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This weekend is the last chance to donate to our 2021 appeal supporting those on the frontline of the climate emergency
In this year’s Guardian and Observer charity appeal we have supported communities and individuals hit hardest by the climate emergency, people who have seen their lives upended and livelihoods lost by extreme weather. It’s a topical issue, and not going away – and there is still time to donate: so far we have raised over £800,000.
Our appeal is shaped by vivid stories of climate emergency: floods, drought and wildfires; from reindeer killed by unnatural arctic heat to chronic crop failure by the shores of Lake Victoria. At its heart, however, lies inequality and poverty: the stark truth is the countries least responsible for global emissions have by far suffered worst from climate-induced disasters.
Thousands of readers have so far given generously to the appeal – and hundreds of you have emailed us to tell us why. You told us the climate crisis is the most urgent issue facing the planet, and that world’s wealthiest economies – as many delegates at the recent Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow made clear – have a moral responsibility to help the poorest cope with increasingly grave climate challenges.
Giving to the appeal felt for many readers like a way of registering support for wider change. As one said: “My donation is a tiny contribution to the efforts of all those working to preserve this precious world we live in.” It was also, many of you said, an acknowledgment that even a relatively small charitable investment in local expertise, resilience and innovation can deliver social dividends.
Other donors said they were inspired by reading about our partner charities. Some described the alarming impact of extreme weather on family and friends who lived on the front lines of climate change. Giving was for some donors a small but important protest against government climate policy, or aid budget cuts, or the excesses of western consumption and material exploitation.
Whatever your reasons, the money we raise together will be shared among our four fantastic charities: Practical Action, Global Greengrants Fund UK, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and Environmental Justice Foundation. All do brilliant work to help tackle the climate emergency, and offer important hope and optimism for the future.
Thanks to your generous donations, Practical Action will continue to invest in local communities with innovative tools and adaptations, from agricultural technology to flood warning systems. Environmental Justice Foundation will continue to provide powerful testimony of the human impact of climate change and fight for the rights of climate refugees.
Global Greengrants Fund UK will distribute its share of donations to grassroots climate projects in the global south, reminding us that “small farmers cool the planet”. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew will pursue its vital work to preserve biodiversity and revitalise denuded land on the island of Madagascar.
As ever, I’d like to appeal to those of who have not yet given to consider doing so – and to thank the more than 7,000 of you who have already done so. We appreciate your generosity, spirit, and your commitment to a fairer, greener and more just world. Your donations are inspiring – and they will make a difference.
The appeal is scheduled to close at midnight on Sunday. You can donate online here.