Energy and Climate

Beijing Bus Rapid Transit

The new Beijing Bus Rapid Transit system is reducing congestion, pollution, and the emission of greenhouse gases.


To ensure that energy is produced and used cleanly and efficiently, with limited impacts on human health and the environment, and that global average temperatures increase less than 2°C to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

There are now more than 7 billion people on earth. All of us need energy for everything from powering our homes and businesses to moving from place to place. Our collective challenge in the coming years is to find ways to meet our energy needs while reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants that threaten our health and environment.

The Hewlett Foundation’s Environment Program is committed to reducing these emissions to avoid the most severe effects of climate change. We pursue our goal with strategies in the following areas:

  • Clean Power: Increase renewable energy and energy efficiency while reducing fossil fuel development and use for electricity generation.
  • Clean transportation: Increase fuel efficiency and access to transit, biking and walking options, while constraining the growth of high-carbon fossil fuels for transportation.
  • Building broad support: Engage diverse members of the public.

Reducing the use of coal is crucial to tackling global warming. Coal is both the world’s primary source of electricity and the largest and fastest-growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Forty-five percent of global emissions are from coal. Each year, in the United States alone, over 13,000 premature deaths are attributed to pollution from coal plants. We cannot protect our health and the planet without reducing our dependence on coal.

Making grants to organizations whose work involves reducing dependence on coal and other high-carbon fuels is essential, but not enough to solve our problem. To meet the world’s energy needs, Foundation grantees also work to support the production of energy from renewable sources like solar, wind, and geothermal; increase energy efficiency; and adopt and implement clean transportation policies that include fuel economy standards, mass transit, and bike lanes. William and Flora Hewlett made protecting the environment a cornerstone of their philanthropic commitments when they started the Foundation. Along with our Energy and Climate grantees around the world, we continue their work.

The Environment Program accepts Letters of Inquiry for its Energy and Climate grantmaking. See Environment Program Grantseekers for information about our approach to grantmaking and Energy and Climate strategies and Energy and Climate grant guidelines for specific information about our priorities.

While the Foundation's grants may be used to support public education, nonpartisan research and analysis, and permissible policy-related activities, the Foundation does not earmark its funds for IRS-defined lobbying activities, which is prohibited by federal law.