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The IKEA Foundation Identifies Highest Impact Interventions for Philanthropy to Reduce Emissions and Will Deploy an Additional €600m for Climate By 2025

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Shifting to alternative and plant-based proteins, supporting the market for electric 2&3 wheelers and providing targeted financial support for a fair and inclusive energy transition are among the highest impact opportunities global philanthropy can seize upon in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to research commissioned by the IKEA Foundation.

The analysis, unveiled during the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), was conducted in collaboration with the system change company, Systemiq and RMI, founded as the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit organisation working to accelerate the clean energy transition.

In 2021, the IKEA Foundation announced an additional €1 billion in funding for climate change programmes over a five-year period, with the strategic goal of quickly and significantly reducing global emissions. Of this commitment, €400 million has been earmarked for the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched at COP26. The research conducted with Systemiq and RMI will inform how the IKEA Foundation deploys the remaining €600 million in climate funding.

The IKEA Foundation hopes publication of the research will drive greater investment in climate action efforts by the global philanthropic community, helping to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Analysis by the ClimateWorks Foundation published in the run up to COP27 found that, despite a recent increase in climate philanthropy funding, still less than 2% of global philanthropic annual grants were dedicated to climate change mitigation in 2021.

Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation, said: “We know that a rapid and sustained decrease in global emissions is required if the world is to meet its pledge of keeping global warming at or below 1.5°C. By sharing our research we hope to support and inspire other philanthropies, during this decisive decade for our planet, to step up their ambition to safeguard our environment.”

Jeremy Oppenheim, Founder of Systemiq, said: “Less than 2% of philanthropic capital goes to climate mitigation. This allocation needs to be scaled fast. But this is not just a volume game. It matters where and how philanthropy uses its capital. The methodology we developed with the IKEA Foundation and RMI could be the critical unlock that helps foundations prioritise the highest impact interventions to reduce emissions and deploy capital fast. The fact that the IKEA Foundation has chosen to open-source this analysis demonstrates their deep commitment to urgent climate action and belief in the catalytic role of a strategically coordinated philanthropic sector. “

Lena Hansen, Interim Chief Program & Strategy Officer, RMI said: “Collaboration is critical to implement solutions that set off catalytic tipping points and keep warming to 1.5C. RMI commends the IKEA Foundation for sharing this research with the world, and we hope that it helps spark radical collaboration to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis.”

The research considered five systems in which the consumption and production of GHG emissions needs to be transformed to limit global warming to 1.5°C: Energy & Power, Food & Land Use, Industry, Transport, and Buildings. It identified the key levers of change and high impact opportunity areas within these systems by considering: their potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions by 2030; the near-term viability of the technology required to meet the potential; their cost-effectiveness; and the ‘value add’ global philanthropy could provide in encouraging and maximising impact.

Some of the high impact opportunities identified are:

  • Providing targeted financial support to a fair and inclusive energy transition
  • Creating a market for minimizing upstream methane emissions
  • Creating the capacity for peatland protection/ restoration projects at government level
  • Stimulating a shift to alternative and plant-based protein
  • Creating the market & enabling environment for reducing methane emissions in agriculture
  • Invigorating efforts to strengthen value chains which can reduce losses
  • Supporting the market for electric 2 & 3 wheelers through operations and financing innovation
  • Space cooling in emerging economies Read the full research here

About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.5 billion to create a better future for children and their families. In 2021 the Board of the IKEA Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions.

About Systemiq

Systemiq, the system change company, was founded in 2016 to drive the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, by transforming markets and business models in five key systems: nature and food, materials and circularity, energy, urban areas, and sustainable finance. A certified B Corp, Systemiq combines strategic advisory with high-impact, on-the-ground work, and partners with business, finance, policy- makers and civil society to deliver system change. Systemiq’s people are based in Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, the Netherlands and the UK. Find out more at www.systemiq.earth

About RMI

RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and to secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in: Basalt and Boulder, Colo.; New York City; Oakland, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

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