It’s One Earth, plus Earth’s Call and The Solutions Project all thanks to climate champ, Justin Winters!
It’s One Earth, Earth’s Call & The Solutions Project, All Thanks to Climate Champ Justin Winters!
CLIMATE CHAMPION, JUSTIN WINTERS
Justin Winters is a fascinating person. Justin is like a serial entrepreneur, except for climate change combating non-profits. Justin cut her teeth in the climate change space as Executive Director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. For 13 years she built the organization’s grant-making program.
She awarded over $100 million in grants across 60 countries and created a series of innovative philanthropic funds, including Oceans 5, Shark Conservation Fund, The Solutions Funds, Lion Recovery Fund, Elephant Crisis Fund, and Quick Response Fund for Nature.
She left LDF to Co-Found and lead Earth’s Call Fund. And oh, by the way, she Co-Founded One Earth, a new initiative focused on creating a vision for the world that is possible by 2050, one in which humanity and nature coexist and thrive together.
One Earth’s vision is based on three pillars of action – 100% renewable energy, protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans, and a transition to regenerative, carbon-negative agriculture. The UN, the EU and even the USA have only pledged to protect and restore 30% of their lands and oceans, so…
After two years of close collaboration with leading scientists around the world, the One Earth Climate Model was released at Davos in early 2019. This state-of-the-art modeling project shows how we can surpass the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, averting a climate catastrophe while at the same time preventing further degradation of our natural ecosystems.
Did I mention she engineered Li’l Dicky’s “Earth” song? 20 major musical artists appeared – driving 100 million views on YouTube, over 12 billion earned media impressions and 1 billion social media impressions.
EARTH’S CALL FUND
The Earth’s Call Fund is a financial accelerator that aims to find and fund innovative solutions to the climate crisis. This is a change. According to its website, Earth’s Call Fund, In partnership and collaboration, says:we rapidly deploy capital to solutions targeting the climate crisis’ most complex and immediate challenges.
They are built upon four pillars: DISCOVER innovators who are actively solving the climate crisis with science-backed and scalable solutions. ACCELERATE the adoption of climate solutions with rapid funding.
COLLABORATE with others, guided by the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals, to solve the climate crisis. MOBILIZE people to answer Earth’s Call.
One example of a project ECF appears to be involved with (according to its website) is a startup bringing FISH POOP to the rescue. MicroTERRA is the name of a Mexican startup founded by scientist Marissa Cuevas Flores and a team of women scientists. They’ve bioengineered a way to filter the fish poop contaminated waste water from aquacultue through microalgae, which in turn provides food for farmed fish.
One Earth is a philanthropic organization working to accelerate collective action to limit global average temperature rise less than 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Focused on three concepts: a shift to 100% renewable energy by 2050; protecting and restoring 50% of all Earth’s lands and oceans; and transitioning all farming from tilling to regenerative, climate-friendly.
One Earth believes the way to pay for this three-pronged transition is through massive philanthropy. One Earth provides direct grants to other non-profits in three program areas. On-the-ground programs are those initiated by local communities and grassroots organizations to create mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies in the context of renewable energy, ocean and land conservation, as well as regenerative farming.
Science and Policy programs focus on supporting research for peer-reviewed documents and strategic thinking. The third program area is Media and Advocacy—basically funding public communications efforts. Thus far, One Earth has funded 58 projects in 35 countries to the tune of 4.9 million dollars.
I found the most interesting part of One Earth’s website to be its Project Marketplace page. Project Marketplace “connects philanthropic capital to place-based initiatives,” according to the website. Basically, Project Marketplace is like a Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace except its for climate change projects.
Local, community-based groups from around the globe display their projects on Project Marketplace…you know, actually it’s more like a science fair where instead of parents coming to see what Johnny and Emily made, big-time philanthropists and foundation funders stop at each virtual table. Kinda neat.
One Earth’s Project Marketplace matters to us because it’s a great showcase of what people around the world are doing in their local communities. It’s inspirational, aspirational and motivational.
THE SOLUTIONS PROJECT
A lot of climate change websites are beautiful yet dour. You may know what I mean—beautiful photos of animals and plants and forests and rivers and oceans and byways—all the things we’ll lose/are losing if we let the pollution blanket we created continue to overheat the Earth and cause pain and suffering to us, our friends and our family…forever.
Not the Solutions Project, though. That website leaves you with the impression that fighting climate change ain’t nothin’ but a party! I love it. Why? Because fighting climate change, adapting, mitigating, creating resiliency will be hard. So better to treat it like a party than a funeral, right?
That’s not the only way The Solutions Project is different. According to its website, “Our collective future depends on the work of many already solving problems they face in their own communities…Our commitment to Black, Indigenous and other communities of color, along with a pledge to elevate women in leadership doesn’t stop with grantee support. We also ensure they have a seat at the table, and the materials to build their own tables — as they are the past, present and future of our movements.”
The Solutions Project was founded in 2013 by Mark Jacobsen and Mark Ruffalo. Its CEO and president is Gloria Walton, an NAACP-LA Empowerment Award winner and described as one of the 100 power players in philanthropy. Just a few months after taking on the roles of CEO and president, Walton negotiated a $43 million dollar, unrestricted gift from the Bezos Earth Fund.
Since 2015, The Solutions Project has invested over $8.5 million dollars across 33 states to 128 grantees. Some of those grantees include the Alliance for a Green Economy, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network Action, Blacks in Green and the Resilience Force.