In the 1990s, the Fund's work in global sustainable resource use shifted from protecting biodiversity, which it had advanced through initiatives in temperate rainforest conservation, sustainable forestry, and fishery management, to climate change. Throughout the 2000s, climate change became a larger and increasingly central objective at the Fund, spanning program areas and driving cross-program cooperation. Climate change concerns comprise a portion of grantmaking the Democratic Practice–Global Governance, Southern China, and Western Balkans programs, and are the main focus of the Sustainable Development program. Over the course of 20 years, the Fund has approached the issue in different ways and adapted its strategy to changing national and global contexts, including progress and setbacks in international negotiations. Since 2010, its work has had three emphases: municipal and state-level clean energy and energy efficiency policy development and implementation; communications and media to build public and policymaker awareness; and grassroots movement-building to support calls for climate action, including reducing reliance on carbon-intensive energy. During 2013-2015, the Fund has worked to support federal regulatory work on climate and clean energy; it has also devoted considerable resources to supporting a positive outcome at the December 2015 Paris Climate Conference. The RBF has seeded the development of organizations including Center for Climate Strategies, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Architecture2030, PaceNow, 1Sky,, Climate Nexus, and the Energy Action Coalition.

Read more about the RBF's focus on climate change.

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Browse the major events in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's history