Global visions, local solutions: Spotlighting this year’s JEDI Pilot Fund grantees

Blog Post Justice & Equity
Stilt Village Pulau Papan in the gulf of Tomini at Togian Islands Sulawesi, Indonesia
JEDI Pilot Fund grantees focus on a range of goals and activities, including the climate resilience of island nations. Pictured above: the Togian Islands in Indonesia. (Andriall/Pexels)
Published May 24, 2024

Makeeba Browne

Chief of Equity, Justice and Culture

As we build a resilient and just movement of local and global climate solutions, it is important we remember not only the future we want to avoid, but the future we are striving toward.

What opportunities, and prosperity do we envision for our communities, both now and generations down the road? The visionary grantees of ClimateWorks Foundation’s Justice and Equity Collaborative Learning Pilot Fund (or JEDI Pilot Fund) are leading the way in realizing these potential realities.

The JEDI Pilot Fund supports power building across a diverse array of actors in the climate movement with a focus on solutions at the intersection of climate change and social justice. Since its launch in 2021, we have granted $7.1M in funding. With a focus on locally-led priorities and action, the JEDI Pilot Fund grantees bring a critical lens to climate action and take the lead role in shaping their grants alongside ClimateWorks staff. In turn, ClimateWorks staff engage in collaborative processes using the Trust-Based Grantmaking Framework as a guide for how to engage in equitable relationships with implementing partners and how to apply learning across their teams.

Our partner organizations in the JEDI Pilot Fund are envisioning pathways that simultaneously tackle climate change and the systemic inequities that threaten to create barriers to a just future for all.

Youth climate leaders across Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa are contributing to global discourse on carbon dioxide removal technologies. Native American tribal leaders are collaborating on climate priorities with philanthropic leaders in a first-of-its-kind new platform. Vanuatu’s diplomats are strengthening their legal resources as they continue their call for global accountability for climate change. These are just some of the ways that 2023 JEDI Pilot Fund grantees are moving the needle.

We are honored to partner with this growing group of visionaries as they create locally-led solutions and respond to the needs and desires of communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. Putting people first is an essential part of forging a path toward a just and sustainable future where every individual, community, and ecosystem can thrive.

We made 19 awards focused on a wide range of issues across most of our programs and cross-cutting initiatives. Our goal was to  increase support for work focused on the Global South. This year’s portfolio includes youth-led, women-led, frontline and grassroots organizations spanning across multiple geographies. Meet the organizations that make up our 2023 JEDI Pilot Fund grantees:

Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) – $250,000

ACHR is a coalition of Asian professionals and NGOs channeling government funds directly to low-income communities and supporting community-driven urban development processes, like passive cooling solutions, in Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Philippines. Sponsor: Clean Cooling Collaborative

Buibu Baca Buku (BBB) – $100,000

BBB started as a book club inviting communities to discuss issues from the point of view of women and mothers. It has grown into a “network of thoughts” that engages local schools to integrate climate change curricula; facilitates advocacy campaigns in support of climate policies; holds green parenting workshops; and promotes pro-climate mobility in Indonesia. Sponsor: Programs

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) – $100,000

CSIS focuses on tracking state-level policymaking and engaging state leaders across India. Their upcoming report will bring more specificity to the discourse on Just Transitions in Indian states and serves as a communication guide for India’s global partners. Sponsor: Programs

The Centre for Energy Transition and Social Development (CETSD) – $250,000

CETSD aims to accelerate the just and equitable energy transition in rural areas in Global South countries by innovating scalable, community-driven solutions in rural areas of China. Sponsor: Programs

Climate Analytics Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago – $250,000

Building upon the JEDI Pilot Fund grant they received in 2022, Climate Analytics Caribbean is addressing the gap between regional actors and the global climate process by bringing regional voices to the climate negotiations space. Sponsor: Global Intelligence

Climate Youth Negotiators Programme (CYNP) – $250,000

CYNP seeks to drive transformational change and raise ambition in multilateral negotiations by cultivating a diverse pipeline of young diplomats to effectively participate in climate change negotiations on behalf of their country while centering intergenerational justice and climate justice. Sponsor: Global Intelligence

Crtve Development (CD) – $30,000

CD creates localized advocacy change movements through art to showcase youth-led innovation and successful adaptation initiatives in Africa. The “We!Are Africa Unmuted” campaign uses film, photography, music, visual arts, fashion, spoken word, and more to support established African creative hubs, influencers, community leaders, and policy-makers. Sponsor: JEDI

Cultural Survival – $250,000

The SIRGE (Securing Indigenous People’s Rights in the Green Economy) Coalition, composed of Indigenous and allied organizations, implements strategies to secure recognition of Indigenous rights in the green economy and uplift communities and their stories. Sponsor: Transportation

Elemental Excelerator (EE) – $250,000

EE will continue engagement with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Center in Kenya — a responsible recovery and reuse system for electronic waste — to prepare for their first commercial-scale e-waste recycling facility in Nairobi. Sponsor: JEDI

Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO) – $250,000

GAYO prepares youth climate leaders and youth-led organizations across Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa, to contribute to global discourse, regional and national policy, planning, legal frameworks, and project development on carbon dioxide removal technologies. Sponsor: Carbon Dioxide Removal

Islands Fund – $250,000

Islands Fund advances the climate resilience of island nations around the world, but especially in the Pacific and the Caribbean, by regranting through their networks of frontline programs and projects in island nations facing the most severe impacts of climate change. Sponsor: JEDI

Namati – $250,000

Namati supports communities living on the frontlines of environmental harm to combine the power of law with the power of grassroots climate justice organizing. Globally, they convene the Grassroots Justice Network, the world’s largest community of justice organizations —1,000 strong — to advance climate, land, and environmental justice and build sustainable economies. Sponsor: Power

Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) – $200,000

NAP supports a rich network of Native-led nonprofits with a wide variety of climate and conservation needs. A first-of-its-kind new platform allows tribal leaders and their staff to work on systemic solutions to their priorities with philanthropic leaders, increasing philanthropic funding to Tribally-led climate projects and organizing funders around tribal climate priorities. Sponsor: Carbon Dioxide Removal

Prakriti Resource Center (PRC) – $200,000

PRC is an NGO based in Nepal that focuses on climate justice, sustainable development, and national and international climate policy. PRC is a leading voice in international climate negotiations through its work on policy, research, and capacity building & training programs. Sponsor: Global Intelligence

Surge Africa – $30,000

Surge hosts media labs that explore critical narratives around climate litigation and political communications, convening activists, advocates, journalists, legal experts, and indigenous environmental and human rights defenders as they push for greater accountability on people-power dynamics and climate justice. Sponsor: JEDI

Vanuatu Business Resilience Council – $250,000

After asking the International Court of Justice to rule on the obligations of countries to address climate change and achieving a historic victory at the UN, Vanuatu diplomats are continuing their efforts. The Vanuatu Business Resilience Council is developing increased legal capacity, facilitating the exchange of legal resources, and convening legal and scientific partners to ensure that the best available evidence is brokered. Sponsor: Maritime Shipping

Village Empowerment (VE) – $250,000

VE creates communities of champions and leaders across eight Global South regional geographies with the purpose of building energy access ecosystems that are practitioner-driven and locally owned. Sponsor: Programs

Additionally, we have granted $275,000 to organizations in Kenya and across Africa that aim to accelerate action on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants to achieve a people-centered energy transition through engagement with frontline communities.

Strengthening climate justice learning across the organization

Through the JEDI Pilot Fund, ClimateWorks program officers have a unique opportunity to partner with a diverse range of organizations who bring valuable information, insight, and wisdom critical to designing equitable climate solutions. The Fund is one way we have operationalized equity across ClimateWorks Foundation. Program officers can practice new skills of equity analysis, intersectional analysis, and people-centered solution design. 14 program teams were engaged in the application stage this time around and additional staff from across the organization also participated in the decision-making process.

We look forward to seeing the JEDI Pilot Fund expand and grantees make meaningful impacts for their communities for generations to come.