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Philanthropy focuses on climate change

The region's first multi-sector Climate Action Platform is launched at the recent Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Conference

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A participant at the conference showing her support in the fight against climate change.

Singapore

TACKLING social and environmental issues was the clarion call at the 7th Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Conference. The event, from June 25-28, saw the launch of the region's first multi-sector Climate Action Platform by Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and philanthropist Eileen Rockefeller Growald.

Dr Khor said: "Collective action and collaboration among the public, private and people sectors are critical in the fight against climate change. The Climate Action Platform is one such initiative. By leveraging AVPN's global network, it can promote collective action by connecting investors with green businesses and projects, and ensure that resources are deployed to the most impactful solutions."

Growald Family Fund is one of the few venture philanthropy fund that focuses 100 per cent on climate change.

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Athena Ballesteros, its Asia programme director, said: "We believe (climate change) is the biggest existential threat to the planet. Everything we do is impacted by climate change. There is not much time to make the shift to clean energy, and we need to go beyond just talking about going green."

She added that awareness has to be turned into accelerated action or climate change will claim more than a million species. And the hindrance to the change is sometimes rules and regulations in certain countries.

So, with the AVPN platform, Ms Ballesteros hopes that there can be collective action among like-minded corporations, investors and governments.

Didier von Daeniken, global head, private banking and wealth management at Standard Chartered, said that ESG (environmental, social and governance) and impact investing is becoming a very important topic for the next generation. He added: "From the perspective of the private bank . . . it is all about how we ensure that we remain relevant and deserving of our clients. There is going to be a significant transfer of wealth in the next 10-15 years, and we want to still be there with them and retain as much of our assets."

He added that the next generation clients are very passionate when it comes to sustainable investing, and the bank has developed a framework to help translate the passion of the clients into action and to provide a portfolio approach to looking at philanthropic, sustainable investing and traditional investing solutions.