Sustainable Development

Goal: Advance Solutions to Climate Change

The Sustainable Development program advances global stewardship that is ecologically based, economically sound, socially just, culturally appropriate, and consistent with intergenerational equity. Human activity is causing global warming, rapid loss of biodiversity, and accelerating degradation of Earth’s life support systems. With the recognition that the impact of unchecked climate change threatens all other conservation efforts, the program focuses its grantmaking on advancing solutions to climate change.

Strategies

  • Building public and policymaker understanding and support for a range of actions to address the threat of climate change.
  • Supporting implementation efforts to build a clean energy economy at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Supporting efforts to reduce reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources.
  • Supporting targeted efforts to advance international progress on climate change.
Read the Full Guidelines

Human activity is causing climate change and rapid loss of biodiversity, and accelerating degradation of Earth’s life support systems. These developments threaten the livelihoods, health, and security of people in all nations and cultures as well as the well-being of the greater community of life. The RBF’s sustainable development grantmaking endeavors to address these challenges by supporting development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The program supports global stewardship that is ecologically based, economically sound, socially just, culturally appropriate, and consistent with intergenerational equity. The Fund encourages government, business, and civil society to work collaboratively on climate change, to acknowledge the moral and ethical consequences of inaction, and to make it an integral part of all development planning and activity. Recognizing the global nature of many environmental problems, the Fund also promotes international cooperation in addressing these challenges.

The Sustainable Development program maintains a significant focus on the United States in light of its disproportionate impact on the global economy, politics, and the environment. The program’s work is also advanced in collaboration with the Fund’s “pivotal place” programs—Central America, China, and the Western Balkans—and with the Democratic Practice program’s Global Challenges portfolio. Pivotal Place programs support work in specific countries or regions to build the knowledge, policies, organizational capacity, and leadership needed to advance sustainable development in locally appropriate ways. The Fund’s Democratic Practice–Global Challenges portfolio supports broad participation in forging the international agreements and institutional arrangements needed to encourage investment in sustainable development. Fund staff work to ensure that global developments inform work in specific places and that locally grounded efforts generate lessons and innovations needed for global impact.

With the recognition that the impact of unchecked climate change threatens all other conservation efforts, the Sustainable Development program focuses its U.S. grantmaking on building a green economy at the federal, state, and local levels.

The Sustainable Development program is focused on efforts to promote effective climate policies in the United States through support for high-leverage opportunities at the federal, state, and municipal levels (including New York City, the Fund’s home). In addition, the program provides support for select international efforts to advance global climate negotiations.

Program Team

Program Director

Program Officer

Program Associate

What We Fund

The Sustainable Development program makes grants to support charitable causes aiming to combat climate change; it does not purchase interest in for-profit enterprises, including through program-related investments (PRI) or impact investments. (For more information on the Fund’s investing efforts, see Mission-Aligned Investing.) The program does not contribute to capital expenses, including for sustainable energy or water projects. We do not fund scholarship or fellowship programs and cannot make grants to individuals. By law, the RBF cannot provide funds earmarked for lobbying in the United States or internationally. Read more about What We Fund