ABOUT THE COLLABORATIVE
The CJ-JT Donor Collaborative aims to shift power and resources to those on the front lines of climate impact
Addressing the root causes of the climate crisis – deeply unjust social, political, and economic structures – demands transformational change across all sectors of society. The current structures have put wealth and power in the hands of a polluting few. Yet, those who have contributed least to climate change bear the brunt of its catastrophic effects, including deadly heatwaves, catastrophic fires, severe droughts, and extreme flooding.
The Climate Justice-Just Transition (CJ-JT) Donor Collaborative was set up by six philanthropies in 2021 to shift power and philanthropic resources to just and equitable climate solutions led by those on the frontlines who do not yet have their due share of voice in policy-making and whose efforts are critically under-resourced.
In just two years, the CJ-JT Donor Collaborative has engaged over 2,200+ people in its learning journey for philanthropy, mapped 1,600+ organisations working on CJ and JT across the Global South, and delivered over $725,000 in nimble and trust-based grants to over 140 activists from 31 countries across the Global South. The Collaborative has catalyzed over $3.6m in new, additional funding for youth, Indigenous and Global South-led efforts and is piloting a climate justice fellowship, convening CultureCOP and setting up a network for funding youth-led climate justice solutions and movements.
Currently, less that 2% of global philanthropy goes toward supporting organisations working on climate mitigation (EDGE Funders). Approximately 0.5% of philanthropy goes to environmental initiatives in the Global South, and only 0.2% to those that are women-led. (One Earth). Surveyed over a 3 year period, philanthropy that is directed to climate found that white-led organizations received more than 80% of US grants and grant dollars and male-led organizations about 54% of grants and more than two-thirds of grant dollars (ClimateWorks). Youth-led climate justice initiatives are also severely underfunded, receiving only 0.76% of funding for climate mitigation globally (The Hour is Late & Youth Climate Justice Study).
These statistics point to an urgent reality: philanthropy needs to be redesigned to support an intersectional approach to grantmaking that will permanently shift resources, and power to those on the front lines, especially to historically marginalised and underrepresented groups and communities.
At the same time, philanthropy is beginning to recognise that simplified, “silver-bullet” solutions to the climate crisis are insufficient for driving transformational change. Instead, intersectional approaches – those that recognise the overlapping systems of discrimination across factors such as race, ethnicity, and gender – address the immediate impacts of the climate crisis and many of today’s most pressing problems, including food and water insecurity, migration, deadly conflict, and economic inequality.
The opportunity presented by intersectionality, and the rising demand for more justice-centred structures, requires philanthropies to change how we operate. We must recognise our sometimes harmful legacies while exploring where intersectionality can help us better support those on the front lines of injustice. This is especially true for those based in the historically colonised countries of Africa, South and South East Asia, and Central and South America, as they face the interconnected crises of ecological damage and social inequalities.
The Climate Justice – Just Transition Donor Collaborative explores how emerging CJ and JT efforts can increase socially just climate action. Through this exploration new insights will arise from existing work, we will identify joint learning opportunities and co-create grantmaking strategies.
Of the philanthropy that is directed to climate across the US, 80% of it is directed to white-led organisations and 54% to male-led climate advocacy groups.