The Open Society Foundations has announced a commitment of more than $16 million to advance urgent climate priorities related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Part of OSF's $133.7 million commitment in support of efforts to address the impacts of the global public health crisis, the funding will be used to advance green economic stimulus plans and stop efforts to roll back progress on environmental issues. The total includes $8.95 million to counter disinformation campaigns in the United States and Europe and support climate-related reforms focused on low-wage workers, frontline communities, and democracy; $3 million in support of nonpartisan public mobilization and advocacy efforts focused on reducing the use of fossil fuels, driving improvements in air quality, and accelerating a just and effective energy transition to more resilient, sustainable, and open societies; and $2 million in support of actions to address a surge in deforestation in Latin America, where environmental enforcement measures are being rolled back.
According to OSF, climate change and the pandemic both function as a "threat multiplier," exacerbating existing inequalities and injustices and highlighting the need for urgent science-based action aimed at preventing catastrophic impacts on human health, the environment, and the global economy.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has made all too real the dangers of ignoring science. Our world is facing two emergencies at once — both the climate crisis and a global pandemic — and it is deepening racial, gender, and economic injustices," said OSF president Patrick Gaspard. "We all have significant choices ahead of us on how to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic on better, more resilient footing. Open Society is responding both by supporting the needs of low-wage workers and frontline communities, and by backing those taking bold steps toward a just and sustainable future."