As the United States steps back from a leadership role in addressing climate change, it is incumbent upon organizations of all kinds to step up and play a bigger role. At GDI, we were deeply disappointed to see the US withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, but heartened by the vociferous response from city mayors, companies, and grassroots organizations across the country. Their responses made clear that setbacks at the federal level will not take away from current climate efforts, but rather, will motivate other leaders to identify and act on the specific role they can play in tackling this complex global issue – a task the majority of Americans support.

We include ourselves in that call to action, and are taking this opportunity to affirm GDI’s commitment to take action on climate change. Unlike many global development organizations, we do not silo our work by traditional sectors, but rather seek out ways to illuminate the connections between them. By operating with this ethos at our core, we’ve seen how a healthy planet is inextricably linked to all of our efforts – whether expanding access to finance for smallholder farmers, improving apparel supply chain practices, or even fostering new models of collaborative philanthropy – even when the connection may not be obvious. We also recognize the unfortunate truth that the poorest people in the world are hit hardest by the effects of climate change – yet, these people are all too often unheard.

In light of this moment in time, we pledge to act on climate change in ways that align with GDI’s values:

  • To apply an environmental lens to all our work by considering the implications of climate change for other global development challenges
  • To bring together unorthodox groups of people and organizations to unearth promising climate connections, ideas, and partnerships that wouldn’t normally come to light
  • To embrace smart experimentation in tackling climate change, whether through new modes of communication or technology, new approaches to financing, or other means we have yet to explore
  • To pair each conversation with action, and drive a shift from planning to operating in every climate effort we take on

And most importantly, we pledge to anchor our work in optimism – climate change is an immense problem, but the energy and creative collaboration we’re seeing from people, organizations, and places around the world gives us hope for the future. If you share this mindset and have ideas on how to move from climate talking to climate action, we want to hear from you.