We face an urgent climate crisis, one that the United Nations says requires trillions in climate solution investments worldwide. We also must accelerate the conservation and restoration of threatened habitats and species globally, to ensure their survival in the face of a warming climate and other stressors.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation launched Planet Pledge in 2016 to take up these challenges, committing to climate action now for a thriving planet for generations to come. We’ve seen significant progress since the launch, and the work is expanding.
First, we have brought together top philanthropic and investment community members in a global Planet Pledge Alliance. Alliance members hail from foundations, family offices, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, asset managers, and NGOs. Together and with colleagues, we have begun identifying and seeking support for multi-benefit investment projects that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that can be scaled up nationally and globally for even greater benefits. Alliance members and colleagues have also begun examining collaborative grantmaking efforts that protect and restore ecosystems and species worldwide. This includes program investment support for promising climate solutions that need additional attention to move forward.
Second, we have begun developing the Planet Pledge Fund (PPF) with Alliance members and colleagues. Implemented initially as a $100 million endowment fund, the PPF will be created by philanthropists who donate their resources for investment in projects such as large-scale solar and wind energy initiatives, city-level energy efficiency retrofits, and waste management strategies. Chosen projects must measurably reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have the potential to be scaled up globally – importantly, with market-rate or better financial returns. Profits would be donated to and distributed by LDF and philanthropic partners for collaborative conservation grantmaking that protects habitats and species. In effect, the PPF doubles returns by reducing emissions and conserving nature with the same outlay of funds.
Third, as we develop the Planet Pledge Fund, we are also working closely with technical experts to source innovative waste management strategies worldwide that will serve as models for scalable, climate-friendly investment. We have further built a talented group of climate investors who have developed new investment partnerships in renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean water, and waste optimization.
Finally, we have been taking a leadership role in advancing climate finance that supports, tracks, and reports on financial and environmental gains. This spring, we were invited to address the U.N. General Assembly on the topic of sustainable development, and we reminded the U.N. that their ultimate sustainability goal is “a world . . . where all life can thrive.” We cannot meet that goal without a finance system that encourages both strong financial returns and strong ecological returns. At Planet Pledge, we are already putting that recommendation into practice. Earth’s right to be healthy demands nothing less.