The world is contending with a climate emergency that threatens to impact lives and livelihoods across the globe, leaving no one unscathed. These impacts will be complex and interrelated, affecting access to food and nutrition, through increased likelihood of crop failures, and negatively impacting health, through increased heat stress as well as the rise of vector-borne diseases. These impacts will also demand new approaches to financing and governance to ensure that resources are available when and where they are most needed.
The climate crisis also risks exacerbating existing inequities: the depletion of the carbon budget to date is linked to economic development in emerging and developed economies, with 81 energy-poor countries accounting for just 8% of the emissions currently accumulated in the atmosphere. And yet, these are also the same countries that are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and far less equipped to adapt and stay resilient in the face of rising temperatures.
These impacts on food, health, and equity as well as the strong correlation between access to reliable modern energy and resilience to the impacts of rising temperatures make climate change the biggest challenge to The Rockefeller Foundation’s 110-year mission of promoting humanity’s well-being throughout the world. Recognizing this, the Foundation has put the issue of climate change at the center of all its programmatic work.
In this regard, we are supporting cutting-edge research and seeding new ideas to address a range of climate issues across all our programmatic focus areas. This edition of the Bellagio Perspectives features prominent leaders, entrepreneurs and experts hosted at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center working to address the climate crisis. These leaders are moving forward practical and bold solutions that can be scaled to address various parts of the climate crisis, ranging from galvanizing crucial climate finance in the Global South, to decarbonizing the fashion industry supply chain, to collating and mapping the human impacts of climate driven extreme weather events.
We really believe that philanthropy will help address the climate finance gap. This funding is critical, patient, and flexible. It doesn't require a financial return and it can be deployed quickly.
With a market making model, we are able to address the intermediate gap that has been created by lack of information from financial institutions who are not on the ground, and manufacturers who are too in the trenches. Driving systemic change will help make the process more equitable.
What is the purpose of money in a world facing so much social and environmental distress? Why can’t we channel a big chunk of that money toward the investments necessary to avoid what is categorically a worsening environmental default?
For me, the link between climate extremes and their impacts on people is the biggest gap in data that exists today.
Most people will tell you that once you start looking into climate change – its inexorability, its ramifications – you can’t look away. It took over my reporting career, and a lot of other aspects of my life as well.
There need to be discussions on how to build a stronger framework to support the countries that suffer most from the consequences of the climate crisis.
Traditional economics says that equity is antithetical to prosperity but, in fact, equity is essential to prosperity.
Which person needs to do something different on Monday morning than they did on Friday night?” Policymakers, ministers, and CEOs don't reduce emissions; they change the context.
If we can’t find ways to shift more resources, more investments, and more concern into the parts of the world that have not had the opportunities that we’ve had for development and for improving our overall quality of life, we won’t succeed.
Climate change should be a cross-sectoral priority. Investors can’t solve it alone. Philanthropy can’t. Governments can’t. The only way forward is through creative, sustained, and committed partnership.
We need change to address the climate crisis, and the only way in history that has ever happened – with the scale and speed that the science says is necessary – is through mass mobilization and movements led by organizers in areas where the harms are most directly experienced.
Recent Bellagio Updates
Welcome to Bellagio Perspectives, where we highlight the work of Bellagio Center residents and conveners who are driving progress on globally pressing issues. In these pages, we invite you to learn more about the paradigm-shifting contributions of these leaders and how The Bellagio Center is helping to move the needle on the most important issues […]More