Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MacArthur Foundation Vows to Push Climate Solutions, Starting with $50M Pledge to Green Groups

MacArthur Foundation's New Climate Commitment (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
The charitable foundation known for its annual "genius grants" and its public broadcasting underwriter's message promoting "a more just, verdant and peaceful world" is deepening its commitment to addressing climate change under a new multimillion-dollar program aimed at building leadership capacity and political consensus around climate solutions.

Roughly $50 million in initial funding, announced this morning by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will be shared by nine nonprofits engaged in climate policy and advocacy.  It is being characterized by the foundation as "a down payment on a major new commitment to help curb global climate disruption by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

"Climate change, and its global disruption, threatens to undermine virtually everything we care about as human beings, from quality of life to the economy, from poverty to peace and security," MacArthur Foundation President Julia Stasch said in a statement announcing the new initiative.

"Global climate disruption will have a profoundly negative impact on how humans live and work," she added.  "That's why we need effective international leadership and cooperation that bring about sufficient and measurable results."

Officials with the Chicago-based philanthropy, with assets of $6.47 billion, said the initial focus of the new initiative "is on building and sustaining sufficient U.S. leadership to ensure that the nation meets its own responsibilities in addressing climate change."  However, the foundation "intends to be a constructive partner to other countries, such as India and China ... whose leadership and action are also critical to addressing a more sustainable future."

The largest first-round grant, $20 million, will be shared by the Nature Conservancy and Environmental Defense Fund to foster political engagement on climate change and to build new constituencies and coalitions for "durable action on climate policy in the U.S.," according to a foundation press release.  Officials with the two organizations said the $20 million would help advance a 1-year-old partnership focused on building pragmatic, nonpartisan solutions to climate change.

Read more at MacArthur Foundation Vows to Push Climate Solutions, Starting with $50M Pledge to Green Groups

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