Sustainable Development

Rockefeller Brothers Fund Joins $4 Billion Pledge to Combat Climate Change

Each day it seems there is new evidence of how climate change is affecting lives—from extreme weather events to increased food insecurity and threats to human health. We see the suffering that a steadily warming planet is causing to people around the world.

But we also see hope. And we see the real actions that are being taken to address one of the biggest challenges our planet and its people have ever faced. Clean energy markets are scaling up; local, regional, and national governments are stepping forward; and people across the globe are rising to solve this problem.

The next few years will determine whether the world can slow the rise in our global temperature. Philanthropy is committed to supporting the vast array of solutions required to tackle this global problem. We know that every moment, and every dollar, counts.

That is why the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has joined with 28 other foundations and individual philanthropists to commit a collective $4 billion over the next five years to combat climate change. The pledge, made today at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, represents a broad global commitment to accelerate proven climate and clean energy strategies and spur the innovation and adoption of promising climate solutions.

For more than 75 years, the environment has remained one of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s most enduring commitments. In the 1990s, the Fund began in earnest its work on climate change, and in 2005 concentrated its entire sustainable development budget on addressing the issue. Citing the moral tension arising from its work on climate change on the one hand and its investments in fossil fuels on the other, in 2014 the Fund announced its intent to divest from fossil fuels

The commitments announced today will support a vast array of strategies, with an emphasis on those addressing the five key challenge areas addressed this week at GCAS: healthy energy systems, inclusive economic growth, sustainable communities, land and ocean stewardship, and transformative climate investments. By working together, sharing knowledge, welcoming new partners, and harnessing the actions of governments, the private sector, and everyday citizens, the philanthropic community can help to catalyze action and support the movement of millions fighting to protect the air they breathe and the communities they call home.

While this announcement is the largest climate-related philanthropic commitment ever made, we know that it is only a down payment. Everyone has a role to play—and philanthropy must be prepared to invest many billions more.

Funders contributing to this effort include:

Barr Foundation
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bullitt Foundation
Sir Christopher Hohn and The Children's Investment Fund Foundation
The Educational Foundation of America
Pirojsha Godrej Foundation
Grantham Foundation
The Grove Foundation
Growald Family Fund
The George Gund Foundation
Heising-Simons Foundation
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
IKEA Foundation
Ivey Foundation
Joyce Foundation
JPB Foundation
KR Foundation
Kresge Foundation
Dee & Richard Lawrence and OIF
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
McKinney Family Foundation
McKnight Foundation
Oak Foundation
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Pisces Foundation
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Sea Change Foundation
Turner Foundation
Yellow Chair Foundation