Endangered animals get more green funding than climate change

Saving the giant panda and protecting the grey whale rank higher than climate change when charitable foundations give grants to green causes, a new report reveals.

The Environmental Funders Network found that of the £32m of grants awarded to green causes in 2004/2005, organisations working on changes in climate and atmosphere received only £742,907, or 2.3 per cent.

Organisations working on environmental law also fared badly, receiving only £82,284 in grants.

By contrast, charities working on the ‘fluffier' causes of biodiversity and species preservation were awarded £8.3m - 26 per cent of the funds available.

Only 5 per cent of the UK's top 500 fundraising charities are environmental causes, according to the network. Their combined income is 6.5 per cent of the total income of the top 500.

HSBC announced this week it would donate £5.5m over the next five years to a new global environmental partnership involving charities such as WWF.

The "HSBC Climate Partnership" will work in five major cities, including London, to help citizens and governments respond to the challenges of climate change.

Broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, who launched the partnership, said: "As we increase the production of greenhouse gases, we face the very real prospect of causing irreversible damage to the earth's more fragile eco-systems. We are not powerless if we act now, collectively and decisively."

The partnership will also include the Climate Group - an NGO based in London, America and Australia - the global organisation The Earthwatch Institute and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, based in Panama.

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