Climate Justice – Just Transition Donor Collaborative

About the Collaborative

Addressing the root causes of the climate crisis – deeply unjust social, political, and economic structures – demands transformational change across all sectors of society. The current structures have put wealth and power in the hands of a polluting few. Yet, those who have contributed least to climate change bear the brunt of its catastrophic effects, including deadly heatwaves, catastrophic fires, severe droughts, and extreme flooding.

Climate justice (CJ) and just transition (JT) are frameworks for action rooted in social justice that shift power and resources to those on the front lines of climate change. These approaches can deliver bold, innovative, and effective climate solutions that protect the rights of local communities and drive the systemic change we all need to thrive.

At the same time, philanthropy is beginning to recognize that simplified, “silver-bullet” solutions to the climate crisis are insufficient for driving transformational change. Instead, intersectional approaches – those that recognize the overlapping systems of discrimination across factors such as race, ethnicity, and gender – address the immediate impacts of the climate crisis and many of today’s most pressing problems, including food and water insecurity, migration, deadly conflict, and economic inequality.

The opportunity presented by intersectionality, and the rising demand for more justice-centered structures, requires philanthropies to change how we operate. We must recognize our sometimes harmful legacies while exploring where intersectionality can help us better support those on the front lines of injustice. This is especially true for those based in the historically colonized countries of Africa, South and SE Asia, and Central and South America, as they face the interconnected crises of climate change and drastic inequality.

The Climate Justice – Just Transition Donor Collaborative explores how emerging CJ and JT efforts can increase socially just climate action. Through this exploration we will gain new insights from existing work, identify joint learning opportunities and co-create grantmaking strategies. 

Each organization in the Collaborative (Oak Foundation, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Porticus, Climate Works Foundation and Ikea Foundation with Climate Justice Resilience Fund and Impatience Earth acting as an organizational hub) is already supporting social justice and climate action worldwide. Yet, in light of the global pandemic, it is clear that our efforts and funding of frontline grantee partners need to be scaled up and improved. We must all work together through collaborative grantmaking to support approaches that reimagine and re-shape the world before communities fall even deeper into cycles of poverty and deprivation.

Our aim is to grow philanthropic investment in climate justice and just transition and do so in ways that permanently shift power and resources to those on the front lines.

Read Farhana Yamin’s vision for centring justice and just transition in her Manifesto for Justice for COP26 and Beyond.

The Collaborative’s Current Work To Date:

Please see below details of past webinars including one on Loss & Damage, Agroecology, Indigenous Peoples & Energy Access.

The Collaborative’s work has three elements: 

1. Educational and learning opportunities in the form of webinars (see list of webinars below).

2. Landscape and mapping of organisations in the Global South working on Climate Justice & Just Transition in the form of a compendium (available soon).

3. Convening high-level events for donors and practitioners to share insights and create joint strategies.

 

Ready to Join?

If you’re curious or ready to support our efforts as a philanthropic funder or frontline expert, contact the Collaborative’s Coordinator Farhana Yamin, Impatience Earth: info@impatience.earth and Heather MacGray, Director, Climate Justice Resilience Fund: cjrfund@gmail.com

CJ – JT Educational Events & Webinars

Please find below the educational events the collaborative has convened:

1) The high-level convening at COP26: Funding the Justice Reset: From Glasgow to COP27 (03 November 2021)

2) Webinar: How can Agroecology Deliver Climate Justice in Africa? A Farmer’s Perspective (26 November 2021)

3) Webinar: Reimagining and Rebuilding the World: Indigenous Peoples and Energy Access (09 September 2021)

4) Webinar: Climate Justice and Climate Finance (22 July 2021)

Funding the Justice Reset from Glasgow to COP27
COP26 High-Level Hybrid Convening in Glasgow

03 November 2021

A high-level event bringing together vulnerable countries, climate justice and just transition donors, practitioners and activists seeking to discuss how philanthropy can better support a shift in power and resources taking into account the achievements and challenges ahead. The event also kick-started a conversation between frontline communities seeking to put adaptation, loss & damage – the negative climate impacts facing countries, communities and ecosystems –  to be a more central plank of philanthropic strategy on the agenda at COP26.

There were three sessions. Please find below the full video of the event and for particular sessions see the timestamp below.

 

 

Video Timestamp

Introductions (0:12:15)

Heather McGray, Climate Justice Resilience Fund & Farhana Yamin, Coordinator, Climate Justice & Just Transition Donor Collaborative, 

Welcome (0:31:47)

Masego Madzwamusa & Anne Henshaw, Oak Foundation 

High Level Panel Global Climate Justice & Just Transition History, Achievements & Challenges Ahead (0:37:26)

Indigenous Peoples, women, small islands and vulnerable countries have led the way on climate justice and just transition for decades. Irreparable harm, called loss & damage in the Paris Agreement, is now occurring leading most affected people and vulnerables countries to call for urgent funding for those on the front lines. This panel brings together key international players that are working inside and outside the negotiations to advance the fairness action agenda. 

Moderator: Farhana Yamin, CJ-JT Donor Collaborative

  • Mairi McAllan , Scottish Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land [0:41:46]
  • HE Abul Azad, Commissioner, Commission on BiodiverCities & Special Envoy, CVF Presidency of Bangladesh [0:48:44]
  • HE, Mr Adao Soares Barbosa, Special Envoy, Timor-Leste, LDC Lead negotiator on loss & damage [0:58:09]
  • Tasneem Essop, Director, Climate Action Network International [1:06:29]
  • Asad Rehman, COP26 Coalition, Global Director, War on Want [1:11.40]
  • Kate Hampton, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation [1:18:37]

Learning Session 1: What Donors Need to Know: Experiences and Learnings from the Frontlines (1:36:30)

This session will bring together veterans and new voices working on an intersectional approach to climate justice and just transition. 

Moderator: Aditi Shah, Impatience Earth 

  • Vanessa Nakate, Climate Activist, Founder, Youth for Future Africa & Rise Up Movement [1: 37:04]
  • Calfin Lafkenche, Representative of MINGA delegation to COP [1:44: 08]
  • Saleemul Huq, Director, ICCCAD, Founder of Community Based Adaptation [1:54:50]
  • Stella Henry, Eastern & Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum (by video) [2:00:17]
  • Godavari Dange, Huairou Commission [2: 03: 43}

 

Artistic Performance (2: 07:41)

Learning Session 2: New Donors, New Money and New Modalities: Big & wholescale or small-scale & bespoke granting? What have we learnt & how is the CJ-JT funding landscape shifting? (2: 12: 22)

This panel will bring together funders active in the CJ-JT field prioritizing those making new commitments & announcements as well as those bringing new reports/toolkits to help CJ-JT work. 

Moderator: Laura Garcia, President and CEO of Global Greengrants Fund 

  • Kevin Currey, Ford Foundation & Global Initiative Lead ǀ Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), & IPLC pledge [2:18:23]
  • Maria Francisca Cortes Solari, Chilean Founder of Indigenous Leaders, MERI Foundation [2:23:53]
  • Jessica Sweidan, Synchronicity Earth [2:31:40]
  • Uzma Sulaiman, Associate Director, Community Jameel [2:35:20]
  • Liz McKeon, IKEA Foundation [2:40:43]
  • Athena Ronquillo Ballesteros, Climate Leadership Initiative [2.44.39]
  • Carole Excell, Bezos Earth Fund 

 

Reflections & next steps (3:01:52)

Moderator: Jouja Maamri, Impatience Earth 

  • Ottilie Bälz, Senior Vice President, Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH & CJRF Review Board Member [3:02:15]
  • Heather McGray, Climate Justice Resilience Fund [3:05:06]
  • Jason Anderson, Climate Works [3: 06: 35]
  • Farhana Yamin, Project Coordinator, Climate Justice & Just Transition Donor Collaborative [3:11:26]

Additional Collaborative Webinars

How can Agroecology Deliver Climate Justice in Africa? A Farmer’s Perspective
26 November 2021

A virtual roundtable bringing together African smallholder farmers from across the continent and international funders as well as other civil society organisations to learn about mutual perspectives and better understand key debates and practical needs of farmers towards addressing climate justice. 

 

Background

While 23 percent and more of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture, most African countries are still dependent on food imports (UN). Many African governments see agriculture as a growth sector, yet they often focus on attracting (foreign direct) investments for large-scale commercial farming enterprises. That increases the risk of land grabbing and diverts resources from the backbone of African agriculture: Small-scale farmers, who make up 60% of the African population and work 80% of Africa’s arable land.

Furthermore, the strong focus on productivity increases through external inputs and large-scale mono-cropping in conventional farming contributes to soil depletion and land degradation, which is further exacerbated by the effects of climate change. According to UNCCD estimates, nearly three-fourths of land that is vital for agriculture and food production in Africa is already degraded, mainly due to climate change effects and unsustainable land use practices.

In recent years, regenerative forms of agriculture including agroecology have gained prominence as a possible pathway, both towards ecosystem restoration and climate resilience but also regarding food security, supported by African movement like AFSA – Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, ESAFF- the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum, ROPPA, African Centre for Biodiversity, PELUM Association, ActionAid International as well as other local and international organizations. such as AGRA and One Acre Fund. 

There has been a great diversity of approaches promoted under the frame of regenerative practices, from climate-smart agriculture to conservation agriculture. These approaches are based on a plethora of different definitions for “regenerative”. Many social movements criticize these approaches running under the frame of regenerative practices as too narrowly focused on offering technical quick fixes, access to inputs and markets, while underlying questions of social justice and rights for small-scale farmers, particularly for indigenous people, women and youths involved in agriculture, of land tenure and food sovereignty are ignored.

As a reaction to the shortcomings of those rather technical solutions, the concept of agroecology[1] has gained quite some traction – not only with international organizations such as FAO, but also with social movements in Africa, as a promising and more systemic approach to a just and sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems, that aims not only at food security but at food sovereignty for African communities as well. The “narrow” definition for agroecology advocated for by actors like AFSA is, however, contested by other players in the field, and there are very different positions on how agroecology should incorporate farming technology and the use of fertilizers and pesticides to ensure productivity.

In the middle of this rather polarized discussion is a vast and fragmented civil society space of local and regional farmer’s associations, women’s and indigenous movements that offer a wide range of perspectives on regenerative agriculture, agroecology and food sovereignty in Africa.

ESAFF define agroecology as “As a set of agricultural practices that enhance agricultural systems by mimicking natural processes, thus creating beneficial biological interactions and synergies among the components of the agroecosystem. It provides the most favourable soil conditions for plant/animal growth, particularly by managing organic matter and by raising soil biotic activity. The core principles of agroecology include recycling nutrients and energy on the farm, rather than introducing external inputs; integrating crops and livestock; diversifying species and genetic resources in agroecosystems over time and space; and focusing on interactions and productivity across the agricultural system, rather than focusing on individual species. Agroecology is highly knowledge-intensive, based on techniques that are not delivered top-down but developed on the basis of farmers’ knowledge and experimentation”.

Reimagining and Rebuilding the World: Indigenous Peoples and Energy Access
9 September 2021 

 

While representing only 5% of the global population, Indigenous Peoples make up a staggering one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people. Given that the rural poor form the bulk of those without access to energy, Indigenous Peoples are a critical demographic that needs to be put at the center of the global dialogue on energy if SDG 7 on ensuring access to energy for all is to be achieved. Indigenous territories host renewable energy projects without the respect for their rights, lands, resources and lack meaningful consultation and consent by Indigenous Peoples. These projects have resulted in conflicts, displacements, destruction of livelihoods, and have violated Indigenous Peoples’ rights and undermined their self-determined development. This webinar invited our audience to re-imagine and re-build in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

We are in an extraordinary time. If the last year offered one universal opportunity, it’s been the chance to re-evaluate, remember and renew our relationships. With each other, with power, with privilege and with the Earth. Indigenous Peoples, especially women, have been leading these discussions for decades, transforming global narratives and bringing forward leadership and solutions. With rapidly shifting and uncertain economic futures, large-scale energy projects (extractive and
renewable) are being framed as steady pathways to weather uncertainty.

We are faced with a choice: replicate the current system (with different technologies and some new actors) or collectively re-imagine and re-build for greater energy access.

In this second session of the Climate Justice and Just Transition Donors Collaborative Webinar Series, we invited our audience to re-imagine and re-build in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

While representing only 5% of the global population, Indigenous Peoples make up a staggering one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people. Given that the rural poor form the bulk of those without access to energy, Indigenous Peoples are a critical demographic that needs to be put at the centre of the global dialogue on energy if SDG 7 on ensuring access to energy for all is to be achieved.

Despite this fact, Indigenous Peoples suffer invisibility when it comes to our understanding of energy access. Major reports from initiatives aligned with SDG 7 either don’t mention, or only superficially refer to, Indigenous Peoples and fail to examine their unique challenges as a distinct group.

At the same time, indigenous territories host renewable energy projects without the respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their lands and resources and lack meaningful consultation and consent by Indigenous Peoples. These projects have resulted in conflicts, displacements, destruction of livelihoods, and have violated Indigenous Peoples’ rights and undermined their self-determined development.

Download Webinar Follow-Up Doc

Climate Justice and Climate Finance: Lessons From Across the Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF) Portfolio
22 July 2021

 

This discussion aims to generate actionable lessons on climate finance from across Climate Justice Resilience Fund’s unique portfolio. The session is intended as a space for generative discussion and reflection. We expect participants to gain exposure to new approaches and perspectives, and to offer honest feedback to one another in a spirit of shared learning.

 

AGENDA

I. Welcome & Introductions (15 mins) 09.30-09.45 EDT
Heather McGray, CJRF Director

II. Panel Discussion (40 mins) 09.45-10.25 EDT
Panelists (2 funders and 2 recipients) share stories on climate finance challenges
and solutions
• Nicholas Abuya, Christian Aid
• Louise Oliver, Open Society Foundations
• Sheela Patel, Slum/Shack Dwellers International
• Arghya Sinha Roy, Asian Development Bank

III. Breakout Discussions (25 mins) 10.25-10.50 EDT
Participants select a group based on the stories and themes shared by panelists

IV. Coming Back Together & Key Takeaways (10 minutes) 10.50-11.00 EDT

 

Menu