentations at EFN's 2021 retreat were so brilliant and thought-provoking that we felt we would be remiss if we didn't share notes from them more widely. Read about who spoke, and what they spoke about, and click through to read the full notes.
In December 2020, the UK Government announced an end to its finance for fossil fuels overseas, becoming the first major country in the world to take this step. This landmark announcement followed a multi-year campaign by a coalition of NGOs, which later won the ‘David and Goliath Award’ at the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s National Campaign Awards. Adam McGibbon, the coordinator of the campaign, shares some of the key factors in the campaign's success that led to this big – and unexpected – policy win.
It is widely documented that mental health is affected by a complex interplay of genetic, psychological, social / lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures. In recent years evidence of the environmental determinants of mental health has grown, yet these emerging concerns are often under the radar in the third sector.
Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the shortfall in funding, current and prospective climate funders face extremely challenging decisions to ensure their grantmaking is as impactful as possible. Information on which particular issues, approaches and organisations other funders are supporting, and which are receiving less attention than others, can be very helpful to funders when making difficult grantmaking decisions.
With this in mind, EFN initiated a mapping exercise in 2020 to gather information on climate-related grantmaking from funders that participate in EFN’s Climate Funders Group. This blog summarises our key findings which we hope will be of use to current and potential climate funders.
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