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Environment Funders Canada is thrilled to invite members and other funders to our national conference, Accelerate 2023: Building Bridges & Embracing Change, taking place in Quebec City on May 16th – 18th. We look forward to gathering in this historic city, along one of Canada’s most important waterways, in a province known for its unique style of collaboration!
By now, we all know the drill. Emissions must be halved by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. Global action and investments to reach these targets are still not where they need to be. Meanwhile, human and wildlife populations continue to suffer the impacts of climate change and many life-sustaining ecosystems are on the verge of collapse.
The term ‘polycrises’ is increasingly used to describe the interconnecting and intensifying relationship between global ‘human’ and environmental crises. While there are examples of other periods of polycrises in history, never has our dependance on ecological systems been so clearly pronounced.
While other G7 nations have bent their emissions curves downward, Canada remains the only member with rapidly increasing emissions. On the other hand, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Agreement struck at COP15 was largely spurred by Canada’s investments and progress to date. There are strong signals that environmental action is becoming recognized as a key ingredient for tackling other ‘non-environmental’ aspects of the polycrises and benefitting people’s lives.
We are now at a time where the reality of climate change is no longer a debate, where the need to protect biodiversity is understood, and where innovative economic and financial solutions to address our challenges are known. But greed, powerful interests, fear and resistance to change continue to hold us back.
So what does all this mean for environmental philanthropy?
Relative to other sectors, philanthropy enjoys the greatest degree of flexibility and risk tolerance in the way it can allocate capital. We have the ability and opportunity to use our capital to embrace and resource the kind of change needed to build a truly sustainable future.
Ultimately, the scale of change required needs two key ingredients: a critical mass of political support in the right places, and rules, incentives and disincentives that truly align industry behaviour with climate action and ecological restoration. But those ingredients can’t be developed without challenging the status quo and moving beyond incremental pathways and solutions.
So, what are the bridges we need to build and the new pathways that we need to embrace, to accelerate progress in a very short period of time?
EFC’s 2023 annual conference will be devoted to answering this question, not with theoretical discussions but with tangible, practical solutions that we can action today – and in some cases are already! We have no time to spare. Let’s get to work!
Please click the link below to enter the conference website to learn more about what this year’s conference has to offer!
Our program is still being finalized so please check back often as information will be updated regularly.
EFC staff will also be reaching out to funders directly with opportunities to participate in the development and delivery of some sessions, so please watch for that too!
Last but not least, we are also planning a pre-conference field trip along the St. Lawrence River on May 15th and 16th. Please visit the ‘Field Trip’ page for more information.