135 grant-makers receive Nelson Mandela tribute for climate courage

The prestigious Nelson Mandela-Graca Machel Innovation Award for Brave Philanthropy has been awarded to the 135 trusts and foundations that have pledged to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions through the global Divest Invest Philanthropy movement. Amongst them are the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, seven Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and several members of the Pymwymic impact investing community. 
Currently, the fossil fuel sector’s business plans are based on climate change of more than 3°C. Such an increase in global average temperatures would have huge humanitarian and economic costs. It is also starkly at odds with the global agreement reached in Paris last year to limit climate change to no more 2°C and preferably 1.5°C. Meanwhile, investment in renewable energy is increasing but levels are still much lower than are needed to meet energy needs into the future.
Divest Invest is a powerful symbolic and financial act taken by an increasing number of trusts and foundations. Participating institutions aim to remove the social and political license of fossil fuel companies planning on pushing climate change beyond 2°C, to protect the value of their charitable endowments, to increase investment in renewable energy and to align their investments with their philanthropic goals.
Frank and Margaret van Beuningen, founders of Pymwymic, are amongst the Pymwymic members who have committed to Divest Invest, said, “Divest Invest is changing attitudes towards future fossil fuel use. This award recognizes the courage of first-movers in the Divest Invest movement and of all the investors who have shown commitment to a low carbon future by signing. This is truly putting money where meaning is. By investing in climate solutions we increase financing of renewable energy. We ask other families and foundations to join, to help accelerate the move to a low carbon economy and avoid calamitous climate change.” 
For the past 11 years, The Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Awards has recognised and celebrated civil society activists and organisations for their excellence, innovation, and courageous risk-taking. This year, nominations were open for Youth Activists, Individual Activists, Civil Society Organisations, and for the first time ever, grant-makers under a new category: Brave Philanthropy. 
Find out more at: www.youcanbethechange.com
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