17 Days, 17 Goals: Goal 13 - Climate

Monday, September 19, 2016 - 1:30 pm
Natalie Ross

Goal 13: Climate Action

- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts -

Goal 13: Climate Action

This post is part of our blog series: 17 Days, 17 Goals. The blog series features foundations working on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals leading up to the first anniversary of the SDGs. The Council on Foundations Sustainable Development Goals & Philanthropy initiative is in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and SDG Philanthropy Platform. Find us on social media with #PhilSDGs.

Why do we need Goal 13?

  • From 1880-2012, average global temperature increased by 0.85ºC
  • Oceans are warming, with an anticipated 2 meter rise by 2100
  • Global emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by almost 50% since 1990, growing more quickly between 2000-2010 than in each of the 3 previous decades
  • Climate change will drastically alter the way humans interact with and live upon Earth, and humans are responsible for accelerating and worsening climate change
  • More severe storms, such as those that annually batter Florida, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast, can be attributed to human-induced changes in the climate

What are some of the targets?

  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
  • Improve education, awareness-rasinging, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reducation, and early warning
  • Implement the commitment outlined in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Featured: Wallace Global Fund

Protecting the Environment

Protecting the diversity of nature and the natural systems upon which all life depends is a key part of the mission of the Wallace Global Fund. The Fund recognizes the ecological collapse of global climate change as an existential issue for humankind and believes the philanthropic sector is poised to address this issue in independent and innovative ways.

For the Wallace Global Fund, that includes focusing on three areas of work to protect the environment: 

  • Addressing climate change 
  • Empowering democratic movements for action on climate 
  • Recognizing the rights of nature and environmental human rights 

Mission Investing

Beyond grantmaking, Wallace Global Fund is also aligning its investments with its grantmaking missions. The Fund set ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria for its investments. These goals and requirements include researching new energy technologies, promoting access to water, and divestment from fossil fuels. By the Q2 2015, the Wallace Global Fund portfolio is 100% free of fossil fuels.

In 2011, Wallace Global hosted a group of college students and environmental activists to design a campaign to push divestment out of coal on college campuses in the US, modeled after the anti-Apartheid movement of the 1980s. Within a year, divestment campaigns were underway on 50 campuses. Divest-Invest has brought hospitals, cities, pension funds, universities, faith groups, foundations, and individuals into direct climate activism.  Ahead of the 2014 UN Climate Summit, more than 800 institutions and individuals announced their commitments to divest from fossil fuels—for a total of over $52 billion in fossil-free investments. Wallace Global continues to lead support for the divest-invest movement. 

"We are the first generation to be able to end poverty, and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail to uphold our moral and historical responsibilities."

- Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

By comprehensively pursuing its mission to combat climate change, the Wallace Global Fund is leading the way on Goal 13: Climate Action.

Please read more about the amazing work of our member: 

Wallace Global Fund 

Resources & Information

  1. United Nations
  2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  3. Laudato si'
  4. Remarks of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon  23 Jan. 2015
  5. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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Sustainable Development Goals