Major international philanthropic initiative will build on action on methane, including the Global Methane Pledge, to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030

 

Washington, D.C. – October 11, 2021 – Today, a first-of-its-kind alliance of more than 20 leading philanthropic organizations announced an intention to fund more than $223 million to drastically reduce methane emissions around the world. This includes supporting the diplomatic effort spearheaded by the United States and European Union’s Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by the year 2030 and limit warming by 0.2℃ by 2050.

The commitment is the largest private pledge to reduce methane emissions globally and significantly boosts philanthropic resources allocated specifically to methane reduction. Funding will build upon and sustain action from civil society, government, and private industry, including in the more than 30 countries that have signed on to the Pledge by meaningfully investing in methane reduction solutions.

“Reducing methane is the single fastest action we can take to keep a 1.5°C future within reach,” said U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “In 2016, philanthropy committed fast start funding that helped us secure and implement the landmark Kigali Amendment on HFCs. Now they are stepping with over four times as much support for governments to deliver on the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane at least 30% globally by 2030.”

Methane is more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. At least 25% of today’s warming is driven by methane from human actions, with the oil and gas industry, livestock and landfills being the heaviest emitters.

Reducing methane emissions is the single most effective way to rapidly slow global temperature rise. While countries have had their own methane reduction strategies for some time, this effort is the first-ever coordinated and unified approach to funding, developing, and implementing actionable solutions to the growing crisis of methane emissions in the atmosphere.

“The science is clear: slashing methane emissions is the fastest and most cost-effective way to keep the planet’s temperature rise to under 1.5℃ and mitigate the worst harms of climate change,” said Larry Kramer, President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “This philanthropic commitment will help catalyze climate action for a more equitable, sustainable future.”

Funders will coordinate their giving in methane reduction solutions, providing expertise, financial resources, technical support, and best-in-class data to ensure methane reduction progress and accurate monitoring, verification, and reporting, including in the resource extraction and agriculture sectors.

Today’s announcement highlights the role that global philanthropy is playing in addressing the impacts of climate change. In 2016, swift philanthropic action by 18 funders led to the creation of a $53 million pool of resources which helped make possible the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. As a result of the funding, the pace and scale at which potent hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were removed was accelerated and led to the widespread adoption of more efficient and effective cooling solutions.

The following philanthropic organizations are part of today’s announcement and working to create and drive systemic change on the pressing issues facing the world today:

  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Breakthrough Energy
  • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
  • Erol Foundation
  • Grantham Foundation
  • High Tide Foundation
  • IKEA Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • McCall MacBain Foundation
  • Montpelier and Hampshire Foundations
  • Oak Foundation
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Pisces Foundation
  • Quadrature Climate Foundation
  • Sea Change Foundation International
  • Sequoia Climate Fund
  • Skoll Foundation
  • Sobrato Philanthropies
  • Zegar Family Foundation

This effort is also supported by a small number of funders that, though remaining anonymous, are committed to solving the most pressing issue of our time.

Today’s over $223M commitment is the first step ahead of COP26 in a series of coordinated philanthropic actions to achieve the goals of the Global Methane Pledge and substantively reduce methane in the atmosphere. Donors will continue to work together to increase philanthropic investments toward methane reduction and engage international experts to determine how the funding will be allocated.

Statements from Philanthropic Organizations

“By bringing together an international coalition of leading, influential organizations, we hope to make a dramatic positive impact on methane reduction like never before and ensure a just and sustainable future for all,” said Richard H. Lawrence, Jr., Founder and Director of High Tide Foundation.

“Methane is a leading cause of climate change, and stopping methane leaks and reducing emissions faster is imperative,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, and Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Our foundation is deeply committed to helping countries around the world reduce their fossil fuel emissions, and the more we all work together, the bigger impact we can have. We’re glad to join this group effort to clean the air, protect public health, and fight the climate crisis.”

“We are proud to participate in this collaborative effort to drive rapid reduction of methane pollution globally,” said Jill Kauffman Johnson, Managing Director of Erol Foundation US. “Accelerating methane reduction is one of the most effective actions we can take right now to significantly slow global warming and related impacts affecting the health and welfare of communities.”

“We have less than 10 years to keep the global temperature rise within the 1.5⁰C limit set by the Paris Agreement,” said Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation. “It’s a small window of time to save our planet for families everywhere and we can only achieve this if everyone, everywhere works together. We are very pleased that climate philanthropy at scale can step in to support governments all over the world in their commitment to reducing methane emissions by 30% by 2030 because only through unprecedented collaboration can we make this happen. We hope that other funders will join this initiative.”

“We are proud to support this coordinated effort to significantly reduce methane pollution, which contributes to the catastrophic effects of climate change and further exacerbates inequality and disproportionately harms the most vulnerable among us,” said John Palfrey, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “This demands government, the private sector, and philanthropy act ambitiously, just as the nations joining this global pledge have signaled they will do.”

“We know that reducing methane emissions quickly is among the most effective steps we can take to limit the extent of global warming,” said John H. McCall MacBain, Founder and Chair of McCall MacBain Foundation. “The time to act is now, and we hope this commitment is a catalyst for further and immediate action.”

“The philanthropic world came together to support this urgent initiative in an encouraging demonstration of our ability to take action collectively and with agility,” said Nancy Lindborg, President and CEO of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. “These investments to reduce methane emissions are critical to catalyzing urgent climate ambition at a make-or-break time as we look at the ticking clock of the next decade.”

“To stave off a climate catastrophe, the world needs to reduce all pollutants destabilizing the climate,” said David Beckman, President of the Pisces Foundation. “If the global community is going to bend the temperature curve soon enough, investing in, scaling up, and accelerating methane reductions is indispensable because we’ll see near-term reductions in warming.”

“Solving our world’s climate crisis requires effort and collaboration from all of us across sectors,” said Don Gips, CEO at Skoll Foundation. “As a foundation committed to advancing climate solutions, we are proud to join this global coalition of funders and help to amplify actionable solutions to reducing methane emissions around the world.”

“As we evaluated how best to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, addressing methane emissions quickly emerged as a critical, time-sensitive opportunity,” said Sandy Herz, President of Sobrato Philanthropies. “We chose not to wait and are proud to step up in this moment alongside key partners to spur action and galvanize government commitment in alignment with our emerging climate strategy.”

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About the Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For more than 50 years, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, make the philanthropy sector more effective, and foster gender equity and responsive governance around the world. Today, it is one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the United States, awarding over $465 million in grants in 2020 to organizations across the globe to help people build better lives. To learn more, visit www.hewlett.org.

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