Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a commitment of $30 million to the Sierra Club in support of its Beyond Coal campaign, which seeks to retire 50 percent of the nation's coal-fired power plants by 2017.
The funding builds on a commitment of $50 million by the foundation to the campaign in 2011. Since then, 187 coal plants have been, or are slated to be, retired, resulting in a reduction of more than 280 million metric tons of carbon emissions from the U.S. electric sector. Over the same period, the coal share of U.S. electricity generation has fallen from 52 percent to less than 40 percent. With the new funding, the Sierra Club will expand its grassroots advocacy, community organizing, paid advertising, and technical research efforts, and will work to advance litigation aimed at securing critical carbon emissions reductions under the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, encourage regulators to crack down on harmful pollution, and replace dirty power generation capacity with solar, wind, and improvements in energy efficiency.
In partnership with Bloomberg, more than a dozen funders, including the William and Flora Hewlett, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, Yellow Chair, Grantham, and Sandler Family foundations, have pledged to provide up to $30 million in grants to boost the Sierra Club’s capacity to accelerate the nation’s transition toward clean energy sources.
"The single biggest reduction in carbon pollution in the U.S. has come by retiring and repurposing coal-fired power plants — and that's the direct result of our Beyond Coal campaign," said Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael R. Bloomberg. "Thanks to the community leaders who have spearheaded this work, the U.S. led every industrialized nation in reducing carbon emissions last year. But much more work remains, and today we are doubling down on what has proven to be an incredibly successful strategy for improving public health and fighting climate change."