Climate change is a global issue predicted to cause significant disruption to food security, human health, freshwater resources, economic sectors, and natural ecosystems.
The United Nations (UN) is urging countries to take immediate measures to combat the climate crisis and its impacts. The UK is currently hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, running from 31 October to 12 November 2021. The summit brings together world leaders to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Not-for-profit organisations are making significant contributions to this complex problem through research, advocacy, policy, education, environmental management, and building community alliances.
This give list provides a range of not-for-profit organisations working to address the climate crisis.
While the entities listed below are all known to APS, we do not conduct a detailed analysis of their financial position and governance ahead of their inclusion in this list.
Australian Conservation Foundation
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) advocates for action on tackling climate change and preserving Australia’s rich biodiversity. Founded over fifty years ago, ACF has been involved in protecting places such as the Kimberley, Franklin River, Kakadu, Daintree, Antarctica and many others. ACF has also been key in creating Landcare, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the world’s largest marine park network. Main advocacy campaigns include nature protection and tackling climate change by transitioning Australia away from extracting and burning polluting fossil fuels (e.g. the Stop Adani campaign). ACF analyses the underlying causes of environmental degradation and advocates for solutions.
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
AYCC is Australia’s largest youth-run organisation, with a mission to build a movement of young people leading solutions to the climate crisis. The organisation’s initiatives aim to educate, inspire and mobilise young people to win campaigns for a safe climate, to keep fossil fuels in the ground and build a future powered by clean energy. They also run Seed, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network.
Beyond Zero Emissions
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is an internationally recognised think tank promoting research that a zero emissions Australia is not only achievable but can be done affordably; with current technology; and will lead to a thriving society, economically, socially and in terms of health and wellbeing. Its reports provide detailed pathways for a ten-year transition in each major sector of Australia’s economy.
Climate Action Network
The Climate Action Network facilitates collaboration between close to 100 member organisations in order to achieve more effective climate change action. It coordinates a national climate advocacy strategy and provides infrastructure for ongoing communication between members.
Climate Council Australia
Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation, aiming to provide the public with scientific and expert resources on the climate, health, renewable energy and policy. The organisation seeks to unify the voices of those working in allied professions to get the stories into the media and bring awareness to climate stories, call out misinformation and publicise practical climate solutions. The Climate Council was founded through community support in 2013 when the government abolished the Australian Climate Commission. It recently formed the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, a group of former senior emergency service leaders who are pushing for strong leadership on climate change action. It continues to depend 100% on the philanthropic support from the community to deliver its message to the wider public.
This organisation (working within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute) was established in 2009 by the Myer Foundation and Monash University to bridge the gap between research and climate action. It provides independent and credible advice on moving towards a low-carbon future, taking into consideration the interests of business, government and investors. They have had some major wins, getting policies across the line by using discrete, below-the-radar diplomacy and focusing on ‘low hanging fruit’, i.e. areas with big climate impacts (e.g. construction) that don’t have the same political clout that certain other climate policies attract.
Cool Australia creates high quality educational content and online professional development courses about contemporary issues, including climate change, with a reach into 89% of Australian schools. Partner organisations provide real world content such as documentary films, fun events, research, videos or campaigns. The Cool Australia team of educational and digital experts use these assets (such as the documentary 2040) to create high quality materials for early learning, primary and secondary educators. The finished material is hosted online and can be downloaded free of charge.
Farmers for Climate Action
Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to ensure farmers are a key part of the solution to climate change. They support farmers to build climate and energy literacy and advocate for climate solutions both on and off-farm. They hold events and support farmers to have a voice in the national debate on climate. They do this through four key pillars: farmer education and training; political and industry advocacy; building farmer networks; and forging partnerships across industry and research.
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth Australia is part of a global movement advocating for climate justice, land and water security, food and technology sustainability, a sustainable economy and Indigenous land rights and recognition. Friends of the Earth Australia is associated with (and lends its DGR-1 status to) 350.org Australia, which is also part of the global 350.org – a movement of people seeking clear action on climate change and a move away from fossil fuels.
Lock the Gate
Lock the Gate is an alliance of grassroots movements across Australia, including farmers, traditional custodians, conservationists and everyday citizens who are concerned about risky coal mining, coal seam gas and fracking. The Alliance aims to help these organisations protect Australia’s natural resources and empower Australians to demand sustainable solutions to food and energy production. Almost 40% of the Australian landmass has coal and petroleum licences and applications attached to it. Lock The Gate aims to help communities who are trying to stand up to some of the less scrupulous, big mining and extraction companies, with practical tools and case studies, resources about their rights, and templates to help them organise and stand up for themselves.
Tomorrow Movement brings together young people to counter the influence of big business in Australian politics to create good jobs, great community services and a safe climate for all. The Climate Jobs Guarantee is a public policy agenda that would help deliver the action necessary to tackle the climate crisis, as well as guarantee economic security and community renewal.
Last updated 2 November 2021