Hewlett Foundation Joins Climate Change Fight

The Hewlett Foundation, a $9 billion endowment created by the late William Hewlett, of Hewlett Packard, announced last week that it intends to spend tens of million of dollars a year fighting climate change.

Trustees of the fund last week said they intend to contribute to an umbrella fund that, with the help of other funders, could grow to $500-$600 million in grant funding each year."

"We’ve been meeting potential philanthropic investors," said President of the Foundation, Paul Brest, in London on Friday.

"We’re committing to a long-term grant-making project for climate change. There’s a lot of initiatives by U.S. philanthropy, but we haven’t seen something going where the carbon is, working on policy in a systematic way."

Brest said he expects an umbrella organization to launch this year that will be based in the U.S. and make grants to at least six established, independent institutions worldwide, most likely in the U.S., Europe, India, China and Brazil.

According to Brest, contributors would designate their funds for improvements in energy efficiency, city planning, building design and policy advisement. He add that the Chinese arm of the U.S.-based Energy Foundation is likely to receive funds.

Brest also said they would like to work with the U.S. in devising an emissions trading scheme to cap greenhouse gas emissions, calling global warming the "mega environmental challenge that threatens everything else."

Currently the Hewlett Foundation gives project grants to improve development, education and the environment in the U.S. and abroad.

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