11 March 2016
The Ian Potter Foundation has announced a $3 million grant over four years to Monash University, to boost the capacity of ClimateWorks Australia to facilitate Australia’s transition to a zero net carbon future. The grant highlights the vital role philanthropy plays in addressing climate change, which presents both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity of our time.
The funding is the largest environmental grant ever committed by the Foundation and will support the translation of ClimateWorks’ agenda-setting research, “Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in 2050: How Australia can prosper in a low carbon world”, into targeted projects that support Australia’s transition to a prosperous, zero net carbon economy.
The Chairman of The Ian Potter Foundation, Charles Goode AC said the partnership with ClimateWorks will raise awareness across business, government and investors, and catalyse the policy and investment changes required to meet national climate and environmental objectives.
“The Ian Potter Foundation strives to fund projects that will continue to have an impact well beyond the period of the grant, delivering positive, lasting benefits for the community and the nation,” Mr Goode said.
”As a philanthropic organisation with an ongoing commitment to environmental issues, we have an opportunity to contribute to the national response to climate change highlighted in the United Nations COP21 Paris Agreement on climate. The work ClimateWorks is conducting will form a pivotal part of that response and we are proud to support it.”
The UN Paris Agreement is a new international agreement between more than 190 governments to keep global warming below 2 degrees, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As part of this agreement, countries will need to review and increase their emissions reduction commitments every five years in order to meet the long term goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century.
Chair of ClimateWorks and the Monash Sustainability Institute, and a co-chairman of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, John Thwaites said the partnership with The Ian Potter Foundation will play a significant role in facilitating national activity to meet these commitments.
ClimateWorks CEO, Anna Skarbek, said the grant will greatly enhance the organisation’s capacity to support government, business and industry in our transition to a zero net carbon economy.
“Our Pathways research shows that Australia can, and must, move to zero net emissions by 2050 in order to play our role in limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees,” Ms Skarbek said.
“It is heartening to see a philanthropic organisation the scale of The Ian Potter Foundation playing a key role in supporting national climate action. This grant will provide significant support to the work ClimateWorks is undertaking to enable the Australian economy to decarbonise and prosper in a carbon-constrained world.”
Since 1964, The Ian Potter Foundation has contributed over $230 million to thousands of projects, both large and small. Led by its Board of Governors, the Foundation has a strong track record of funding projects that respond to key issues.