chapter  5
21 Pages

Follow the money

Climate philanthropy from Kyoto to Paris
ByEdouard Morena

Officially launched in May 2008 by Climate Works, Project Catalyst's (PC) stated purpose was "to provide analytical and policy support for the UNFCCC negotiations on a post-Kyoto international climate agreement". The physical presence of foundation representatives in Paris during the COP offers some indications as to foundations' interest in the international climate process. The origins of philanthropic engagement in the environmental field can be traced back to the origins of liberal philanthropy in United States. In terms of its approach, liberal philanthropy is often credited with using science and reason to address the root causes of a given social problem. In post-war period, and especially in the 1960s and 1970s, a handful of large liberal foundations expanded their focus towards more population-centred environmental concerns. From the early 1980s onwards and at a time when environmental degradation was increasingly being framed as a global problem, environmental funders, in their grant-making and convening capacities, began to actively take up the climate issue.