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Turning the Tide on Funding Climate Mitigation | Scorcher

Published: July 31, 2017 by Editorial Team

Sheldon Zakreski, The Climate Trust
Weekly Policy and Finance Update – July 31, 2017

Bottom line | Climate policy rollbacks have left a substantial void that foundations could help to fill. Widespread support will be needed to reach our national climate change goals.

Much news has been made of the Trump Administration’s approach to climate policy. The Clean Power Plan. Gone! The Paris Agreement. Gone for now. In response, states and businesses have been increasingly willing to fill the void. What hasn’t been heard is how philanthropic organizations plan to respond. After eight years of expanding climate policies at the federal level, it made sense for foundations to shift their focus and funding elsewhere. But now there is a void to fill.

Philanthropic funding can play an important role going forward in helping the U.S. respond to climate change. Funding is needed at the state level to help make the case for different states to adopt climate-friendly policies. Currently, there are 11 states with a carbon price policy or regulation in place, and three more considering them. That leaves 36 states; some of which may be receptive to adopting a carbon price.

While large businesses are the last place where philanthropic support should generally go, there is a role for foundations to support carbon buyer’s clubs as a way to stimulate emission reduction projects that could help businesses pick up the slack left by the government with respect to meeting our Paris agreement commitments. Such support could help support nonprofits focused on greening supply chains. Additionally, support could be made to stimulate voluntary carbon markets. Such markets don’t get much attention, but are an important source of innovation and capacity building. All of California’s compliance offset project protocols are derived from the voluntary market and wouldn’t have been possible without philanthropic support.

Research and Resources

The Case of the Missing Philanthropy
Dan Farber, Legal Planet, July 24, 2017

A Funding Effort to Build a Stronger, More Diverse Climate Movement
Tate Williams, Inside Philanthropy, July 24, 2017

Hacking Climate Change: Funding 2.0
Wolf Hindrichs, International Affairs Review, June 26, 2017

Top News Headlines

Climate Change and the Catastrophe of Trumpism
Sam Ben-Meir, The Algemeiner, July 25, 2017

Nothing But Clear Skies Blog

$5.5M Program-Related Investment Seeds Carbon Investment Fund
Kasey Krifka, The Climate Trust, November 23, 2016

Image credit: Flickr/Bemep