News and analysis
December 04, 2009

Foundations Increase Support for Climate-Change Prevention

As world leaders and environmental ministers prepare for next week’s climate meeting in Copenhagen, a new report says large foundations have significantly increased their giving to curb climate change.

Foundation grant making to fight global warming and similar problems rose from $100-million in 2000 to $850-million in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available, the study says.

While the dollar amount is rising, the number of grant makers involved in the cause is relatively small, says the report from the Foundation Center, a nonprofit research group in New York. The William and Flora Hewlett, Rockefeller, and 23 other foundations provide 90 percent of the grant dollars.

The philanthropies support a variety of projects. They include efforts to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, research into how impoverished nations can adapt to environmental damage, and advocacy campaigns to change public policy.

The Foundation Center said that the growth in climate-change prevention dollars has helped increase environmental giving overall. In the last 10 years, such giving has doubled, to $1.9-billion, it said.

The Copenhagen meeting, which is a United Nations conference with the goal of crafting a comprehensive international agreement on climate change, is also triggering philanthropic commitments. Today the Dell computer company announced that it is giving laptops to 160 young people participating in climate-change discussions in Denmark.

Read The Chronicle’s article about the $1-billion pledge three foundations made to prevent climate change and how despite investment losses they plan to stick to their commitment. (A paid subscription or temporary pass is required to view this article.)