The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change.

COP & Rotary

Working Together

The COP summit brings parties and observers together to assess progress
towards meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and commit to higher ambition to keep global warming below
an additional 1.5ºC – a more demanding goal than the 2.0º max warming.

Our commitment to the climate

Epitomizing the best of civil society, Rotary International’s nearly 46,500 Rotary and Rotaract clubs are a network of 1.4 million community and business leaders, scientists, and problem-solvers, actively serving their communities in 190 countries.

Rotary’s work to protect the environment and climate action closely align with and support Rotary’s other six areas of focus. This environmental/climate focus has led to active engagement with the United Nations at COP28.  Rotary, which had a role in the founding of the UN, continued its long history of collaboration with the UN with the development of the ESRAG/UNEP handbook  and continues with Rotary’s participation at the United Nations’ COP28.

The power of this relationship is reflected in the projects undertaken by Rotary and the nearly 2000 members of ESRAG, which support achieving all the United Nations 17 SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals].

Rotary takes action for the environment

Rotary empowers people to take measurable action to protect the environment with impactful, sustainable, and community-based solutions across the globe. Our history demonstrates our concern and support for the environment and climate challenges. 

Examples include:

  • In 1990, RI President Paulo Costa initiated Rotary’s Preserve Planet Earth Movement.
  • Ian Riseley, in 2017, noted that environmental sustainability was every Rotarians’ business and challenged clubs to plant 1.2 million trees, one for every member. Rotary members documented planting at least 4.3 million trees in response.
  • RI President Mark Maloney encouraged Rotary leadership to add the environment and climate action to its Areas of Focus, which they did unanimously in 2020.
  • Even before 2020, Rotary supported sustainable, community-based solutions with $18 million in global grants in the last five years.

Global Grants

The Rotary Foundation now funds global grants to support: Renewable energy projects, Ecosystem restoration, Mangrove and Tree planting, Sustainable food production, Protecting rivers, oceans, waterways and, much more.

Youth defend climate in court

Environmental Scholarships

Global grants also support graduate-level scholarships for professionals interested in pursuing careers related to the environment

Environment Fund

Your gifts and commitments to The Rotary Foundation can now be designated for the Environment to support projects that mitigate carbon emissions and support adaptation to climate impact.

GRETA THUNBERG, Pre COP26 Youth summit, September 30, 2021

“Climate change is not only a threat, it is, above all, an opportunity to create a healthier, greener, and cleaner planet which will benefit all of us. We must seize this opportunity.”

Where we work

We look to collaborate and work together with organizations around the world to solve environmental issues. The ESRAG and Rotary Club/District projects we would like to highlight and bring to the attention of the attendees of COP are:

Nov 30, 2024: Opening

Rotarians are transforming a Rust Belt to a Green Economy by mobilizing business, education, and government partners to move to clean energy, protect water & biodiversity, and their economy. #RotaryatCOP28 making all of the UNSDGs a reality.

Dec. 1, 2023 World Climate Action Summit

Did you know that if every Rotarian installed one (400 watt) solar panel this would equal planting 14 million mature trees; Save >$5 billion dollars in electricity bills; Stop > 10 Billion tonnes of CO2 being released? Record your panels. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG: 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 happen

Dec. 3, 2023 Health, Relief, Recovery, Peace

Rotary Clubs promote all UN Sustainable Development Goals by providing Solar Safe Water to Kenyan families. The heaters reduce deforestation, prevent illness, and save time & money.  #RotaryatCOP28 making all the UNSDG happen.

Rotary clubs reduce pollution and improve health for families in Nepal by helping families switch from indoor fires to electric cooktops. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG 6, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, & 15 happen.

Dec. 4, 2023 Finance, Trade, Gender Equality, Accountability

Rotary clubs educate and act for gender equality. How? By training girls and boys as peer educators on menstrual health and hygiene PLUS helping them start microenterprises that help girls and boys stay in school. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG: 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12 reality. Blog post goes live 12/4/23

Rotarians champion eco-tourism and women entrepreneurs. Why? Because Rotary supports biodiversity and sustainable food systems. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG: 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12 happen.

Dec. 5, 2023 Energy, Industry, Just Transition, Indigenous Peoples

Rotary Clubs in the US recapture critical lithium batteries to meet the sharply-rising need. Featured in Forbes Magazine and the Rotary Magazine. #RotaryatCOP28 UNSDG: 7, 9, 12, 13 reality. Blog post goes live 12/5/2023.

Rotary PDG Nate Thomas is leading Solarize Uganda Now’s quest to provide solar power to 100 schools in Uganda. Here’s a video showing the joy and gratitude of students and teachers. #RotaryatCOP28 UNSDG 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 reality.  

Dec. 6, 2023 Multilevel Action, Urbanization, Built Environment/Transportation

Rotary Solar Panel Challenge!  Instead of planting 1.2 million trees in 2017-18, Rotarians planted 4.3 million.  What if we installed 1,000,000 solar panels? Each panel is the equivalent of planting 14 million mature trees. Record your panels. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG: 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 reality. Post goes live 12/6/23

Women in Bangalore, India are getting e-taxis and training, saving money, preventing diesel pollution, and breaking a gender barrier thanks to the RC of Bangalore West. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 reality.

Dec. 9, 2023, Nature, Land Use, and Oceans

Concerned about glaciers? Why not join other Rotarians who are testing ways to conserve glacial meltwater? #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG 6, 9, 11, 13, 14 happen. Blog available 12/9/23.

A Large percentage of your food depends on pollinators. Many Rotary districts, like D6360, are partnering with outside organizations to create pollinator habitats. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG 2, 3, 11, 15  happen.

Dec. 10, 2023: Food, Agriculture, and Water

Thanks to TRF, Rotary clubs built a solar refrigeration for a local farmers market. 4-Way win: lower emissions, income for farmers, healthy local food, and greater resilience to storms. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 happen.

Rotarians help their club members and the planet become healthier. How? A tasty plant-rich diet! From Malaysia to North America, clubs are reducing their cholesterol and carbon footprint. #RotaryatCOP28 making UNSDG 2, 3, 6, 12, 13, 15 happen.


Featured News

Watch this space for updates during the event.

ESRAG members make headlines!

ESRAG members make headlines!

ESRAG members from all seven continents have been making headlines across the Rotary world for dynamic and multi-faceted environmental initiatives.

read more
Rotary engagement at COP28

Rotary engagement at COP28

During ESRAG’s Feb. 7 webinar, Judith Diment and RI President Nominee Mário César Martins de Camargo discussed the results of Rotary’s participation in COP 28.

read more

Rotary is uniquely positioned to make a difference

Rotary members have spearheaded thousands of community-based solutions across the globe to protect the environment, often through our existing areas of focus – ranging from beekeeping in Germany and rainwater harvesting at schools in Jordan.

Combined with expertise and resources, we address challenges and empower communities to develop solutions to their most pressing issues.

COP Resources


Throughout our fight to end polio, we’ve shown what we can do when we draw on the collective strengths of our partners and national governments – and this is an opportunity for us to learn new ways for making meaningful and measurable impact.

We can apply the lessons we’ve learned fighting polio to build awareness and inspire action around projects that promote environmental sustainability.

Follow us & join the conversation.


Sardinians Scale Up Solar Safe Water