As world leaders convened for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, a majority of the Community Trusts of Aotearoa New Zealand have signed a Funders Commitment on Climate Action, in recognition of the important role community funders play in building better outcomes for our environment and communities.
This commitment is the initial result from the formation of a Climate Change Working Group established by the Community Trusts’ Chief Executives with support from The Centre of Social Impact.
The working group aims to explore ways to work together on climate change issues, including how to support a just transition to a net zero world. Community Trusts regularly collaborate on important issues. Individually and collectively, they have already undertaken significant work relating to climate change and net zero emissions.
A guiding whakataukī (proverb) highlights the importance of the collaborative effort:
Ki te kotahi te kākaho, ka whati; ki te kāpuia, e kore e whati.
If a reed stands alone, it can be broken; if it is in a group, it cannot.
When we stand alone, we are vulnerable, but together we are unbreakable.
- Kingi Pōtatau Te Wherowhero Tāwhiao
The seven-part commitment is guided by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and mātaurangi Māori aspirations. It focuses on a just transition, collaboration, and leadership. Significantly, it includes reporting back to our communities and stakeholders the actions that signatories undertake.
“We see this as an opportunity to increase accountability, to support action for just transitions, greater equity, community resilience, and ultimately improve outcomes for the communities we serve,” says Linn Araboglos, Chief Executive of Wellington Community Trust, who chairs the working group.
“Taking collective action on climate issues makes sense. Climate action is community action, and we are stronger when we work together.”
The commitment is designed to be a high-level document that other New Zealand philanthropic funders are encouraged to sign up to. To read the full commitment and join the efforts, please visit www.climateactionaotearoa.co.nz.
The Community Trusts of Aotearoa New Zealand who have undersigned this commitment include Foundation North, Trust Waikato, Bay Trust, Toi Foundation, Eastern and Central Community Trust, Wellington Community Trust, Rātā Foundation, The Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury, Otago Community Trust and Community Trust South.