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Spotlight on:

Climate change

Despite rapid falls in the price of renewables and US government commitments to support clean technology, there is much work to be done to forestall worst-case climate scenarios.

21st century emmissions

To understand where there are big opportunities to affect change, this chart breaks down projected emissions in the 21st century, how many are actually affectable, and innovation capacity across different regions.

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Rest of the world

▲ Source: Founders Pledge climate research

Moving the needle in 2023

The Founders Pledge community granted $16.7m in total to charities addressing climate change, including $6.9m to our high-impact recommendations.

We estimate the grants to our recommendations could:

The lower and upper bounds of the estimated tonnes averted are 2.3m and 221.9m. The lower and upper bounds of the estimated cars taken off the road are 499k and 47.9m.

The , the main vehicle for our climate work, celebrated a milestone in 2023: we’ve now granted more than $16m to the most effective, neglected, and promising climate solutions.


Contributors to the Fund


Contributed in 2023


Granted to high-impact recipients in 2023

We estimate the money granted from the Fund in 2023 could avert 51 million tonnes in and is comparable to taking 11.1 million cars for a year.

We invested in scaling our work, bringing in experts to grow our climate research team and building a comprehensive suite of tools to drive our high-impact grant-making. These tools will help us model the effect of different advocacy opportunities, analyze emissions streams and model interventions, and more.

We adapt to the changing climate landscape in order to leverage every dollar in a crowded space. In addition to our , we’re exploring promising avenues for change, such as mitigating political risk and shaping and advocating for policies that have long-term or large-scale effects.

We’re broadening our geographical scope, investing in innovation in Europe and Canada and expanding our work in emerging economies. For example, our grant to Energy for Growth Hub’s Power Purchase Agreement Transparency Norms Project funds work to improve transparency and competition in electricity markets. This can make energy more affordable, reliable, and cleaner in emerging economies.

With the passage of major over the past few years, we’re re-focusing on protecting and improving the broader political system response. Our grant to DEPLOY/US is supporting efforts to grow credible bipartisan climate coalitions.

Interested in learning more? 
Check out the 2023 Fund Impact Report.

Stories of impact

▲ Photo in collaboration with Kristaps Ungurs on Unsplash

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Growing a highly effective organization

$13.2m in grants from Founders Pledge members and the Climate Change Fund since 2018 helped an advocacy nonprofit expand and achieve success

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We need to decarbonize now

Since 2018, our climate strategy has prioritized supporting innovation in neglected low-carbon technologies. Progress to decarbonize energy has been relatively slow over the last 30+ years, while demand is rapidly rising as countries develop. We urgently need more clean energy to meet climate targets and energy demand. Effective advocacy can shift policy priorities and accelerate global decarbonization, addressing existing biases and blindspots in overall climate spending and providing an outsized opportunity for impact.

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Policy can fuel innovation

The Clean Air Task Force (CATF) has been our top climate recommendation since 2018. Through more than 25 years of research and advocacy, CATF has built a strong track record of achieving major . They’re the most effective organization we’ve found at advancing a technology-agnostic energy innovation agenda.

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Enabling an effective organization to do more good work

Four years of recommending and granting to CATF catalyzed their growth, of the organization. In that time, Climate Change Fund (CCF) grants supported advocacy that contributed to key climate legislation in the US (IIJA and IRA in 2022), and enabled CATF to its efforts to decarbonize the global energy system. CATF also launched the Carbon-Free Technology Initiative, the Country Methane Abatement Tool.

▲ Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash.

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Mapping a new source of energy

A $1.8m grant from a Founders Pledge member is developing a global geothermal resources map

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Meeting climate targets and demand

We need to scale up low-carbon energy sources to cut down emissions and meet energy demands, so that people in emerging economies have enough energy to meet their . Transitioning our energy infrastructure and developing new sources is resource- and time-intensive and not all options are realistic or cost-effective.

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Investing in clean energy

Project Innerspace is facilitating the transfer of resources, technologies, and knowhow from the oil and gas industry to rapidly develop global geothermal energy production. By their estimates, if we drill for geothermal energy at the rate we currently drill for oil and gas, by 2050 up to 77% of global demand for electricity and over 100% of global demand for heat could be supplied by geothermal.

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Laying foundations for geothermal’s exponential growth

This grant is funding the first phase of the project, which will produce a digital and freely accessible global geothermal resources and prospecting map in 2024. The map will serve as a development guide, identifying high-impact locations for pilot programs to be deployed and tested in phase two. The grant has already allowed Project Innerspace to develop partnerships, manage its research and development portfolio, and help launch four projects with leading research institutions.

▲ Photo by Aldino Hartan Putra on Unsplash.

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Scaling up carbon removal

A $400k grant from the Climate Change Fund contributed to investments in crucial research and development

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Removal technology is lagging

One area of neglected low-carbon technology has been . The general consensus is that to meet the climate goal of limiting global warming to 2°C, we need to reduce emissions and remove carbon. Yet, developing carbon removal technology has received relatively little attention or policy support. A showed that carbon removal was the top technology group in need of the biggest budget increase and, at the time, received less than in R&D support annually in the US.

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Building the carbon removal field

Carbon180 advances a broad portfolio of carbon removal approaches through policy advocacy, business engagement, and innovation support. They're focused on improving the ecosystem, making it easier for solutions to achieve maturity and scale in the right way. They work to integrate carbon removal into broader US climate bills and the federal budget, ensuring policies and budgetary priorities better support carbon removal.

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Accelerating research and innovation

This grant from 2020 funded advocacy that contributed to improving US policy and increasing the federal budget for research into climate removal. Working with groups in the Senate and Congress, Carbon180 advocated for important provisions in the 45Q credit and Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, and contributed to $255.6 million being appropriated by Congress across 2021-2022 for a broad range of . The grant also allowed them to advise the Department of Energy on how to best implement provisions authorized through IIJA, and continue publishing research and white papers.