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Joining the Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change

Alberta Ecotrust recognizes the growing climate emergency and the important role funders play in transitioning to a low carbon future. 

Alberta Ecotrust is excited to join the international and Canadian community of philanthropic organizations committed to act on climate change by becoming a signatory to the Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change

The Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change is a call on all foundations on this land to signal their commitment to act on climate change. By signing this Commitment, we recognize we have a moral responsibility to do our fair share to reduce global emissions and support the transition to an ecologically sustainable world.  To achieve Canada’s recent commitments to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a 40-45% reduction by 2030, will require an enormous effort across all of society to achieve these goals. 

Climate change is an environmental priority for our organization and we are deeply committed to contributing to a net-zero future. Central to this Commitment is the recognition that Indigenous teaching and traditional knowledge are essential to our learning journey and we recognize the need for multifaceted solutions grounded in this wisdom. The Implementation Guide and expectations outlined in the 7 Pillars for organizations signing on to this Commitment will push us to explore new actions and responses to the climate crisis. 

The 7 Pillars of the Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change

As a signatory to this commitment, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation commits to action as follows:

Education and learning

  • We will ensure that our boards, investment committees, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders are informed about the systemic causes, impacts, and solutions of climate change, and the implications for our work.

Commitment of Resources

  • Recognizing the urgency of the situation, we will commit resources to accelerate work that addresses the root causes of climate change or adaptation to its impacts. If our governing document or other factors make it difficult to directly fund such work, we will find other ways to contribute or consider how such barriers might be overcome.

Integration

  • Within the design and implementation of our programs, we will seek opportunities to contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a net-zero world, and to support adaptation to climate change impacts, especially in the most affected communities.

Endowment and assets

  • We will consider climate change in relation to the source and management of our operational and any endowed funds. We will seek to align our investment strategy and its implementation with a rapid and just transition to a net-zero economy.

Operations

  • We will take ambitious action to minimize the climate impact of our own operations, which may include for example travel, buildings and procurement.

Influencing and advocacy

  • We will seek opportunities to work with others, to amplify the voices of frontline communities, and to encourage and support more ambitious action on climate change by our key stakeholders, partners and audiences; these may include businesses, local or national governments, multilateral organizations, donors and funders, individuals or civil society movements.

Transparency

  • We will collect and publish information annually on the actions we have taken against the six pillars listed above to share our progress and identify areas for improvement. We will continue to develop our practice, to collaborate, and to learn from each other.

We are excited to answer the call for transparency and accountability in this commitment and we look forward to making more information available about our work in this area, and sharing knowledge and learnings resulting from our actions. 

Interested in learning more about the Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change? Download the Canadian Commitment backgrounder to learn more. 

Rod Ruff
Vice President at Alberta Ecotrust Foundation

Rod Ruff is the Vice President at Alberta Ecotrust Foundation and loves to work across boundaries and build creative partnerships to advance a more sustainable future in Alberta. Rod is passionate about program design, evaluation, and collaboration. He has led strategic projects for Alberta Ecotrust which includes participating as a founder of the Low Carbon Cities Canada initiative which established the Climate Innovation Fund in Calgary and Edmonton, and Project Blue Thumb – Canada’s first social innovation lab aimed at addressing water quality issues. When he isn’t at work, or spending time with his wife and daughter, you can find him nestled in a book, fly fishing in the Bow River, or hunting in the prairies near his hometown of Medicine Hat.

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