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Tackling climate change head on

Special Interest Programme / Partner story

By Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Climate change affects every aspect of our lives: the food we eat; the water we drink; the air we breathe; the communities we call home; and the plants and animals that make up our ecosystems.

By 2050, up to 250 million people (nearly four times the population of France) are projected to be displaced by rising sea levels, floods, famine, drought, hurricanes, desertification and devastated ecosystems.

According to the world’s leading scientists, we have a decade to make critical changes to avoid the very worst impacts of an overheating planet. Urgent, collective action is required to slash emissions and restore our planet.

Philanthropists play a key role in accelerating solutions, yet climate currently represents just a fraction of philanthropic giving. Donors are needed to fund research, invest in new technologies, support policy, help communities transition sustainably, protect landscapes and more. “We believe that philanthropy is uniquely positioned to quickly scale climate solutions to create a cleaner, safer and more equitable future for all,” says Kristian Parker, Oak Foundation Trustee.

In 2019, the Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) formally launched to rapidly and exponentially increase climate philanthropy by making it easier for new donors to tap into a network of peers, experts and high-impact solutions. Oak Foundation is one of CLI’s founding funders, along with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation and Sea Change Foundation.

CLI is both an advisory service for new climate donors and strategic support for experienced donors to enlist their peers. With a balance of both rigour and urgency, CLI quickly and nimbly engages donors with tailored giving opportunities that cut across issues such as health, poverty, food and economic justice. With the hire of its founding president, Jennifer Kitt and strong team members in London, Geneva and the home office in San Francisco, CLI is actively advising new donors while building networks and events to engage more donors. To date, CLI has helped raised USD 74.8 million for climate solutions.

CLI is funded under our Special Interest Programme. This Programme reflects the Trustees’ interests in making dynamic, diverse, large, innovative and challenging grants. Special Interest grants cover a wide range of fields, including health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts. Learn more about its strategy here.

Learn about CLI’s entirely new way of tackling the climate challenge here.