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Global Impact: Climate Charities

We are on borrowed time: anything we do today will have more impact than anything we do tomorrow.
Fastest way to have the greatest impact

There are impacts we can have around the world that dwarf impacts of ethical consumer choices. For the price of a reusable coffee mug we can prevent more CO2 entering the atmosphere than we would produce as individuals in several years. 

If a storm was coming and there was a hole in your roof your most impactful action would be to repair it first so everything in your house would be protected from the rain. If the climate crisis is the storm, it is just starting, but by taking the most impactful actions first we can weaken it, shorten its lifetime, the damage it does and rebuild more quickly afterwards. 

How do these highly effective charities work?

The two main avenues are:

  1. Getting money directly to highly effective projects that need money to invest in technological and nature-based solutions

  2. Driving policy change that directs money to do the same:

    • Government policy can direct funds to industries and research needed to address the Climate and Biodiversity Crisis. (e.g. Germany's solar subsidies)

    • This, in turn attracts investment from private investors as they see increased chance of success in certain industries or projects supported by government policy and funding.

By giving to climate and nature charities you help all causes

Charities addressing cruelty to animals, eliminating disease or helping communities and people around the world are all causes we may have given to in the past. They do important work but just think:

  • What enables us to earn money to spare to give to these causes?

  • What allows these charities to even exist?

  • What challenge could we address to simultaneously, and affordably address all  challenges we face in society?

 

The answer, in some way; is climate and biodiversity. On a foundation of a stable climate, Nature provided us with all we needed to create everything we have as a species. Even as we destroy the natural world on a massive scale it continues to provide, but it can't continue much longer. It needs our help.

Think Local, Act Global: Have massive impacts around the world

The main reason for this is: we have only just started addressing climate and biodiversity breakdown so there is masses of "low hanging fruit" that remain unpicked. Many are boring challenges like policy changes, but these changes have impacts globally and remain almost completely unaddressed. One example is Germany's policy to subsidise solar panels: Gerarden (2017) estimated that “32% of the global solar adoption due to increased technical efficiency would not have occurred in the absence of German subsidies”. Solar in Germany would save hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions, but globally over time they advanced solar technology so much that almost 1/3 of all the massive progress solar has made could be credited to this German energy policy and there are charities out there working on policies to reduce and capture emissions and prevent damage to the environment.

Give effectively

Get all your money to the charities doing the work: Charities like Founders Pledge, Giving Multiplier and Effective Altruism research the most effective charities addressing the challenges we face. They they are funded directly by donors themselves so take none of your donations away from the charities you wish to donate to. 

If you read the reports these organisations have done you will see that the Clean Air Task Force features in them all:

Founders Pledge (2018)

Founders Pledge have done all the hard work to find the most impactful climate charities in their Climate Fund. 

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We are changing the planet at an unprecedented rate so climate, energy, and biodiversity challenges are constantly changing and our understanding of them is changing too.

Founders Pledge are world leaders in getting money to where it can have the greatest impact. This allows you to be confident that your money is doing the greatest good whenever you donate it.

 

They do extensive research on different charities to see how much impact your donations will have. You can learn about their work in their latest report from 2021, but the basic idea is that they look at the changing landscape of public policy and private investment. They then find and which programs are having the greatest climate impact with the money they are given and allocate money from their Climate Fund accordingly.

You can donate to their Climate Fund through Giving What We Can.

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Learn more about the different charities Founders Pledge has supported.

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Stop Deforestation

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Rainforests are one of our most biodiverse ecosystems, they are under tremendous pressure from continuing deforestation and climate altering weather patterns. The Coalition of Rainforest Nations is listed in the Founders Pledge report from 2018 as best for preventing deforestation through international agreements (they worked to get deforestation into the Paris agreement)  fp-climate-change (founderspledge.com)

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Don't chose: Give to address climate and your favourite causes
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Give to both and get your donations to one of the most effective climate charities matched with Giving Multiplier

Climate breakdown affects our ability to address every challenge we face: social justice, protecting the environment, caring for the elderly, treating diseases and eliminating poverty around the world, but you no longer have to chose climate over other causes.

Through Giving Multiplier you select the charity closest to your heart and Giving Multiplier will donate additional funds to both your chosen cause and a charity you select from their list of super-effective charities, which can be up to 100x more effective than other charities working in the same areas.

The Clean Air Task Force are the only climate charity on Giving Multiplier's list but, as you see above, they are one of the most effective in the world. In Founders Pledge 2018 report they estimated that donating $0.1-$1 to them is estimated to prevent 1 tonne of CO2 entering the atmosphere. Select them as your "effective charity" then you can direct more of their "matching fund" money to fight climate and carbon emissions through directing more of their money to the CTF whilst still getting additional money to your favourite non-climate cause. 

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Experiment with what your donation could do before you donate 

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Give to both
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