Fashion brand Chanel invests $ 25 million in new climate adaptation fund

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – French fashion house Chanel is supporting a new climate adaptation fund that aims to raise $ 100 million by 2025 to invest in projects to promote sustainable agriculture, protect forests and support small farmers in developing countries.

The Landscape Resilience Fund (LRF) was developed by the green group WWF and the Swiss social enterprise South Pole and starts with $ 25 million from the luxury brand Chanel and $ 1.3 million from the Global Environment Facility .

An independent nonprofit, LRF aims to attract five to ten additional investors to help fund small businesses and projects that promote climate-resilient agriculture and forestry practices and protect natural systems.

Martin Stadelmann, senior director of South Pole, who will manage LRF, said it was an innovative way for a large multinational to invest in climate change adaptation.

“Like (with) other companies, some of their supply chains are threatened by climate change,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

One million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction due to mankind’s relentless pursuit of economic growth, scientists warned in a landmark 2019 report on the devastating impact of modern civilization on the world natural.

Environmentalists largely blame the production of raw materials like palm oil, beef and minerals for destroying forests, as they are cleared for plantations, ranches, farms and mines.

Cutting down forests has major implications for global climate change goals, as trees absorb about a third of the global warming emissions produced globally, but release carbon into the air when they rot or rot. are burnt.

Forests also provide food and livelihoods, and are critical habitat for wildlife.

Better conservation, restoration and management of natural areas, such as parks, forests and wilderness, is seen as essential for nations to meet their goals of reducing global warming emissions and reversing the loss of global warming. ‘plant and animal species.

Global annual spending to protect and restore nature on land is set to triple this decade to around $ 350 billion, according to a UN report in May, urging a change in mindset among financiers, businesses and governments .

At present, only about 5% of total climate finance is spent on adaptation to a warmer planet, most of it coming from public funds, South Pole officials said.

“The fund is really targeting the ‘missing link’ where there is currently no commercial funding,” said Urs Dieterich, fund manager at South Pole and chief executive of LRF.

The fund will provide cheap loans and technical assistance to small businesses working with smallholders in vulnerable landscapes – such as cocoa or coffee farmers and rattan harvesters – and help them access better agricultural inputs. , such as drought resistant seeds, as well as training and finance.

The repaid loans will be reinvested in other small businesses working on climate adaptation.

Projects can apply online for funding or contact LRF directly, and will be assessed for their climate change exposure and adaptation plans. Their progress will be monitored by local staff and published in annual reports, fund officials said.

“There has never been a more critical time for the private sector to step up and help close the investment gap needed for effective climate adaptation,” said Andrea d’Avack, Head of Sustainability at Chanel, in a press release.

The LRF provides an opportunity “to explore different approaches that could help advance changes in our own supply chain and business practices,” Avack added.

Reporting by Michael Taylor @MickSTaylor; Editing by Megan Rowling. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit

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