The Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation has announced a new regionally based strategic focus on climate and energy issues and $25 million in grants to two longtime partners working in that area.
Through its new Midwest Climate and Energy program, the foundation will award grants to organizations working to advance climate and energy policy at the regional level; boost community-level efforts that promote energy and transportation efficiency; and assist private-sector leaders and networks working to develop, promote, and implement climate and energy objectives for the region. To that end, the foundation awarded $20 million over two years to the Energy Foundation in support of the latter's efforts to promote clean energy policies in the Midwest, and $5 million over two years to RE-AMP in support of its efforts to promote policies in the Upper Midwest region that advance clean energy and combat climate change.
The new focus builds on a $100 million commitment the foundation announced in 2008 to mitigate climate change, as well as the foundation's more than twenty years of support for efforts that promote renewable energy in Minnesota and the Midwest.
"Over the past five years, McKnight has invested over $60 million globally through the ClimateWorks Foundation network, which has yielded major advances in carbon reduction and helped draw other funding into key areas around the world," said the foundation's president, Kate Wolford. "Now building on the foundation's history as a place-based funder, we will concentrate attention and funding in the Midwest. As the region experiences the impacts of more and more 'once in a century' floods and other weather events, we see a growing demand across local businesses, government, and communities to incorporate climate mitigation and adaptation measures into decision making."