By Sarah Syed–


The World’s Largest Biomimicry Invention aka Climate Finance


Nature is our greatest inspiration. Think of the airplane that was inspired by birds. The tech industry has introduced this as biomimicry, getting inspiration from nature. We like to think of biomimicry as something we reflect upon and then build – like low energy consuming buildings built in resemblance to nature’s structures or sunflower shaped solar panels for maximum efficiency. Yet the biggest resemblance to nature through biomimicry is our social structures and the foundations through which they expand, invest and explore. 


Everyday your heart beats around 100,000 times a day, tirelessly sustaining your body’s vitality by pumping blood to all vital organs. Picture this: just as your heart diligently pumps blood and, circulating oxygen and nutrients to every cell, climate finance orchestrates the equitable distribution of resources. It channels investments into climate-resilient infrastructure, fuels the advancement of clean energy solutions, and nurtures the restoration of fragile ecosystems. Climate finance fuels the beating heart of sustainability which, drivesing the circulation of resources essential for environmental resilience and social equity


In the narrative of global sustainability, climate finance emerges as the pulsating lifeblood coursing through the veins of our planet’s well-being. Much like the circulatory system within the human body, climate finance sustains essential functions, and ensures the overall health of our Earth’s ecosystem. 


What is Climate Finance?


Climate finance refers to the financial resources allocated towards initiatives aimed at mitigating and adapting to climate change. These resources include investments, grants, loans, and other mechanisms directed at projects and policies designed for decarbonization efforts and an equitable, just and fair transition to renewable energy. 


Think of climate finance as the paintbrush, society as our canvas and our climate goals as the paint. The vision is a serene painting for a family to look at on a cloudy rainy day increasing positivity.  The only way to paint the vision is through climate finance – the paintbrush – which would allow renewable energy projects or community adaptation funding serving as a beacon of hope amidst the climate crisis. 


Importance of Climate Finance Within Philanthropy


The intersection between climate finance and philanthropy is the shared goal of addressing climate change and its impacts. Philanthropic organizations can play a significant role in climate finance by providing funding, expertise, and advocacy to support innovative solutions and projects that may not be feasible through traditional financing mechanisms alone. As climate change increasingly threatens communities and ecosystems, philanthropy has both the opportunity and the responsibility to invest in sustainable and equitable climate solutions. 


One impactful avenue is to support youth-led projects focused on climate mitigation and adaptation. Empowering young leaders not only fosters innovation but also ensures intergenerational equity in addressing climate challenges. The intersection between climate finance and philanthropy is the shared goal of addressing climate change and its impacts. As a youth leader, I had the opportunity to speak at the ECOSOC Youth Forum alongside the President of the Economic and Social Development Council (ECOSOC), highlighting the importance of youth voices in climate action. Youth have the knowledge, experience, and deserve to have a seat at the table as stakeholders. Philanthropic support can enable participation in global forums such as COP28, where critical decisions about climate policy and funding are made. By funding delegations or providing logistical support, philanthropic organizations can amplify the voices of indigenous and marginalized communities who are disproportionately affected by climate change yet often lack representation in these forums. Additionally, philanthropy can play a crucial role in providing funding, mentorship, and support to these communities throughout the entire project lifecycle—from idea conception to implementation. This approach ensures that projects are community-driven, culturally sensitive, and sustainable in the long term.


Philanthropy can leverage its influence to advocate for policy changes, promote sustainable business practices, and engage stakeholders to accelerate climate action. By collaborating with governments, businesses, and civil society, philanthropic efforts in climate finance can amplify impact and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future for all.


Challenges and Barriers

Achieving systemic transformation is not without challenges. It requires overcoming interests, shifting cultural norms and behaviors, and addressing systemic inequalities and injustices. Climate finance alone is not sufficient to catalyze systemic change; it requires coordinated action, political will, and societal mobilization to transform our economic, social, and political systems towards a more sustainable and equitable future. These include the lack of sufficient funding, inadequate coordination among stakeholders, and political resistance to change. Overcoming these hurdles requires concerted efforts from governments, financial institutions, businesses, and civil society to mobilize resources effectively and implement transformative policies. Only through collective action can climate finance truly catalyze the systemic change needed to address climate change comprehensively.

How Philanthropy Can Set the Stage for Climate Finance

Transparency and accountability are crucial for philanthropic organizations in climate finance to ensure that funds are effectively utilized and goals are met. Funding should come from climate-supported organizations and extend to communities facing barriers to access. This inclusive approach ensures that resources reach those most affected by climate change, fostering resilience and sustainable development. Establishing a dedicated board for climate finance within philanthropic organizations can enhance focus and alignment with climate goals. This board can oversee funding allocation, project selection, and impact assessment, ensuring that efforts are strategic and impactful.


Climate Finance and Sustainable Development Goals


Exploring the intricate relationship between climate finance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unveils a profound interconnectedness between environmental sustainability and broader socio-economic advancement. Organizations can break down climate finance into SDG segments contributing to the UN 2030 agenda. 



Achieving the SDGs requires an estimated annual investment of $5 to $7 trillion, far exceeding the resources available from traditional financing sources. Climate finance plays a critical role in bridging this gap and leveraging additional resources for sustainable development.

Philanthropy plays a vital role in addressing climate change by providing flexible and innovative funding that can complement public and private sector efforts. It acts as a bridge, connecting diverse stakeholders—from global institutions to local communities—and facilitating the flow of resources and knowledge. Just as a bridge supports travel and commerce between two lands, philanthropy connects the financial resources of donors to the urgent needs of climate-affected communities. This connection not only helps mitigate climate impacts but also promotes equity and justice by empowering vulnerable populations.  By creating spaces for collaboration and knowledge exchange, organizations can foster a culture of partnership and solidarity that is essential for achieving the SDGs.