Climate Resilience Fund
The challenge: The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that an annual investment of $2.4 trillion is needed in the energy system alone until 2035 to limit temperature rise to below 1.5 °C from pre-industrial levels. But the effort to tackle climate change goes beyond reshaping energy systems: it includes needed investments in reforestation, coastal-defense systems and many other efforts to cut emissions and adapt to rising temperatures. According to analysis, spending on adaptation efforts is particularly low. A drastic increase in investing in adaptation measures, such as early warning systems and resilient infrastructure, would not only avoid tremendous human suffering and economic losses, but would bring benefits that would outweigh the costs.
What can be done: Communities are beginning to realize that climate resilience and adaptation strategies are necessary if they are going to continue to thrive in the future. In the United States, New York has revamped some zoning and building codes with an eye to rising seas and more extreme weather, and has begun a project to help protect parts of lower Manhattan from storm surges. Voters in Miami approved a $400 million bond that would partly go to making the city more resilient. Norfolk, Virginia, which is particularly vulnerable to rising seas, is trying to become a laboratory for adaptation. But these interventions and investments are far short of what’s needed. The lack of investment can often be attributed to policy makers inability to coordinate within the existing resilience ecosystem and the need to build collective capacity to facilitate the use of climate services tools and resources by decision-makers in communities.
How Climate Resilience Fund is meeting the challenge: The Climate Resilience Fund (CRF) is committed to the idea that climate change adaptation and resilience strategies embody an opportunity to re-shape societies’ relationship with the natural world; an opportunity to mainstream principles and practices of sustainability, conservation, and social equity into decision-making in all sectors and at all levels of governance. CRF works with our partners to advance a positive vision of a climate resilient society and to mobilize the resources for achieving it. CRF is committed to championing and investing in climate adaptation and resilience professionals and the strategies, resources, and tools that are necessary for local and regional decision makers to proactively address the impacts of a changing climate on people and nature. CRF’s approach is to mobilize investments from philanthropic investors/partners through pooled or aligned funds which are used to leverage matching dollars from secondary partners. CRF’s primary grantmaking consists of field-building investments that support collaborative efforts to streamline, coordinate, and make more transparent the tools and resources required to implement climate adaptation and resilience strategies in every sector, region, and community. CRF also invests in foundation-partner aligned grants that aim to build capacity in “boundary” organizations that bring knowledge and expertise about climate change impacts and the resources, tools, and strategies for addressing them to local and regional decision-makers and practitioners.