The International Center for Future Generations (ICFG) is a European think-and-do tank. The ICFG was founded in 2021 to bridge the gap between science and EU policy, with current priorities in artificial intelligence, pandemics and climate change. The ICFG supports the development and mainstreaming of technological innovations that help to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Climate Movement & Advocacy Coordinator
Technologies are a powerful factor in solving the climate crisis because they have the potential to reduce a large amount of carbon emissions. However, the policies necessary to realise this potential often lack behind. Despite scientific evidence, promising technologies are often underfunded and low on the political agenda because policymakers do not have the expertise or the political mandate to support innovative technologies.
Political Advocacy can close this gap by developing evidence of the impact of innovative climate solutions and by recommending to policymakers how they can support the implementation of such solutions. In this way, Political Advocacy creates political awareness and enables policies that make attainable technologies practically viable.
Application in Practice
When pursuing Political Advocacy, the ICFG acts both as a think-tank and a do-tank that enables other organisations and people who are closely aligned with its work. This dual role enables the ICFG to set advocacy priorities through its own research rather than following other think tanks’ policy recommendations.
This approach is illustrated by a cooperation with the Future Matters Project. Together, the two partners not only evaluate which policies can lead to the most CO2-reduction, they also assess which stakeholders are best equipped to push for those policies. The result is targeted support by ICFG for movements and groups ready to do advocacy in those areas identified.
Another focus of the ICFG is to empower people who currently have no voice in politics. In this context, the ICFG supports the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a coalition of countries most vulnerable to climate change, to pilot the capacity development of young people to act as delegate in climate negotiations. Taking a long-term perspective on Political Advocacy, the ICFG supports Earth Uprising to train young people in understanding and influencing the decision-making process.
Although addressing climate change is enormously complex, it benefits from a very concrete measure for success: CO2 emissions. The ICFG's science-based approach embraces this measurability and aims to identify solutions that can have the greatest impact on reducing CO2 emissions. The ICFG advocates for these solutions both in countries that are climate champions and in those with large climate policy gaps. In doing so, it helps to build national momentum as well as policy change on the EU level.
The ICFG complements this top-down approach with bottom-up measures by raising the voices of social movements such as Earth Uprising.
What has worked well?
- Walk before you run: Even though climate solutions are urgently needed, they also require a long-term strategy. Talking to experts will help you better understand where you can make the biggest contribution in the long run.
- Be innovative and avoid duplication: Solutions receiving the most attention are not necessarily the most effective. Think independently and focus on the outliers to find innovative ways of making a difference.
- Be open to exploration: If a solution feels promising and there is enough data, take the risk. Piloting projects across advocacy tactics can help you test what works and set the stage for later prioritisation.
What are opportunities for new funders?
- Advocate for geothermal energy: The current human energy usage is approximately 20 terawatts, while the solid Earth produces little over 47 terawatts. This heat is generated primarily beneath ocean basins and in distant regions. Despite this, the ability to use this heat source is largely underutilised, primarily due to the costs of drilling into geothermal reservoirs and collecting hot fluids for use in electricity generation. Philanthropy can really add value by supporting deep geothermal development efforts.