Gone are the days when the climate crisis was an issue meant for environmentalists and conservationists to worry about.
Currently, climate change is in every conversation, and individuals, organizations, and governments are seeking ways to save the planet from this catastrophe – extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, drought, melting glaciers, etc.
In all of this, nonprofits have a critical role to play by virtue of the work they do via advocacy and campaign. The question then is: how can this sector advance the climate clause? how can nonprofits help to solve the climate crisis?
Reduce their carbon footprint
Let’s face it. There’s no organization on earth that doesn’t have a carbon footprint, including nonprofits.
While some countries have set up regulations that require every registered company to set net-zero targets and some other countries are advocating for it because it is the right thing per the climate crisis, nonprofits should prioritize reducing their carbon footprint.
They should set near and long-term science-based targets and invest in net-zero initiatives across their facilities.
Pressurize governments to meet targets
Civil societies and the private sector are very important in the climate crisis, especially with their advocacy and campaign.
If targets must be achieved, nonprofits should join the campaign to pressure governments to limit global warming by meeting emissions targets. They should create awareness about the impact of climate change on their mission as well as on the communities that they provide support to.
This is key if the sector truly seeks to reach net-zero and achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals.
Funding and innovation
COP26 has come and with it, the billions of public finance pledges made by world leaders.
While a number of philanthropic organizations in the nonprofit sector have stepped up to collaborate with development finance institutions and multilateral organizations to mobilize funds, there is still so much left for nonprofits to do.
The thing is, there is a shift in the funding terrain and climate action is well-positioned to dominate the funding ecosystem sooner than expected. Therefore, nonprofits should bear this in mind when they are developing their programs or applying for recurrent funding.
Nonprofits can mobilize to solve the climate crisis by fusing climate action into their strategies, bearing in mind that any program that is aimed at addressing the climate crisis moves the world closer to solving it.
Since nonprofits are at the center of helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change, they should also work across sectors to innovate new solutions to the crisis.
For example, they can partner with other sectors to innovate drought-resistant agricultural crops to help communities experiencing severe weather conditions.
The truth is, for the world to swiftly solve the climate crisis via innovation, funding and cross-sector partnerships are crucial.
Prioritize vulnerable communities
The devastating effects of the climate crisis are hitting poorer communities and the sad part is that a significant number of these communities are situated in Africa, one of the continents that contributes the least to pollution.
Nonprofits should form partnerships aimed at educating people in these communities on how they can adapt to and mitigate some of these climate change effects.
Organizations like Climateaction.africa are conducting research and putting out climate-related educational resources to educate vulnerable communities in Africa as well as facilitating online and offline climate conversations.
This can include practical ways on how they can manage flood, drought, and heatwaves, as well as ways they can reduce their own carbon footprint by employing clean energy-powered innovations in their homes.