Climate action, on target
The action-focused charities taking the project forward
Saturday 04 June 2022
This article is from
Restore Our Earth
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Bringing together the work of many scientists, spanning continents and scientific disciplines, the authors of last year’s 4,000 page IPCC report on climate change concluded with a simple, stark message: human activity has changed the Earth’s climate in unprecedented ways, and major climate change is inevitable and irreversible. Rising CO2 and sea levels, extreme heatwaves, drought and flooding will likely see hundreds of millions of people displaced from their homes, as well as large scale loss of natural habitats, declining biodiversity and devastating breakdowns of critical ecosystems. As is often the way, disenfranchised, low-income communities will be hit the hardest.
Tythe is a non-profit initiative from The EQ Foundation, founded on the principle that system-wide change is needed to minimise the effects of this existential crisis. Its mission is to streamline charitable giving, while ensuring funds are targeted to those organisations delivering meaningful, measurable impacts. Its portfolio of action-focused charities has been rigorously selected for the difference they’re making in key areas, with all donations managed through a user-friendly app, allowing donors to tweak their contributions in-line with the causes most important to them.
“All of us, from individuals to companies and governments, must do what we can to support bold, action-focused environmental initiatives,” says Tythe’s Dan Kwiatkowski. “Luckily, there are some incredible non-profits out there, driving huge progress and giving us reason to be optimistic.”
A key partner in the Restore our Earth initiative, Tythe has worked with us to select seven of the most inspiring and impactful projects, in need of your support. You can read more about these inspiring organisations in the following pages.
“All of the organisations are medium-sized, meaning they’re big enough to take on significant challenges, but small enough to be focussed and efficient in their operations,” continues Dan. “Between them, they’re taking on everything from forest and marine conservation to carbon removal to helping build climate-resilient communities, and they’re doing a phenomenal job. All they need to put up a real fight is regular, reliable funding.”
Through Restore Our Earth we want to use our platform and our beer as a force for good, and encourage you, our drinkers, to jump on board too. To kick things off, we’re donating £20k to the seven causes through Tythe. On top of this, as a thank you for drinking our beer, we’ll match your first donation. Tythe makes it easy for you to split a modest monthly donation between all the causes, and it doesn’t take any cut from our donations.
To see our collective impact, and start contributing yourself, check out tythe.org/ferment
ClientEarth is one of the world's most ambitious environmental organisations, and works in partnerships across borders, systems and sectors to protect life on Earth by using the law. Its work focuses on changing the system – informing, implementing and enforcing the law, advising decision-makers on policy and training legal and judicial professionals. This team of over 200 people across eight offices, works in over 50 countries to address the most pressing environmental challenges and create systemic change around them at the rate at which it’s needed.
ClientEarth’s core belief is that the environmental crisis is too big to be addressed bottom-up, and for urgent change to be made the law must be used to create industry transformation and government accountability. It has helped governments to write environmental laws, and regulators to enforce them; it has saved Europe’s oldest forest from destruction, smoothed the way for environmental lawsuits in China, and helped communities in Africa’s last great rainforest to cut illegal logging. It sues polluting companies, and helps them change their business model to do better in future. Beyond this their priorities include but are not limited to agriculture, air pollution, chemical pollution, clean energy, climate accountability, climate finance, defending habitats, European Green Deal, fisheries, forests and communities, forests and trade, fossil fuels, greenwashing, plastics, protecting wildlife and trade.
For all the ways in which ClientEarth works directly with the creation and implementation of legislation, it believes that the law is only as good as people’s ability to enforce it; for this reason it additionally works to ensure people can find and access information about the environment where they live and work, so they can take that information to court when things go wrong. ClientEarth is dedicated to protecting the Earth for and with its inhabitants because a future in which people and planet thrive together isn't just possible - it's essential.
Sand Dams Worldwide supports some of the world’s poorest people to transform their own lives through water and soil conservation in drylands. The UK charity works with local in-country partners to help vulnerable rural dryland communities to build sand dams; a sustainable and cost-effective rainwater harvesting technology that can capture up to 40 million litres of water, replenishing every rainy season. That water is stored safe from disease and evaporation within the sand. It’s easily extractable via pipework connected to hand-pumps and taps, with one sand dam providing enough year-round water for over 1,000 people.
Sand Dams play a significant role in mitigating the effects of climate change, including reversing land degradation. They raise groundwater levels through slowing down the rate of run-off and capturing rainwater that would otherwise be lost as run-off, while allowing most water to continue downstream. The slowing down of water runoff allows water to infiltrate the soil, resulting in vegetation recovery, reduced erosion and restored degraded land and regreened environments.
While Sand Dams Worldwide’s work often starts with a sand dam, it’s certainly not where it ends. Once water and time are available, a wealth of opportunities arise. The charity also works through partners to advise communities on improved climate-smart agriculture techniques, such as terracing, developing seed banks and the planting of drought-resistant crops and trees; empowering families to grow enough food to eat, store and sell in the face of climate change and drought.
Sand Dams Worldwide currently has programmes in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia and two in Kenya (one in the southeast working with self-help community groups, and another in Tsavo National Park focusing on supporting local wildlife).
Blue Marine Foundation is working to protect and restore life in the ocean, which is critical if the world is to ward off runaway climate change. Our ocean is in crisis. Marine ecosystems are under pressure from a range of threats including climate change, acidification, agricultural pollution, ocean noise and plastic. But arguably the greatest threat of all is overfishing. If we strip the ocean of life, it will lose resilience to other threats and can no longer provide the vital function of stabilising our climate.
The ocean is the world’s largest carbon sink: by combating overfishing, we can help life in the ocean perform its vital function of stabilising the Earth’s climate. A complex web of marine life enables the ocean to absorb around a third of the world’s carbon dioxide and produce as much as half our oxygen. Ensuring a healthy ocean is also key to the sustainable development of human society, particularly for the billions of people who depend on seafood for protein and are most exposed to the negative impacts of climate change.
Over the last twelve years, Blue Marine has restored critical marine habitats, secured commitments to protect over four million square kilometres of ocean and developed models of sustainable fishing.
The charity works in any area of the world where it can deliver tangible and rapid results. Last year, Blue Marine helped secure the protection of 300 square kilometres of Sussex seabed from damaging fishing activity, while in the Maldives the team celebrated the designation of six new marine protected areas, encompassing coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows.
Blue Marine’s mission is to see at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans under effective protection by 2030 and the other 70 percent managed in a responsible way.
Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) started as a grassroots movement 30 years ago and is now one of the UK’s most successful environmental charities. It began as a campaign initiated by a group of surfers based in Cornwall, who found themselves coming into regular contact with raw sewage while out on the water. The movement grew loud, proud and strong thanks to the passion and perseverance of its members, but as SAS campaigned, it started getting wiser about the full scope of pollution, waste, destruction and rising temperatures damaging the ocean that so many of us love and that we all rely on.
SAS realised it wasn’t just people getting sick from coming into contact with ocean pollution, the planet was as well; from there it concluded that for people to thrive and live life to the fullest, the ocean has to thrive too. From there, SAS started rising up on more issues, bringing together more people and using collective power to drive change in areas concerning the impact of plastics on our oceans, ocean recovery, the climate emergency and water quality. By building and connecting communities motivated to make a difference, SAS gathers the evidence needed to give voice to pressing climate concerns that leaders must accept accountability and responsibility for.
From the beachfront to the frontbench, pavements to the hilltops, SAS is creating inspired, motivated Ocean Activists everywhere, each one of us committed to the exact same thing; protecting the ocean and all it makes possible.
The Sustainable Food Trust (STF) advocates for food production systems that are diverse and integrated, that work with natural systems and obey the law of return so they can be truly regenerative to the earth, and its plants, animals and people.
For example; livestock production receives a lot of criticism, yet often there is a failure to differentiate between livestock that are part of the problem (primarily intensively reared, grain-fed) and high welfare livestock systems that can be a vital part of the solution by restoring ecosystems, maintaining soil fertility, and producing food from marginal land. Similarly, one of the barriers to the wider uptake of more sustainable food production systems and healthier diets is a lack of understanding of the issues relating to what constitutes sustainable production, what constitutes a healthy diet and how these two aspects can be better integrated.
To this end, SFT is currently focusing on a number of key themes and issues, that each have a unique and crucial role to play in increasing understanding or creating more sustainable food systems. These include: true cost accounting, measuring sustainability, sustainable livestock, local food systems, sustainable and healthy diets.
SFT works in three principal areas: Leadership and Collaboration, Research and Policy, and Communications. The first of these aims to influence individuals and organisations in leadership positions to collaborate with others who share the vision of SFT; the second advocates for conducting research that advances our understanding of the change that is needed, and that will in turn inform better policy and practice; the third aims to encourage and empower individual and collective action through engagement across all platforms, including press, website, newsletter, film and social media.
By combining these priorities and approaches, Sustainable Food Trust is working to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food and farming systems that nourish the health of both people and the planet.
Rainforest Trust UK is a British charity working in partnership with Rainforest Trust in the U.S. to protect the world’s most threatened rainforests and other tropical ecosystems. Rainforest Trust is one of the world’s most respected and successful conservation charities. It has been working in partnership with trusted local NGOs and indigenous communities for more than 30 years to implement its unique, cost-effective conservation model to protect over 38 million acres of threatened tropical habitat.
Rainforest Trust identifies critical sites that provide a permanent refuge for endangered species, but are threatened by human activity such as industrial logging or agriculture. The charity then works with local communities and committed conservationists to secure long-term protection in the most direct way - by creating legally-recognised protected areas. Rainforest Trust reserves are exemplary models of international conservation, and recent surveys have shown that 99% of the rainforest they have protected since 1988 remains intact.
Protecting our planet’s remaining rainforests is more important than ever. Tropical deforestation accounts for 15% of net global carbon emissions: that’s the same as every car, plane, bus, train, truck and ship on the planet. These emissions fuel climate change and push our planet closer to an unlivable future. Studies have shown that halting tropical deforestation and allowing for regrowth could mitigate up to 50% of net global carbon emissions in the next 30 years. In short, saving rainforests is one of the most important and cost-effective ways to combat the climate emergency.
As well as storing billions of tonnes of carbon, the world’s rainforests produce 20% of the planet’s oxygen, stabilise global weather patterns, provide habitat for thousands of endangered species and sustain the livelihoods of millions of indigenous people. They are one of the most important natural resources on Earth, and their long-term protection is vital for the survival of our planet and the countless species that inhabit it. In short, we can’t really live without them!
Carbon180 is a new breed of climate NGO on a mission to reverse two centuries of carbon emissions. It works closely with US policymakers, entrepreneurs, and peer organisations to design policies that will bring necessary carbon removal solutions to a gigaton scale in a way that's good for communities and the environment.
The truth is, reducing emissions does nothing to remove the more than two trillion tons of carbon already released into our atmosphere — the planet-warming legacy of 200 years of human activity. The good news? Solutions are within reach. Using a spectrum of carbon removal methods — some already in practice, others in development — we can pull yesterday’s emissions out of the sky and store them in soils, rocks, trees, oceans, and products.
Carbon180 has built a network of experts in science, business, and policy so that the best ideas make it from lab to legislation, ensuring carbon removal scales not just quickly, but well; it works directly with scientists and startups to take down growth barriers and help them step forward as leaders in the field. This research informs recommendations that are tailored to the real world, equipping policymakers with everything they need to craft high-impact legislation. By collaborating with environmental justice and labour groups, Carbon180’s advocacy also empowers communities, not just investors and developers.
Over the last seven years, the charity’s advocacy has helped put carbon removal on the map, catalysing billions in new investments and pioneering some of the first major federal incentives. Using the same policy levers and finance mechanisms that helped generate past climate solutions, policymakers can fill in research gaps, drive down costs, and unlock private capital — all while ensuring practices meet the highest labour and environmental standards.
Carbon180’s vision is to eliminate legacy carbon emissions and create a livable climate in which current and future generations can thrive.
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