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Green Screen Catalyst Fund announces 17 global grants to groups working at the nexus of climate justice and digital rights

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Authors: Green Screen Coalition

Today, the Green Screen Catalyst Fund announced 17 grants totaling nearly $400,000 to groups advocating at the intersection of climate justice and digital rights. From supporting the development of research and tools to map the climate implications of technology and infrastructure projects to creative storytelling and regional coalition building efforts, this initiative represents a significant step in integrating climate justice into digital rights philanthropic funding strategies.

Backed by the Ford Foundation, Internet Society Foundation, Luminate, and Mozilla Foundation, the Green Screen Catalyst Fund addresses a field-wide problem: the dearth of philanthropic support for the voices and strategies addressing the critical nexus of digital rights and climate justice. To take on this challenge, the Fund has strategically directed 70% of its grants to projects from communities working in the Global Majority or collaborating deeply with partners from majority territories, where the impacts of the climate crisis are most pronounced.

The internet is the largest coal-powered machine in the world, and the repercussions of technology development and climate change impact each other profoundly: from water rights disputes between data centers and local residents to rampant greenwashing misinformation by fossil fuel companies. The ecological consequences of technology development are both overwhelming and under-examined.

“The Green Screen Catalyst Fund is a recognition of the interlocking challenges posed by climate change and tech development, and the critical role philanthropy must play to support innovation, collaboration, and experimentation at this fold,” said Michael Brennan, senior program officer, Ford Foundation’s Technology and Society program. “We call on peers in philanthropy to learn more about the implications of climate justice for digital rights, and to invest with purpose with us.”

Projects supported through the Green Screen Catalyst Fund will focus on:

  • Research on climate impacts of digital economy and tech infrastructure;
  • Building tools to map climate costs of technology and megaprojects, grounded in indigenous perspectives;
  • Creative storytelling and art projects to visualize technology impacts on the environment;
  • Regional coalition and capacity building for emerging organizational leaders;
  • Development of sustainable technology, tools and infrastructure for measuring and reducing environmental impact.

“Practitioners have engaged at the intersection of ecological justice and digital rights for a long time, and philanthropy is finally beginning to catch up,” said Maya Richman, co-lead, Green Screen Coalition. “No longer should such critical work have to choose between addressing the planetary struggle of climate change and the global movement to disentangle technologies’ impacts on people and communities. Our hope is that the experimental approach of the Green Screen Catalyst Fund encourages others to break down funding silos to support this ecosystem together.”

Groups supported by the Green Screen Catalyst Fund include:

To learn more about the Catalyst Fund, visit the homepage of the Green Screen Catalyst Fund. To learn more about the awardees and their projects, read the Catalyst Fund announcement blog post. To learn more about Green Screen Coalition’s work and how our members build climate justice into their work, read the blog post by Lisa Gutermuth from Mozilla Foundation.