Rockefeller Foundation boosts climate funding to $1 bln over 5 years

Reuters · 09/15/2023 04:01
Rockefeller Foundation boosts climate funding to $1 bln over 5 years

- The Rockefeller Foundation will invest $1 billion over the five years in projects providing poor communities around the world with resources like electric buses, power grids, and ways to practice more sustainable agriculture, its president said.

Originally endowed with money American magnate John D. Rockefeller made through his Standard Oil refining business, the foundation was worth about $5.7 billion at the end of 2022.

"We are going from spending around 25% over the previous five years on climate solutions to channelling around 75% of our resources over the five years towards fighting humanity's greatest threat," foundation President Rajiv Shah said.

He said the foundation would try to encourage more investors into projects by acting as a guarantor in some cases.

"In Nigeria we are deploying a local currency guarantee instrument that allows local financial institutions to support entrepreneurs building mini grids… (we are) using high leverage to deploy our finance to get the kind of outcomes and results we seek," he said in an interview on Wednesday.

"The billion we are announcing is exclusively financial commitment that doesn't account for prior commitments made."

Companies and investors around the world are promising to try to direct flows of capital away from businesses that prolong the use of fossil fuels or carry other environmental and social risks.

The Rockefeller Foundation decided in 2020 to stop investing in fossil fuels. A spokesperson said exiting those investments cost the fund $80 million in 2021, and that fossil fuel exposure was equal to less than 1% of the endowment.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Timothy Gardner)

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