Other Group

Climate Leadership Initiative

Website:

climatelead.org/

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Status:

Project of Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors

Formation:

2019

Type:

Climate Activist Organization

President:

Jennifer Kitt

Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) is a left-of-center foundation-sponsored initiative that is a fiscally sponsored project of left-of-center Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) . [1] CLI seeks to connect philanthropists with climate-activist and climate-related organizations that are seeking funding. [2]

Formally launched in 2019, [3] CLI connects donors with climate-focused philanthropies so they can “advance” the critical race theory-influenced concepts of climate equity and justice. [4] [5] [6] CLI supports the critical race theory-influenced concepts of racial justice and social justice [7] and has said that addressing climate issues will require “major systemic transformations.” [8] CLI also encourages philanthropists to “engage in politics” by supporting those committed to addressing climate issues, specifically 501(c)(4) advocacy groups and 527 political action committees (PACs) engaged in political organization, issue advocacy, and voter mobilization. [9]

Currently, CLI is a partner of the left-of-center Audacious Project [10] and funded by the left-of-center Children’s Investment Fund Foundations (CIFF) , John. D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oak Foundation, William and Flora Hewett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the left-of-center environmentalist Sea Change Foundation. [11]

History and Leadership

Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) was formally launched in 2019. [12] Originally formed by six different foundations to advise philanthropies on investing in climate-related projects, [13] CLI was conceptualized in September 2018 at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco when 29 different philanthropists pledged up to $4 billion over the next five years to support various climate-related causes. [14]

Jennifer Kitt is the president of CLI [15] [16] and Tom Steinbach is the chair of the CLI board of directors. Steinbach is also the executive director of Tempest Advisors, which advises the left-of-center Sea Change Foundation. [17]

Other members of CFI’s board of directors include Chris DeCardy of the left-of-center passthrough ClimateWorks Foundation, Kate Hampton of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) , Larry Kramer of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Jorgen Thomsen of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s climate solutions program, and Sue Tierney of ClimateWorks Foundation and left-of-center environmentalist Resources for the Future (RFF) . [18]

CLI is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has offices in London, England, and Geneva, Switzerland. [19] [20]

Activities and Funding

Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) is a left-of-center foundation-sponsored initiative that is a fiscally sponsored project of left-of-center Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) . [21] CLI seeks to connect philanthropists with climate-activist and climate-related organizations that are seeking funding to implement their stated climate activism outcomes. [22]

CLI connects donors with climate-focused philanthropies so they can “advance” the critical race theory-influenced concepts of climate equity and justice. [23] In its “Guide for Action,” CLI says it must make the critical race theory-influenced concept of equity a “priority” in climate philanthropy, at the center of all climate policy solutions. [24] [25] CLI’s long-term policy goals include implementing global electric transportation systems, phasing out coal power, and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. [26]

CLI has said that addressing climate challenges will require “major systemic transformations.” [27] The organization also calls a changing climate the “most profound challenge of our time,” [28] encourages individuals to shift towards plant-based diets to fight a changing climate, [29] and says that issues such as health, poverty, food and water, and biodiversity all “intersect with the climate.” [30] CLI also supports reducing carbon emissions in half by 2030 and achieving “net zero” carbon emissions by mid-century. [31]

CLI supports advancing the critical race theory-influenced concepts of racial justice and social justice in what it says is an “overheating world.” [32] The organization recommends that the critical race theory-influenced concept of equity should be a core component of all giving, encouraging resourcing minority-led, female-led, and local and regional climate campaigns that focus on “equity.”

CLI also encourages philanthropists to “engage in politics” by supporting leaders and policymakers who are committed to addressing climate issues, specifically supporting 501(c)(4) and 527 organizations engaged in political organization, issue advocacy, and voter mobilization. [33]

CLI is a partner of the left-of-center Audacious Project [34] for a project to fund electric transportation programs. This project is sponsored by the left-of-center William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Oak Foundation, Sea Grape Foundation, Someland Foundation, and others. [35]

Funding

Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) is foundation-sponsored nonprofit [36] and a fiscally sponsored project of left-of-center Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) . [37] CLI does not raise money for itself or any one organization. [38] [39]

In 2021, RPA gave a $10,000,000 grant to CLI via the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. [40] That same year, CLI received a $3,971,499 grant via RPA from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to “go big” on climate activism. [41] CLI also received $5,000,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation via RFA in 2021. [42]

In 2020, CLI received $7,700,000 from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation in 2020. [43]

In 2018, CLI received incubator funds from the left-of-center ClimateWorks Foundation. [44] That same year, the left-leaning Oak Foundation pledged $75,000,000 of support for climate initiatives, including CLI. [45]

CLI’s official funders are CIFF, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oak Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the left-of-center environmentalist Sea Change Foundation. [46]

References

  1. “Board.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/board/. ^
  2. “Approach.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/approach/. ^
  3.  “Climateworks Foundation.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2018. Schedule O. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/262303250/201902899349301405/full. ^
  4. Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  5. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 10. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  6. “Approach. “Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://climatelead.org/approach/. ^
  7. [1] “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 15. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  8. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 7 Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  9. Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 26-27. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  10. “About.” The Audacious Project. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://www.audaciousproject.org/about. ^
  11.  “CLI Funders.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/?cn-reloaded=1. ^
  12. “About Us.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/about-us/. ^
  13. Cox, Suzanne. McKinsey Sustainability. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/its-time-for-philanthropy-to-step-up-the-fight-against-climate-change. ^
  14. “Collaboration in the face of climate change.” Oak Foundation. March 1, 2019. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://oakfnd.org/collaboration-in-the-face-of-climate-change/. ^
  15. “Jennifer Kitt. “Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://climatelead.org/team/jennifer-kitt/. ^
  16. “Jennifer Kitt.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-kitt-b8639950/. ^
  17.  “Tempest Advisors Staff.” Sea Change Foundation. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://www.seachange.org/tempest-advisors-staff/. ^
  18. “Sue Tierney.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/team/sue-tierney/. ^
  19. “Write to Us.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/contact-us/. ^
  20. “Tackling climate change head on.” Oak Foundation. June 5, 2022. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://oakfnd.org/tackling-climate-change-head-on/. ^
  21. “Board.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/board/. ^
  22. “Approach.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/approach/. ^
  23. “Approach. “Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://climatelead.org/approach/. ^
  24. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  25. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 10. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  26. Collaboration in the face of climate change.” Oak Foundation. March 1, 2019. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://oakfnd.org/collaboration-in-the-face-of-climate-change/. ^
  27. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 7 Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  28. “Approach.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/approach/. ^
  29. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 13. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  30. “Approach.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/approach/. ^
  31.  “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  32. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 15. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  33. “Climate Philanthropy, A Guide for Action.” Climate Leadership Initiative. November 2021. Pg. 26-27. Accessed September 1, 2022. https://climatelead.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CLI-Guide-for-Action-v1.3_FINAL_11.1.21.pdf. ^
  34. “About.” The Audacious Project. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://www.audaciousproject.org/about. ^
  35. “Powered by new philanthropic commitments, a global coalition will catalyze emissions-free transportation across the world decades faster.” Climateworks Foundation Countdown. October 12, 2021. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://www.climateworks.org/press-release/drive-electric-and-the-audacious-project-announce-historic-500-million-milestone-live-from-the-ted-countdown-summit/. ^
  36. [1] Schultz, Abby. “Jeff Bezos’ $10 Billion Could Spur Giving.” Penta. February 18, 2020. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://www.barrons.com/articles/jeff-bezos-10b-climate-pledge-could-spur-giving-01582058364. ^
  37. [1] “Board.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/board/. ^
  38. “Climate Leadership Initiative.” Idealist. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/dcec7a5f10554b288956fecd807adafd-climate-leadership-initiative-san-francisco. ^
  39. “Approach.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/approach/. ^
  40. “Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.” William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. November 6, 2021. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://hewlett.org/grants/rockefeller-philanthropy-advisors-for-the-climate-leadership-initiative/. ^
  41. “Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.” MacArthur Foundation. 2021. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/rockefeller-philanthropy-advisors-44314/. ^
  42. “Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.” David and Lucile Packard Foundation. 2021. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://www.packard.org/grants-and-investments/grants-database/rockefeller-philanthropy-advisors-32/. ^
  43. “Climate Leadership Initiative.” Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://ciff.org/grant-portfolio/climate-leadership-initiative/. ^
  44.  “Climateworks Foundation.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2018. Schedule O. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/262303250/201902899349301405/full. ^
  45. “Collaboration in the face of climate change.” Oak Foundation. March 1, 2019. Accessed September 3, 2022. https://oakfnd.org/collaboration-in-the-face-of-climate-change/. ^
  46. CLI Funders.” Climate Leadership Initiative. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://climatelead.org/?cn-reloaded=1. ^
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Climate Leadership Initiative

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