NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Goldman Sachs
FUNDING AREAS: Environmental Conservation
OVERVIEW: Linden is a co-founder of the Linden Trust for Conservation, which provides funding and strategic support for conservation and climate efforts using market-based strategies. The Linden Trust does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding.
BACKGROUND: Lawrence H. Linden graduated from Princeton University and earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Linden was a partner McKinsey & Co., a financial services firm, for several years before joining Goldman Sachs in 1992. Linden was a partner and managing director of Goldman Sachs before retiring in 2008.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION: The Linden Trust for Conservation was founded in 2006 by Linden and fellow Wall Street veteran Roger Ullman. Based in New York City, the foundation aims to establish “bipartisan and economically sound approaches to addressing critical conservation challenges.” The organization promotes two climate policy initiatives: the inclusion of carbon dioxide removal efforts in U.S. policy and a carbon tax initiative. Additionally, the foundation funds programs in environmental markets, conservation finance and support for institutions whose goals are aligned with the Linden Trust.
The aim of Linden’s carbon dioxide removal policy program is “for the U.S. government to put in place a robust enough set of policies and programs to ensure that carbon dioxide removal (CDR) has a reasonable chance of closing the gap between actual and desired net emission levels in the U.S. by the middle of this century.” The foundation’s work in this area has included education, policy analysis and advocacy and program design. Some past grantees are the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Carbon Capture Coalition, the Rhodium Group and the Energy Futures Initiative. The foundation’s second policy program concerns a carbon tax initiative and “seeks the adoption of an economy-side, market-based approach to address the challenge of climate change and advance a clean-energy economy.”
The trust’s environmental markets program aims to develop markets “in ways that can help solve some of the world’s most serious environmental problems.” One such project concerned “reductions in emissions from deforestation and degradation,” and the trust supported efforts to amend the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change “to allow carbon credits to be granted to countries that demonstrate reductions in their emissions of carbon dioxide due to deforestation.” In this effort, the trust partnered with several other individual donors, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the ClimateWorks Foundation. Other projects have concerned nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, the reduction of carbon emissions from coastal ecosystems and the introduction of limits on heretofore uncapped sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Linden’s conservation finance program aims to “save a small number of ecologically important landscapes.” Projects have included support for the preservation of nine million acres of Chilean park lands, protection of the Brazilian Amazon and doubling the area and improving the management of protected areas in Costa Rica.
LOOKING FORWARD: Linden’s philanthropy will remain within the field of environmental conservation, working in both policy and on-site preservation initiatives.