Four of the top 40 climate donors have pledged to fund minority-led climate organizations with 30% of their funds.
Five prominent climate funders have agreed to release their data and donate at least 30% of their donations to minority-led organizations in response to a drive by the philanthropic group Donors of Color Network to promote openness in how the nation’s top climate donors distribute cash.
Donors of Color pressed the top 40 climate funders to reveal what percentage of their funding went to organizations led by Black, Indigenous, Latino, and other racial minorities over the past two years, as well as pledge at least 30% of their climate donations to these groups, in an effort to increase how much philanthropic funding goes to minority-led groups.
Five of the top 40 donors, as well as nine smaller supporters, made their data public. Four of the contributors and a dozen other foundations signed the pledge, committing to satisfy the group’s 30 percent standard and make their statistics public, according to Donors of Color.
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Two of them, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation in California and the Barr Foundation in Boston, revealed data on Thursday showing that 10% of their climate financing went to minority-led environmental justice organizations. Another major donor, the JBP Foundation in New York, had a similar percentage of 31%.
Environmental justice advocates claim that additional funding for their organizations is needed to win the climate change discussion. Environmental justice advocates encourage fair treatment of ethnic minorities and low-income citizens while dealing with environmental challenges.
According to a research published last year by The New School, environmental justice organizations in the Gulf and Midwest areas got only 1.3 percent of the funds designated for climate organizations between 2016 and 2017.
“It is critical to include those groups in decision-making (and) climate solutions,” said Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network in Oakland and a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Communities must “see themselves as part of the solution to this amazing and enormous problem,” she said.
The Hewlett Foundation is one of three major funders who only agreed to the pledge’s transparency clause. Hewlett’s president, Larry Kramer, says the company declined to promise 30% of its climate financing to minority-led organizations for “both” reasons. This is a condensed version of the information.