Emissions of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) have increased to levels that are unprecedented in the last 800,000 years (see the Synthesis of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - IPCC). As it is recognized by nearly all members of the international scientific community, the increase is mainly due to rising fossil fuel consumption associated with global economic growth. Greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for global warming (+1°C global mean temperature increase), which is already causing extreme weather events with severe social, economic and environmental impacts, locally and globally.

Over the years, Fondazione Cariplo has backed the implementation of numerous climate actions at the local level, such as projects to improve energy efficiency in public buildings (virtuous communities), initiatives to boost community resilience (community resilience practices database), and efforts to protect natural resources and promote more sustainable agricultural practices.

Since 2019, through its F2C- Fondazione Cariplo for Climate program, our foundation has supported climate adaptation and mitigation projects pursuing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation of the impact of extreme weather events and natural capital expansion in vast local areas.

Under this program Fondazione Cariplo has launched a Climate Strategy Call for ideas and selected four local projects for the development and implementation of a Climate Transition Strategy. The four selected projects involve a total of 24 local players including municipal administrations, parks, associations as well as other foundations.

The four selected projects are:

  • Un Filo-Naturale. Community efforts to transform climate challenges into opportunities” is a project carried out by the Brescia municipal administration as lead organization in partnership with Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), AmbienteParco and Parco delle Colline di Brescia. It envisages the creation of an oasis city, a sponge city and a city for people to respond to three set of challenges: heat waves, droughts and habitat destruction; the dramatic increase in extreme rainfall events; and the need for natural spaces in urban environments. The climate adaptation and mitigation actions under the project are joined up by their common goal of expanding natural capital and biodiversity in urban environments. The other key feature of the project is participation, in particular the participation of resilient communities in the design of actions to improve urban microclimate and in taking care of the newly created spaces.
  • La Brianza Cambia Clima” (Brianza changes climate) is a project led by the municipal administration of Cesano Maderno (Monza Brianza) as lead organization in partnership with the municipal administrations of Meda, Bovisio Masciago and Varedo, together with Parco delle Groane e della Brughiera Briantea, Agenzia Innova21 per lo sviluppo sostenibile, Fondazione Lombardia per l'Ambiente and the Cesano Maderno association of civil protection volunteers. The project seeks to strengthen the ability of local authorities networked together to respond to the impact of climate change through their coordinated, supra-municipal efforts. In addition to actions taken across municipal districts, the project also entails the review of land use planning schemes, training of municipal government staff as well as promotion of good climate adaptation and mitigation practices among the population.
  • ACE3T – CLIMA, Water, Heat and Energy: 3 climate transition pillars in the Mantua district” is a project led by the Mantua municipal administration in partnership with the municipal administrations of Curtatone, Marmirolo, Porto Mantovano, San Giorgio Bigarello together with Parco del Mincio, Unione Colli Mantovani and the social co-operative Alkemica. The project aims at overcoming local vulnerabilities to climate events impacting local hydrogeologic conditions and posing potential threats to public safety (floods, heat waves), environmental quality and business operation (destructive droughts and weather events). The project entails climate mitigation endeavors via improved energy efficiency and facilitation of energy transition through the adoption of changes in rules and regulations and actions with respect to what is already built, working together with the business community and incentivizing virtuous practices.
  • Cli.C. Bergamo!” is a project led by the Bergamo municipal administration in partnership with Parco dei Colli di Bergamo, Legambiente Lombardia and ERSAF. The project is designed to set in motion a process of transformation of urban spaces leveraging ecosystem services to address the impact of climate change (extreme rainfall events, hydrogeologic risk, heat waves) at the local level. The climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy will benefit from the synergistic expertise of the various partners in their respective areas: policymaking, environmental protection, public action and community involvement.

In relation to these projects, Fondazione Cariplo provides assistance for the definition of a Climate Transition Strategy, and backing for the implementation of climate adaptation (e.g. urban forestation, de-paving, nature-based solutions) and mitigation solutions (e.g. energy efficient buildings, sustainable mobility), the review of land use planning schemes, training of municipal technical staff, engagement of the population and climate monitoring.

Projects will be backed also by the Lombardy Regional Administration under the MoU made between the regional government and Fondazione Cariplo for joint support to environmental sustainability efforts.

To improve knowledge and awareness of climate change among institutions and the population under its F2C program Fondazione Cariplo also funds research as well as cultural and popularization initiatives.

Here are some examples of such initiatives funded by Fondazione Cariplo:

“Interdependence” (https://www.interdependencefilm.com/) produced by Art for the World/: an anthology movie made up of 11 short stories filmed by different international independent directors on the common theme of interdependence, the need for conservation of natural resources and climate action. Interdependence premiered at the 2019 Rome Film Festival.

The 2019 Milan Climathon, a marathon of ideas for climate action, organized in collaboration with the Milan municipal administration and the municipal environmental agency (AMAT), and focused on ‘soft mobility’ ideas for Milan.

In 2020, Macromicro’s “On the trail of the glaciers”, a scientific photographic expedition to monitor Alpine glacier changes (https://sulletraccedeighiacciai.com/spedizioni/alpi-2020/);

as well as continued support to Fondazione OMD’s CLIMAMI (https://www.progettoclimami.it/), an endeavor to build comprehensive science-based data on climate in the Milan metropolitan area and promote integration of this information in policymaking as well as in the design, planning and management of urban spaces and projects.