With large-scale environmental events such as the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC) and the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) gaining more attention – particularly among mainstream media – what can environmental funders do to support their grantees and help to ensure their ideas and concerns are heard within these spaces? In this piece, Jim Pettiward explains how Synchronicity Earth championed its partners and helped to promote a broad and diverse range of voices at IUCN WCC this year.
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.
From "veggie burgers" to "vegan sausage rolls", Europeans have been enjoying plant-based meat and dairy for decades. But in October 2020, the European Parliament voted on a plan to ban the plant-based sector from naming their products with the everyday language people use to describe these foods. Following a funder-supported campaign from The Good Food Institute Europe in collaboration with other international non-profits, leading businesses and thousands of consumers, MEPs voted to reject this attack on plant-based meat. Richard Parr, Managing Director of GFI Europe, describes how the willingness of their funders to support a collaborative approach enabled their small team to have an outsized influence in defeating the veggie burger ban.
Vicki Hird reflects on several years of hard work to win a better approach to UK farm policy via the brand new Agriculture Act, making the case that flexible funding was key to allowing the Sustain alliance to adapt to a rapidly changing political and policy environment. The Act is now here, but the hard work has only begun.
When coronavirus hit, like many other organisations working in the sector, we were determined not to let it stall the momentum for action on climate change that has been built in the last year. We know there is no silver lining to coronavirus. But we also recognise the pandemic represents an utterly unprecedented global ‘moment of change’, in which the regular patterns of hundreds of millions of people’s lives have been forcefully interrupted, not just as individuals but as part of local and global communities. Capturing this moment provides an opportunity to create a domino effect of climate-positive behaviours in communities across the UK, writes Patrik Ewe from Possible.
How can we communicate about the ocean effectively in a COVID-19 world? It is a question that many members of the Marine CoLABoration, a network of ocean-interested organisations funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, have grappled with since the start of the pandemic. There have been difficult conversations over the need to communicate sensitively, while also protecting the hard-won gains that have been made in recent years and continuing to progress forwards. Natalie Hart from the Marine CoLAB explores how we can push for meaningful change, but do so in a way that does not cause harm.
The need to act on the pandemic has meant new challenges for much of Greenpeace's core work. Our volunteers aren't out on the streets talking to people about environmental issues; politicians and companies are less open to meetings with our campaigners as they struggle with immediate priorities; many events that would usually be crucial to our fundraising have been cancelled or postponed. Meanwhile, governments are injecting trillions into the global economy to keep it afloat. With this unprecedented amount of money available it is our job to ensure that, rather than propping up old industries that are fuelling the climate and nature crisis, governments direct that money towards a greener, more resilient economy that puts people and the planet first.
In an exclusive three-part blog series commissioned by the EFN Forest Funders group, we invite leading campaigners and advocates to look ahead to the 2020 ‘Super Year’ of global policy moments and ask: will forests emerge stronger or weaker out of it?
I am excited by the powerful potential of youth to protect our planet. But I also understand that it is not fair to rest the responsibility of fixing the mistakes of older generations, including my own, on the shoulders of today’s young people. That's why, on 20 September, my colleagues from Global Greengrants Fund UK and I will be joining the Global Climate Strike. If you are in London, why not find us and fellow EFN members and march together?
A few years ago, I sat down to dinner with a group of enthusiastic young parliamentary candidates standing in the the 2010 election. In the company of climate scientists, policy experts and senior politicians, we talked about how to make climate change and low-carbon solutions central to their work in Parliament when (or if) they were elected.