MacArthur Foundation: Grants for Climate Change

OVERVIEW: MacArthur’s Climate Solutions program awards grants to projects that address global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

IP TAKE: MacArthur's Climate Solutions program is relatively new, and will evolve over time. Grantseekers should keep an eye on this foundation's development. 

PROFILE: Established in 1970, the MacArthur Foundation supports "creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world." In addition to its Chicago headquarters, MacArthur has offices in IndiaMexico, and Nigeria. The foundation, since undergoing a foundation-wide restructuring, has refocused its key priorities to fund over-incarcerationglobal climate changenuclear risk, and it has significantly increased financial capital for the social sector.

MacArthur’s Climate Solutions program is what the foundation refers to as a “big bet.” MacArthur has invested an initial commitment of $50 million toward the program, which solely focuses on limiting global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Its climate program ultimately seeks to limit "global warming as close as possible to the scientifically endorsed goal of 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Among several priorities in this area, MacArthur's climate change grantmaking currently emphasizes placing a price on carbon, reducing methane emissions, implementing bilateral and international agreements, and altering the fuel mix for electricity generation. The program specifically seeks work that "promote[s] efforts within and between the United States, China, and India, among other nations, for leadership, policy development, best practices, and innovations designed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Grants that address climate change range from $300,000 to about $10 million.

For a broader sense of the types of climate change organizations MacArthur has supported, browse its grants database. It accepts Letters of Inquiry through its grants portal, and invites formal proposals. 

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