To ensure our society is built to survive the next century, we must all become climate funders

Philanthropy News Digest: From record-breaking heat waves across Europe to deadly droughts and wildfires in the western United States, this past July ranked among the hottest in history and was a startling reminder that climate change is already well under way.

As the far-reaching impact of global warming continues to grow increasingly visible, it’s essential that we invest in adapting our work to anticipate the realities of a warming planet just as much as we fund traditional mitigating solutions. This means that tackling climate change is no longer the sole responsibility of environmentalists, nor is it just the realm of clean energy solutions. Rather, in order to ensure that our society is built to survive the next century, we all must become climate funders.

Why? Because climate change affects more than just the energy sector. Rising sea levels impact the roads and bridges that connect us all. An increase in extreme weather events places more pressure on our healthcare systems, as well as massively disrupts global supply chains. Changing temperatures dictate the type of public services cities need to offer their residents.

At the helm of a foundation that invests in organizations that are reimagining our country’s most crucial systems, I am acutely aware of the many ways in which the effects of climate change intersect with other social issues and believe that our definition of what it means to build and invest in climate solutions needs to evolve rapidly. All sectors—not just green tech—have a responsibility to examine how climate will impact them in the coming decade and to create forward-thinking and innovative solutions capable of withstanding these changes. 

For example, city leaders and planners need to consider climate change when building resilient and future-forward infrastructure, designed to withstand severe weather and capable of taking us through the 21st century. Organizations spearheading incredible work in this space include grantee partner Rebuild by Design, which through climate resilience mapping at the county level aims to help municipalities across all 50 states more granularly understand the risks of climate change and the economics of preventative investment. Read More >>