The India Climate Collaborative (ICC), a collective dedicated to accelerating climate action, has launched Earth Exponential, a platform to bolster corporate grant funding for climate action. The platform, which includes a list of several community organisations working on building climate solutions across India, hopes to bring together funders and non-profit organisations to scale up high-impact climate change programmes and improve climate funding efficiency.
According to the ICC, over the past seven years (2015-2021), out of the total CSR funding of Rs 67,193.41 crore across the country, a mere Rs 6,183.04 crore has been allocated to environment-related issues. This number is still broader than climate funding, which specifically focuses on sources of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Climate funding by corporate CSR grants is not clearly tracked in India.
A release from the ICC said some of India’s most climate-vulnerable regions such as the north-east are chronically underfunded, receiving only 1.78% (only Rs 110.6 crore in the last seven years) of CSR funds allocated to environment-related issues.
The ICC has engaged with more than 40 mid-size corporates in India, with over 80% of these companies expressing interest in funding climate projects.
Despite this enthusiasm, the actual allocations towards climate programmes are low, underscoring the need to bridge the gap between aspirations to fund climate action and the tangible funding of projects.
Extensive interactions within the climate ecosystem led the ICC to recognise that non-profit organisations across the country are pioneering community-focused, cost-effective climate solutions that address socio-economic priorities. However, for these solutions to make a significant impact, they require increased visibility and funding support.
Earth Exponential, supported by JSW Foundation, aims to reshape climate funding in India by curating, evaluating and displaying home-grown climate projects, and enabling them to grow by matching them to funders. With a strong commitment to equity and addressing the climate crisis for India's most vulnerable, the platform empowers CSR funders to drive impactful climate initiatives and explore new possibilities for funding climate action.
“India's home-grown climate solutions offer immense potential to address climate change without leaving anyone behind. These solutions can change how the developing world addresses the climate crisis - and we believe philanthropy plays a crucial role in unleashing this potential for the benefit of both India and the Global South,” said Shloka Nath, CEO of the India Climate Collaborative. She said philanthropy must help build the capacity of non-profits so they can address both climate and development challenges. “By connecting funders and non-profits, Earth Exponential aims to build a climate ecosystem and increase the efficiency of climate funding," she said.
Talking about the potential of the Earth Exponential platform to create a significant impact, Sangita Jindal, chairperson of JSW Foundation, said, "Collaboration is key for innovation and development. There is an urgent need to address the critical gaps that could pose challenges on our roadmap to achieve the target of net zero by 2070.”
The platform is open to all funders, and currently addresses key challenges that CSR funders face, including having measurable outcomes for projects, ensuring that organisations meet compliance requirements, and that projects are geographically diverse.
The India Climate Collaborative works to connect its donor base with the climate ecosystem, including research organisations, implementers, government stakeholders, and more, to ensure that funding flows towards high-impact climate solutions. It was founded by some of India's pre-eminent corporate and philanthropic leaders, including Rohini Nilekani, Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Sangita Jindal, and others.
Read more about the ICC’s new climate solutions platform here.