ClimateWorks Foundation Carrying Out Global Strategy to Fight Climate Change

As world leaders gather this week in Copenhagen to hammer out a comprehensive global accord designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, the San Francisco-based ClimateWorks Foundation has emerged as an important voice in the nonprofit sector's fight against climate change, the New York Times reports.

ClimateWorks was launched eighteen months ago by Hal Harvey, the founder and former president of the Energy Foundation, with a simple message: the adoption of "best practices" by major GHG-producing nations and in key economic sectors such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, forestry, and energy production offer the best chance to slow and eventually halt global warming. The idea for the organization grew out of a 2007 report funded in part by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation that showed which sectors of the global economy produce the most carbon and outlined a series of steps designed to help nations of the world achieve the ambitious "30 by 30" goal — reducing annual heat-trapping emissions by thirty gigatons by the year 2030.

To that end, ClimateWorks, which receives most of its support from the Hewlett, Packard, and McKnight foundations, plans to give more than $1 billion in coming years to help create a global network of experts that will work to promote improved planning and technology in countries such as China and India.

In the meantime, the organization has gained the attention of environmental experts and helped solidify the Bay Area as an epicenter of climate change philanthropy. And while that puts Harvey at the center of an issue that has provoked concern and even alarm around the world, his view is optimistic. "Climate change, unlike a lot of large-scale problems, is actually one that is solvable," Harvey told the Times. "It is also one where we know what we need to do."

Richard C. Paddock. "ClimateWorks Carries Out New Strategy." New York Times 12/05/2009.