Where children are born, raised, and educated matters. Children need healthy homes, free of toxins and pollution, access to green space, clean air and water, and refuge from extreme heat to thrive. Climate change strains our efforts to meet these goals by increasing air pollution and the rate of natural disasters, especially fires and floods. Families in poverty or with other medical conditions are notably at risk.

Facing a changing climate can feel daunting, but there is a lot that children’s funders can do, starting with the sense of urgency and power that youth bring to the issue. This conversation introduces children’s funders to a variety of ways they can get involved by building youth decision making processes; focusing on children’s mental health; making safer, healthier educational facilities, and more.

The Roundtable’s environmental justice and climate change work is done in partnership with:

Field Experts

A Primer on Sackett v. EPA – Q&A with Earthjustice

With contributions from Kirti Datla. Tell us what Sackett v. EPA was about. The Sackett case is, at bottom, a case about the scope of the Clean Water Act, and specifically the extent to which it protects wetlands. of the Act’s programs apply to what the Act calls “navigable waters.” The Act, somewhat unhelpfully, defines…

A Primer on Environmental Justice and Children – Q&A with Children’s Environmental Health Network

With contributions from Kristie Trousdale. What is environmental justice and how does it connect with children’s wellbeing and development? Environmental justice is achieved when all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, are able to live, learn, work, play, and pray in places with clean air to breathe and safe water to drink and…

A Primer on Climate Change and Children’s Health – Q&A with Harvard Chan C-Change

With contributions from Dr. Aaron Bernstein. Tell us a bit about the intersection of climate change and health, especially for children. Most major health organizations in the world have called climate change one of, if not, the foremost problem for health and that’s especially true for children. You can’t think about a child getting educated…

How does climate change affect children’s mental health?

Join the Children, Youth & Family Funders Roundtable and ecoAmerica as we discuss the ways climate change is affecting children’s mental health. Climate change is happening now; our children and communities are experiencing warmer weather, more air pollution, and more frequent natural disasters than generations of the past. There are a number of ways that…

Funder Conversations

Funder Q&A with Philip Johnson of Heinz Endowments

Philip R. S. Johnson, Senior Program Director of Environment & Health, Heinz Endowments Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The Heinz Endowments seeks to help the region thrive as a whole and just community. They concentrate on advancing a sustainable future for the community and planet, successful learning outcomes for young people and their families, and building…

A Better World for Kids: What Kids Funders Can Do About Climate Change

Wednesday, September 15 * 1:30-2:00 pm eastern Kids funders are experts in education, brain development, healthcare, trauma, mental health, and more. The environment hasn’t typically been considered a kids issue. And yet education, brain development, healthcare, trauma, and mental health are all impacted by our changing climate. It’s time for kids funders to grapple with…

Funder Q&A with NorthLight Foundation

With contributions from Kate Sinding Daly, Trevor Thompson, & Celia Bottger NorthLight Foundation envisions a world where the Earth’s environment is healthy, protected, and sustained for future generations. In practice, this looks like developing new leaders, encouraging collaborations across movements, facilitating a just transition away from resource extractive economies, and communicating the need for urgent…

Funder Q&A with Jill Fuglister of Meyer Memorial Trust

Jill Fuglister, Healthy Environment Portfolio Director, Meyer Memorial Trust Grounded in a vision of a flourishing and equitable Oregon, Meyer Memorial Trust is committed to investing in change at the systemic level to address inequities and disparities. Their Healthy Environment program seeks to nurture a resilient natural environment while supporting the well-being of Oregon’s diverse…

Partner Event: Intersectional Justice: Migrants on the Front Lines of Climate Change

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) Wednesday, July 28 * 1:30-2:30 pm EST Across the world, climate change is displacing millions of people from their homes, forcing many from the Global South to seek refuge in the United States and other countries. Meanwhile, in the United States, hurricanes, heat waves, fires, and other climate…

Related News & Updates

Everyone Will Breathe This Polluted Air One Day – The New York Times

This quick read guest essay from Margaret Renkl discusses environmental racism and why communities of color are often targeted by polluting industries. It covers multiple examples in recent history and also grassroots, community-led efforts to combat pollution.

Why Does Disaster Aid Often Favor White People? – The New York Times

This article from The New York Times outlines the history of FEMA’s differential responses to disaster in Black and White neighborhoods, and importantly, the long-term results of these differential responses. Namely, White families’ wealth often grows after disasters while Black families’ wealth often diminishes.

Investing on the Frontlines of Climate Change: A funder toolkit on climate, health, and equity

This new toolkit, developed as a partnership between eight philanthropic support organizations, is intended to accelerate investments by helping funders gain a sense of a large, complex, and interconnected landscape of climate and health funding. The suggestions are designed to build a more equitable response to climate change and to explore a number of ways…

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, implications, and guidance

There is a growing body of research on the mental health effects of climate change, especially on vulnerable populations, including children. This research report from the American Psychological Association, Climate for Health, and ecoAmerica provides background on what we know and suggestions for how to support individuals and communities to become more resilient in the…

Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: Policy Brief for the United States of America

Released annually, this policy brief from the Lancet provides an overview of the state of climate change and health in the United States. It includes recommendations to create a healthier, more sustainable climate, including transitioning to healthier, more sustainable agricultural practices; removing fossil fuel subsidies; shifting to zero carbon electricity; increasing access to healthy transport…

Disaster Philanthropy Playbook

Are you interested in disaster relief or preparedness? This go-to resource introduces funders to a variety of strategies and ways to make disaster relief and preparedness more equitable.

Children’s Environmental Health Indicators: A Summary & Assessment – Children’s Environmental Health Network

This report from the Children’s Environmental Health Network lays out the aspects of a child’s environment that affects their health and provides an overarching look at the state of children’s environmental health in the US today.

Deadly Air Pollutant “Disproportionately and Systematically” Harms Americans of Color, Study Finds – Washington Post

Recent research shows the large racial disparities in exposure to fine particulate matter from traffic, construction, and other aspects of daily life. Exposure to fine particulate matter causes long-term respiratory problems and premature death. This article from the Washington Post explains this research and how it fits into current policy solutions and advocacy campaigns.

How Much Hotter is Your Hometown than When You Were Born? – The New York Times

This interactive tool from The New York Times allows you to explore how the climate has change in your backyard over the past few decades. It’s a personal look at climate change and how quickly it is happening.

A Climate Scientist Explains Why It’s Still Okay to Have Kids – Vox

Taking in the climate change research can be overwhelming, leading to questions of what we can do to protect our planet and the ones we love. Some have suggested that one lifestyle change that might make a difference is to decide to have fewer children; this article from Vox explains why that thinking is flawed.

Climate Change, Health, and Equity: Action Steps for Health Philanthropy – Grantmakers in Health (GIH)

This issue brief from Grantmakers in Health (GIH) explores a number of strategies funders can use to combat climate change and improve individual and community health in the long-run. It includes links to the new Climate, Health, and Equity Funder Toolkit and a funding landscape overview of both governmental and private funders in the climate…