Lever for Change Launches $10 Million Climate Action Competition

Lever for Change Launches $10 Million Climate Action Competition

Lever for Change, an affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has announced a $10 million grant competition aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

Sponsored by an anonymous donor, the 2030 Climate Challenge will award a single $10 million grant in support of an "impactful, feasible, scalable, and durable" solution that cuts GHG emissions from the building, industrial, and/or transportation sectors over the next decade. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, those three sectors collectively account for 63 percent of emissions in the U.S., which is the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide and the number-two producer of GHG emissions. A recent analysis by Nature found that annual global GHG emissions increased by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018. According to Lever for Change, failure to start decarbonizing the three sectors in the U.S. at scale by 2030 "almost guarantees global failure" to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The 2030 Climate Challenge is open to nonprofits or coalitions of organizations that also include individuals, for-profits, and government agencies, but only registered 501(c)(3) entities may serve as the lead applicant for a coalition.

"Over the last decade, we have started to see a shift away from an overreliance on coal-fired power plants in the U.S. toward newer, cleaner sources," said Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation and an advisor to the competition's sponsor. "While the good work in the electricity sector has to continue, we must also find scalable, rapid ways to decarbonize the three other key sectors in energy: transportation, buildings, and industry."

"There is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that we must act immediately and collectively to solve climate change," said Lever for Change CEO Cecilia Conrad. "How we implement and scale the policies and tools we need to solve climate change most effectively is still a question and one that we hope applicants in the 2030 Climate Challenge will help to answer."

(Photo credit: Lever for Change)