J-PAL receives $25 million to address climate change, poverty

J-PAL receives $25 million to address climate change, poverty

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced a $25 million gift from King Philanthropies in support of scalable, evidence-based policy solutions that address the impacts of climate change on people living in poverty.

According to J-PAL, the effects of climate change — including heat-related mortality, worsening food insecurity, and displacement — disproportionately harm poor people in low- and middle-income countries. With the aim of improving the lives of twenty-five million people living in poverty over the next decade, the King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI) will focus on four climate-related challenges — mitigation, pollution reduction, adaptation, and energy access — and, to that end, will conduct randomized evaluations of programs and policies designed to cut carbon emissions; reduce harmful carbon co-pollutants; build community capacity to adapt to the economic, social, and environmental impacts of climate change; and increase access in low-income communities to affordable and reliable energy. 

"We are short on time to take action on climate change," said Robert E. King, co-founder of King Philanthropies, who with his wife, Dorothy, recently signed the Giving Pledge. "K-CAI reflects our commitment to confront this global crisis by focusing on solutions that benefit people in extreme poverty. They are already the hardest hit by climate change, and if we fail to act, their circumstances will become even more dire." 

"Climate change is the defining problem of this century," said J-PAL global executive director Iqbal Dhaliwal. "Left unchecked, it will undo hard-won gains in poverty reduction around the globe. It will also impact every region and sector in which J-PAL works. We are extremely grateful to Bob and Dottie King and to King Philanthropies for their vision to launch K-CAI, which will accelerate and transform J-PAL's work in climate change."

(Photo credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/UK DFID)