In 2017, the Hewlett Foundation’s board renewed its third five-year commitment to our Climate Initiative. The new climate strategy aims to achieve deep decarbonization by midcentury, focusing on the biggest emitting regions (the United States, China, India and Europe), six thematic areas (Transportation; Electricity; Industry; Finance; Strategic Communications and Carbon dioxide removal). This strategy is a sub-set of our transportation strategy and zeroes in on road freight – covering why it’s important, what has changed recently, what needs to be overcome, what we plan to fund and where, how much it will cost, and how we plan to track progress. Note that we will continue to support passenger transport decarbonization, although we will rebalance our funding as our overall transportation program budget is largely unchanged. We will soon be releasing an update of our overall transportation strategy.

To achieve long-term outcomes to get to zero-emissions road freight and significantly improve air quality and health, we will support key grantee interventions that fall into three main categories:

Grantee work to Accelerate Zero Emission Trucks: Truck regulations that cover all classes of vehicles from urban delivery to long-haul tractor-trailers (such as zero emission truck requirements) are foundational policies. Complementing these are key interventions to scale zero emission fleets, create clean air zones in cities, establish financial incentives/penalties, and find innovative financing solutions. Within these, our grantees will pursue a balance between regulations and incentives as well as short-term successes with long-term policy signals, especially for longer distance trucks.

Grantee work to Deploy Large-Scale Charging/Fueling Infrastructure & Zero Emission Fuels: The most important interventions will create large-scale public and utility investments in infrastructure, ensure fuels are zero emission through sustainable source fuel regulations, and optimize charging, vehicle-grid integration, and electricity rate design (e.g., link cheap daytime solar or off-peak nighttime power with truck charging). Complementing and supporting these are interventions to define incentives and to pass and implement supportive rules.

Grantee work to Broaden and Deepen Support: Key interventions to support work to cultivate and elevate powerful allies in freight shippers, parcel companies, fleets, and truck manufacturers; engage frontline communities and environmental justice groups to build diverse, local coalitions to build resilient long-term success; foster public support or pressure to lower freight emissions; share knowledge and build capacity; and employ strategic communications.