Teen speakers at the global climate action summit gather for a photo.

29 Foundations Pledge Over $4 Billion to Address Climate Change

Barr commits at least $100 million over the next five years, joining the largest-ever philanthropic investment in climate change mitigation.

As Hurricane Florence ravages the Carolina coast and southeastern United States, we see yet again how climate change is affecting people’s lives. Whether through ferocious hurricanes, storm surge, and floods or via extreme heat, raging wildfires, and catastrophic droughts, our steadily warming planet is causing real suffering for people around the world, with direct impacts on health and well-being.

At the same time, this crisis has spurred action that is demonstrating the power of innovation, the imperative for leadership, and the need for investment. As just one example, thanks to bold, forward-looking energy policies, Massachusetts’ clean energy industry reached more than 109,000 jobs in 2017, an increase of 81 percent – outpacing employment growth across all sectors. And the State is also partnering with other states in the Northeast to harness market forces to reduce emissions from the energy and transportation sectors (through, respectively, the highly effective Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and newly formed Transportation and Climate Initiative).

We have also seen significant growth in the number, variety, and scale of philanthropy engaged in these efforts.

The Barr Foundation has made addressing climate change one of its central priorities. Since pledging $50 million over five years in 2010, Barr has awarded over $130 million across three priority areas in climate – clean energy, mobility, and resilience. And today, Barr is proud to increase and extend that commitment.

Over the next five years, Barr plans to commit at least $100 million to climate efforts in our region. And we are pleased to do so in concert with 28 other foundations, who as part of the Global Climate Action Summit in California area collectively committing $4 billion, the largest-ever philanthropic investment in climate change mitigation.

Over the next five years, Barr plans to commit at least $100 million to climate efforts in our region. And we are pleased to do so in concert with 28 other foundations, who… [are] collectively committing $4 billion with the largest-ever philanthropic investment in climate change mitigation.

As large as this figure is, we know it is only a down payment. Addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our time will require all sectors to engage deeply and invest significantly. Both the business community and the public sector must be a part of this effort along with private philanthropy. And this is not just an issue for national or global foundations; it matters locally as well. Every foundation has an important role to play – as Kate Wolford of the Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation and I shared in our joint Op-Ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, reflecting on three tools available to any local climate funder.

At Barr, we are committing to help accelerate innovation, adoption, and scale of climate solutions across our region. And we also aim to catalyze broader action beyond the geographic reach of our direct giving, to support people of vision, hope, and courage in all parts of the globe, who are fighting to protect the air they breathe and the places they call home.

Here in Boston, we have experienced a greater frequency of major winter storms, more frequent flooding due to sea level rise, and one of the hottest summers on record. It has proven yet again what we have known for a while: we have no time to lose, and we must take action. We plan to do our part and are grateful to those partners and allies who have also embraced the challenge.

comments powered by Disqus