The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California, has announced a five-year, $600 million commitment in support of nonprofits working to address climate change.
The pledge was announced on the eve of French president Emmanuel Macron's convening of global government, business, and philanthropic sector leaders to discuss private and public financing for global efforts to implement the Paris climate change agreement. The foundation is participating in the conference and plans to engage in other efforts to boost charitable funding for climate change solutions.
"Our ability to meet the climate challenge with ingenuity, innovation, and enterprise will determine the safety, health, and livelihoods of people around the world," said Jonathan Pershing, environmental program director at the Hewlett Foundation. "We urge fellow philanthropists and global leaders to join in our commitment to do more on climate change. We are also challenging all leaders to think long-term and make forward-looking decisions to support lasting energy transformations, and look forward to using our own charitable funds to help catalyze the necessary global change to solve this urgent problem. There's no doubt that the world has the technology and the ability to solve this problem; what we need is greater commitment and resolve."
The foundation's commitment will support nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations working on transitioning energy systems from fossil fuels to renewable energy, with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. Funding will be focused on the biggest emitting countries and regions of the world — the United States, China, India, and Europe — as well as organizations that conduct scientific research and policy analysis, provide policy makers with much-needed technical expertise, advocate on behalf of a wide range of communities and constituencies, promote public-private partnerships working to achieve national and state clean energy goals, and convene leaders through best-practice and expertise-sharing networks. The foundation also will look to support organizations that are integrating solutions to long-term energy challenges across sectors, as well as organizations working to foster public-private partnerships and encourage private investment in the commercial deployment of viable new technologies.
"Huge numbers of people are already suffering from climate change from unprecedented flooding, superstorms, drought, famine, wildfires, and pest-borne disease — and this is just a fraction of what our children and grandchildren will suffer if we don't get this under control," said Hewlett Foundation president Larry Kramer. "The world has made incredible progress in recent years, in ways that both mitigate warming and generate new economic opportunities. But we still have a long way to go. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is proud to increase its commitment to creating a clean energy system, and we urge all leaders — whether in philanthropy, business, or government — to step up to this challenge and increase their own commitments to solving climate change. Everyone must find their role in the solution — our future depends on it."
(Photo credit: Hewlett Foundation/Getty Images)