Europe at the forefront of the climate challenge

The European Union is a global leader in the transition to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy. Playing a crucial role in international political efforts to tackle the climate challenge, Europe is one of the main players moving with urgency toward the Paris Agreement objectives. Now, with a European Green Deal and a commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, Europe has a clear, tangible roadmap to deliver such ambition.

A wave of mass mobilisation, from climate marches to school strikes, is pressuring politicians to go further and faster. As a free-market democracy and the world’s largest single market, Europe is a key laboratory for innovative business and progressive social reform. It promises to bring groundbreaking change to globalised industries, from shipping to finance to aviation.

Europe also has the power to demonstrate to the world that tackling climate change can go hand in hand with economic growth, social justice and a better quality of life for all. Yet Europe’s role as a global leader on climate change should not be taken for granted. It requires constant defending.

Philanthropy has an important role to play in redressing that power balance, ensuring that public debates are free from bias, misinformation and abuse. Concerted action involving the widest possible range of actors is crucial to allow Europe to retain its leadership role.

European Green Deal

The European Green Deal presents a transformational opportunity like no other in history: it is a commitment to remake Europe’s economy for climate neutrality by 2050… Learn more

Resilient Recovery

The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the need for a more resilient society and economy. Requiring an unprecedented scale of investments, the economic recovery from Covid-19… Learn more

Fit For 55 Package

The road to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 will require effort from across society and sectors. To stay on a steady path for the next ten years… Learn more

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The ECF network – a unique reach

Climate change is a problem that affects us all, and therefore it is a problem for us to solve together. Politicians have to do their part, but so do financial institutions, businesses, private investors, and citizens. The ECF plays a vital role in supporting this crucial societal consensus and enabling forward-thinking solutions. We are not an institution, but rather a network of hundreds of organisations devoted to solving the climate crisis from every angle.

  • Over 80% of ECF funding goes directly into grants to our partners.
  • Our role is to help set the agenda, innovate and strategise on a socially responsible transition to a net-zero emissions economy, design and run our own activities where others are not yet active, and raise new funds for the field.
  • The ECF strengthens European climate leadership at every level, from supporting local campaigns to informing EU policy making.
  • We work closely with our partners to drive a ‘whole society’ approach to climate action and build a positive vision of the future with a path to reach it.
  • About 75% of our grants are distributed in Europe. Our grantee partners are active in most European countries and we have staff on the ground in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Poland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Czechia, Spain, and Turkey.

Europe's place in the world

Europe can also make a difference on the world stage by demonstrating that tackling climate change can go hand in hand with strengthening employment, growth and quality of life. Additionally, by ensuring the issue remains front and centre of international politics, it can help further emphasise the urgency of meeting the Paris Agreement objectives.

There are also many industries that are fully globalised, from shipping to finance to aviation, and there Europe’s resolve can make a difference. Just as Europe can serve as a driver and innovator for climate action, it can also learn from other regions that are tackling the same problems, ranging from California’s rapid electrification of mobility to Costa Rica’s huge achievements in the domain of renewable electricity. This is how we will win the battle against climate change – by working together with, and learning from, each other.

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Areas of expertise

From cutting-edge research to passionate protest, the climate community is fighting for a better quality of life and a brighter future. Learn more about the ECF’s areas of expertise and the concrete triumphs that are bringing us one step closer to net-zero. Read more.