Foundation Center Focus on Education
Climate Change - Developing Energy Policy

Developing Energy Policy in the U.S.

Issue

“The United States has yet to act decisively [on climate change]. The government has not committed to mandatory emissions reductions or ratified the Kyoto protocol.”
— “Confronting the Challenge,” Environmental Grantmakers Association

Funding

Nearly 20% of foundation grants for U.S.-focused climate change programs in 2007 funded policy work

Challenge

How can we support the development and implementation of climate change policies at the federal level?

Strategy

Reduce carbon emissions through state and regional policy initiatives that lead to the development of a national regulatory framework

Case Study

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
  • Cooperative agreement among 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states
  • Established an emissions trading program and aims to reduce power plant emissions
  • Supported by Pew Charitable Trusts, the Energy Foundation, and Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • Mertz Gilmore has provided $830,000+ since 2007

Results

  • First mandatory cap-and-trade program
  • Expanded dialogue on carbon credits by moving toward auctioning carbon permits
  • Will reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by 10% by 2018
  • Partners supporting global warming initiatives in other states

Research Sources


Design to Win: Philanthropy's Role in the Fight against Global Warming
California Environmental Associates
8/2007


Environmental Grantmakers Association

Confronting the Climate Challenge
5/21/2008


Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative


Mertz Gilmore Foundation

Climate Change Solutions


The Pew Charitable Trusts


The Energy Foundation


Cap and Trade
v Taxes

Pew Center on Global Climate Change
3/2009


Who Pays for Climate Policy?: New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade System
Tax Foundation
Chamberlain, Andrew
3/2009


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