The central role of environmental philanthropy

The power of individual philanthropy is important, especially when it is carefully directed toward worthwhile projects and organizations.

Climate change, the consequences of which are felt in the poorest countries, threatens to widen the gap between developed and developing countries. This imbalance has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this imbalance has been revealed by the massive virus death rates in developing countries. Today, the environment is increasingly present in public discourse and sustainable finance and impact investing have become an important means of financing. However, there is another, often overlooked, source of funding that can play a major role in climate transition, and thus help reduce inequality: environmental philanthropy.

Individual Action for Powerful Team Impact

The arguments for raising the level of ambition of environmental philanthropy, whose actions support sustainable development and environmental protection, are compelling. While the word philanthropy can conjure up large gift pledges from wealthy individuals, it can be just as powerful—or even more so—on a smaller scale. Indeed, the power of individual philanthropy is important, especially when it is carefully directed toward worthwhile projects and organizations. Environmental philanthropy is certainly still active on a small scale, but it can have an enormous impact when it is effectively expressed in a joint effort.

Taking a holistic approach, more and more private banking companies, in addition to their investment offerings, are encouraging their clients to make charitable giving along with impact investing, a strategy that must be mobilized at all levels. Smart environmental philanthropy that focuses on shared actions can help protect nature and our climate.

Concrete charitable work and impressive results

One example is Blue Bonds for Conservation, which through NatureVest, an investment unit of the Nature Conservancy, offers a revolutionary way to convert Seychelles’ public debt to marine environmental protection, helping to adapt to climate change. Thanks to this project, Seychelles has designated 410,000 square kilometers – an area larger than Germany – as marine protected areas, thus achieving its goal of protecting 30% of its local ocean land a year ahead of schedule. If more projects like this receive regular donations, progress will be faster.

In order to be able to address the issue of rising inequality in the world, it is important to bear in mind that environmental sustainability is ultimately the basis of social sustainability. Many institutions are taking action to tackle poverty, especially in light of the urgent Covid crisis, where children and adolescents are among the most vulnerable. Several other private banks including Lombard Odier are collaborating with foundations to provide funds and raise public awareness. While these initiatives are important and urgent, we must not forget that environmental philanthropy is also vital in the long term: with appropriate funding, it has the potential to help tackle the climate emergency, thus working to bridge the inequality gap between developed and developing countries. Countries.

The corporate world cannot stand on the sidelines when it comes to climate change. We must be active and imaginative. Environmental philanthropy, in particular, can play a central and strategic role in addressing global inequalities and the fundamental urgency of the climate crisis through a comprehensive approach, to preserve what is most precious and initiate positive change.

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