The release on Monday of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which UN Secretary–General António Guterres described as “a code red for humanity,” should be a worldwide wake-up call. The news is stark, and some of the climate change impacts that scientists have been warning about for decades have indeed become irreversible. But it’s important to remember that hope is not lost—if we treat this moment with the urgency it deserves. The U.N. report states that we can still avoid the worst consequences with “immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”
Today, we’re sharing inspiring stories about Tides partners who are dedicated to creating the social change we need to protect our planet for future generations.
Read on to understand their work and learn more about how you can take action.
Rivers Without Borders Fights to Safeguard North America’s Final Frontier
The biggest challenge at present is limited resources. Over the past decade, funding to support conservation work in our region has been trending downward at a time when more is needed.
Earlier this year, we spoke with Will Patric, executive director of Rivers Without Borders (RWB), a project of Tides Center. RWB is the result of a campaign initiated in the 1990s to challenge a large copper mine proposal targeting the pristine Alsek–Tatshenshini watershed region of British Columbia. RWB continues to work tirelessly to address ecological crises, including diminishing biodiversity, marine habitat degradation, and devastating impacts of climate change. RWB has been promoting and protecting the ecological and cultural values of the still largely pristine transboundary watersheds of southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia, working with First Nations tribes, commercial fishermen, scientists, government agencies, community leaders, businesses, conservation advocates, legal and technical experts, media, and others to keep the trans-boundary region wild and thriving. Read more about their dedicated work.
Reshaping Finance for Climate Action
Financial institutions are showing increasing interest and initiative in incorporating climate awareness and action into their work in a variety of ways. But more and faster action is needed.
In 2006, the UN EPFI (United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative) Climate Change Working Group called on the financial sector to “recognise the reality of climate change and mainstream it into all business processes.” Five years later, the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank declared that financial institutions have a responsibility to be leaders on climate action. The industry responded slowly at first, but by December 2017, 225 investors with $26 trillion in assets under management created the Climate Action 100+. This initiative encourages companies to (1)implement strong governance related to climate change risks, (2)reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and (3) provide transparency on climate impacts. Read more about climate and the finance sector.
Bridgette Murray, ACTS Founder and WE LEAD Grantee, Confronts Environmental Racism in Texas Communities
When devastating winter storms led to rolling blackouts in Texas, roughly four million residents were left without power in freezing temperatures. Among the first and hardest hit were marginalized communities, including Pleasantville. Not surprisingly, these communities were among the last to be reconnected.
Believing that more data was needed to empower and protect her community, retired nurse and resident of Pleasantville Bridgette Murray founded Achieving Community Tasks Successfully (ACTS) in 2012. The Houston-based nonprofit is a grantee of the Women’s Environmental Leadership Fund, (WE LEAD), a Tides Foundation funding initiative that launched in 2020. It explicitly focuses on addressing historic inequities by directing resources to Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC) leaders and BIWOC-led climate justice organizations. Learn more about Bridgette Murray’s environmental leadership.
Qlik: Data Drives Organizations to Combat Climate Change and Achieve Carbon Neutrality
The initiatives coming out of this office will continue to focus on climate change, good health, opportunity, safety, and representation for all people everywhere on our planet.
The daunting task of curtailing greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change cannot be accomplished without the private sector taking concrete actions. And, in the digital age, corporations rely on data to inform their decisions on “how” to reduce their carbon footprint. We talked to Julie Kae, Executive Director of Qlik.org, to learn how Qlik—a Tides corporate partner since 2018—has been solving the data issue in combating climate change. Read the interview.
Here are just a few of the climate-centered organizations in the Tides community. Visit their websites to learn more and see how you can help today.
Canopy works with the forest industry’s biggest customers and their suppliers to develop business solutions that protect these last frontier forests. Canopy is a key player behind some of the world’s most innovative conservation initiatives.
Mosaic is an initiative that invests in movement infrastructure to better support people working for clean air and water, a safe climate, healthy and just communities for all, and thriving natural systems.
California Environmental Justice Alliance
The California Environmental Justice Alliance is a statewide, community-led alliance that unites powerful local organizers in the communities most affected by environmental hazards—low-income communities and communities of color—to create comprehensive opportunities for change at a statewide level.
WE LEAD (Women’s Environmental Leadership Fund) is a fund established by Tides to elevate, center, and resource women’s grassroots leadership on the frontlines of climate disruption in the United States. WE LEAD promotes a shift in power and resources to those making a tangible impact on the ground, namely Black women, women of color, and indigenous women taking on big polluters with local, community-based action.
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