Climate funding to be half of Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s total grantmaking


Simon Hungin


The Rockefeller Brothers Fund will spend an additional $100 million on climate mitigation over the next decade – and funding for climate will make up almost half of their total grantmaking this year.

RBF feels that the additional funding and increased focus on climate is needed to address the crisis, as well as impact the political and economic systems that drive and reflect it.

Earlier this month, the Fund published a report outlining its strategy to help combat the growing climate crisis. While the RBF endowment is already over 99 per cent fossil fuel-free, the growing climate crisis has caused RBF to take further action on top of eliminating its own exposure to fossil fuel holdings.

The additional resources for climate, adopted by RBF’s board of trustees in November 2022, will include funding for related work to build democratic institutions and practices that can enable meaningful climate policy. The additional funding for climate-related grants in 2023 will constitute just under 50 per cent of RBF’s total grantmaking budget.

The report states that ‘over the next several years, we will continue to identify ways to decarbonise our endowment, support the field to standardise emissions data collection and availability, and share lessons learned to help mobilise our philanthropic peers and other institutional investors to accelerate a just transition to a low-carbon economy.’

As per the report, there are three key areas for progress that have been identified:

Decarbonisation: RBF will annually analyse emissions from both the public markets and private capital portfolios. Furthermore, top emitters will be examined and an evaluation will be made as to whether to engage fund managers or shift investments, and RBF will also work with partners on collective action to press portfolio companies to set climate-related targets.

Standardisation: This aspect will support the increased availability of carbon emissions data and analysis while also promoting further development of industry standards.

Mobilisation: RBF will participate in peer convenings and net-zero investor communities both domestically and internationally, as well as tracking and sharing emissions reporting enhancements and opportunities for action. Finally, RBF will identify leadership opportunities to advance peer efforts and market changes that support a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) advances social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Through grantmaking, convening, mission-aligned investing, and leadership, the RBF supports the people and organisations building lasting solutions to the challenges facing today’s increasingly interdependent world.

Simon Hungin is a freelance writer that supports Alliance magazine.

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