Okay, we admit it: We're obsessed with philanthropy's "war on coal." Why? Because it's a great example of a hard-hitting advocacy effort backed by a who's who of deep pocketed funders—and, even more importantly, because its working. As Politico wrote recently:
The war on coal is not just political rhetoric, or a paranoid fantasy concocted by rapacious polluters. It’s real and it’s relentless. Over the past five years, it has killed a coal-fired power plant every 10 days. It has quietly transformed the U.S. electric grid and the global climate debate.
Philanthropy can't claim all the credit here, of course, but it's been a huge player. And while Mike Bloomberg has famously taken the lead, it's good to remember that a range of other funders, large and small, are also in on this. This war has a lot of battle fronts, with many local nonprofit advocates leading the charge—supported by funders who have their backs.
A case in point: Not long ago, the Hewlett Foundation awarded $150,000 to the Clean Energy Project, a green energy group in Nevada, to support its efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s power plants in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations and ensure that the state’s coal-fired plants shut as planned, replacing the lost capacity with green power. The grant also supports the nonprofit’s efforts to promote energy efficiency by urging home energy audits.
With headquarters in California, and a strong interest in the West, Hewlett has also supported other work in the region aimed at reducing greenhouses gases. For example, it's a backer of New Venture's Fund in the Pacific Northwest to establish low-carbon fuel standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.