Building a 360 Degree Approach to Climate Financing

Insights from the 2024 Skoll World Forum

StartingUpGood Magazine


Explore additional insights from our comprehensive conference coverage of the 2024 Skoll World Forum.

Now in its 21st year, the annual Skoll World Forum brings together visionary leaders, innovators, and change-makers from around the globe to share insights, forge partnerships, and drive systemic change.

This year a diverse panel of experts came together to discuss the critical role of climate finance in addressing this global threat. They provided a roadmap for building a more effective, equitable, and sustainable approach to climate finance.

2024 Skoll World Forum

Key Takeaways

Redefining Our Understanding of Climate Finance

As Nancy Lindborg pointed out, climate finance is an umbrella term that encompasses money from various sources used to mitigate climate change, adapt to its impacts, and transition to green energy. To meet the Paris Agreement targets and effectively address the climate crisis, the world needs trillions of dollars in investment.

However, it’s not just about the amount of money being invested; it’s also about how and where that money is being directed. Rukka Sombolinggi emphasized the vital role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in protecting forests and ecosystems, which are crucial for the resilience of the earth and human civilizations. To support these communities, climate finance must prioritize direct, flexible, and long-term funding for Indigenous-led initiatives and capacity building.

Transforming the Donor-Recipient Relationship

Barbara Brakarz highlighted the need for more trust, flexibility, and support for Indigenous-led initiatives, rather than burdensome donor requirements and limited recognition of Indigenous peoples’ vital role in maintaining ecosystem resilience.

Scaling Up Successful Models

Panelists highlighted some successful projects and initiatives, such as low-carbon farming in Brazil, the CLARIFI (Community Land Rights and Conservation Finance Initiative) global funding mechanism, and the Forests, People, Climate program, that demonstrate the potential for community-led climate solutions to achieve significant impact and scalability. These models also highlight the importance of partnerships with Indigenous communities, who possess deep knowledge and expertise in managing their lands and ecosystems.

Addressing Systemic Barriers

However, scaling up these solutions requires addressing systemic barriers to climate finance, such as lack of trust, inflexible funding mechanisms, and a narrow focus on tropical forests. Solange Bandiaky Badji emphasized the need for a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of climate action, democracy, and sustainable development, and expands climate finance to support Indigenous communities in diverse ecosystems, such as drylands, mangroves, and mountains.


For philanthropists and global change-makers, the session underscored the urgent need for a paradigm shift in climate finance, one that prioritizes the rights, knowledge, and leadership of Indigenous peoples and local communities. By supporting innovative financing mechanisms, partnering with Indigenous communities, and advocating for more flexible and inclusive approaches, funders and investors can play a crucial role in driving this transformation.

Featured Speakers

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