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Growing our giving to climate justice

Growing our giving to climate justice

Over the past two years, we have begun to increase our support to climate and justice power-building organizations through our global programs. We extended that support last year by creating a new $1.0 million fund for grants to groups that are committed to pursuing climate justice and equity through their focus on resourcing BIPOC-led and grassroots organizations and their governance by frontline leaders. We will grow this commitment in 2022 by tripling the size of our special fund to groups working on climate justice and equity to $3.0 million.

We are pleased to share more about our first grantees from this fund, which includes the CLIMA Fund ($500,000), the Fund for Frontline Power ($250,000, bringing our total support to them up to $400,000 in 2021), and the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice ($250,000). Selected through a collaborative process by ClimateWorks staff, the grants are structured so these recipients can flexibly direct the funds as needed to realize their respective missions:

CLIMA Fund

The CLIMA Fund is a collaboration between Global Greengrants Fund, Grassroots International, Thousand Currents, and Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights — a like-minded community funding grassroots movements to cool the planet and build resilience around the globe. Working together, CLIMA Fund gives influential funders a simple and effective way to invest in grassroots climate change movements. In short, CLIMA Fund mobilizes philanthropy by investing in on-the-ground leaders behind the most sustainable and effective solutions to the global climate crisis.

“We bring over 120 years of collective experience reaching Indigenous, women, youth, and peasant-led climate justice movements,” said Lindley Mease, Director at CLIMA Fund. “Our members move resources toward grassroots movement groups in over 160 countries to effectively address the root causes of the climate crisis and create authentic, community-led solutions.”

Fund for Frontline Power

The Fund for Frontline Power is an autonomous fund fully governed by the grassroots to support frontline-led climate solutions. At the request of frontline organizations, it is being housed at The Solutions Project with a 13-member governance body to decide the grantmaking strategy and process. Grassroots grantees of this fund will work to stop polluting and extractive industries. They will also implement solutions like relocalized food production; community solar; worker-owned cooperatives; regenerative loan funds; mutual aid networks; and translocal climate policies that build clean transportation, renewable energy, and housing infrastructure.

“The Fund for Frontline Power is about unlocking philanthropic dollars in support of frontline self-determination,” said Sekita Grant, VP of Programs at The Solutions Project. “This is a space for frontline leaders to radically reimagine grantmaking and to collectively govern capital for climate justice. It’s also a chance for funders to learn from grassroots organizations leading the way.”

Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice

The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice is a specialized re-granting intermediary that raises funds and makes grants to groups that have historically lacked access to funding and are addressing intersecting climate, gender, and racial justice crises in the U.S. The vast majority of Hive funding is allocated to groups in the US South, where pollution levels are high and philanthropic funding levels are low. Achieving climate justice in the South will not only provide local health and economic benefits, but also a blueprint for how the climate crisis and its interconnected root causes can be addressed in one of the most important global climate change battlegrounds.

“Addressing the climate crisis at a scale and in the time needed to avert disaster requires transforming the systems of power governing who pollutes, who profits, and whose lives are valued,” said Melanie Allen, co-director, Hive Fund. “We build partnerships rooted in philanthropy, community activism, and lived experience in the South to support groups and leaders who have historically lacked access to funding and who are essential to delivering tangible and lasting benefits to communities and the climate.”

Grassroots solutions are essential to solving the climate crisis and more funding is needed

Grassroots climate solutions like the ones supported by our grantees are vital to driving change in local communities around the globe. They help cool the planet, advance justice and equity, and the investments help address multiple intersecting crises. Grassroots solutions are also available now, ready for investment, and replicable and scalable. However, not nearly enough resources are directed toward communities most impacted by the climate crisis; according to our Funding Trends report, while resources are growing, they remain insufficient. Transformative funding is needed for grassroots climate solutions to help organizations maintain appropriate staffing, build capacity and expertise, and replicate solutions.

Our giving to the Fund for Frontline Power, Hive Fund, and CLIMA Fund reflects our growing support for climate justice and equity and frontline-led and grassroots-governed funds. We will continue focusing on justice and equity within our climate change mitigation efforts and work with our philanthropic partners to encourage more resources to groups focused on advancing grassroots solutions and climate equity and justice.

We commit to growing ClimateWorks Foundation’s support to grassroots and climate justice groups in the years to come, strengthening our partnerships and continuing to learn through our work together. Philanthropy has a crucial role in advancing equity and justice. We call on ourselves and other climate funders to move more money to grassroots climate solutions.

For more on ClimateWorks’ efforts on equity and justice, read our latest update.


Cover photo: Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez (AFEDES), a partner of the CLIMA Fund, is a Mayan women-led organization that fights for and defends Indigenous rights in Guatemala

Published January 7, 2022

Jessica Brown

Director, Special Projects

Makeeba Browne

Associate Director, Justice and Equity