A group of 29 philanthropists recently pledged $4 billion over the next five years to combat climate change—the largest-ever philanthropic investment focused on climate change mitigation. They made the announcement on the closing day of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco last month. This funding represents a broad global commitment to accelerate proven climate and clean-energy strategies, spur innovation, and support organizations around the world working to protect the air they breathe and the communities they call home.

Kate Wolford, President of the Minnesota-based McKnight Foundation, was among the philanthropists who announced the new commitment from the GCAS stage. Some of her inspiring comments can be heard in the video below: “…We stand here today in hope, because we see the momentum that is happening in every corner of our planet,” she said. “Momentum as clean energy markets scale rapidly. Momentum as governments at every level raise their ambition, and more importantly, act on that ambition.”  

Over the past two decades, the NGO sector—supported by philanthropy—has made important progress in the fight to solve climate change, including broadening access to low-cost, reliable wind and solar energy; designing policies that are revolutionizing the integration of a new generation of electric vehicles; and providing critical support to countries working to meet the requirements of the historic Paris Agreement. This new pledge complements ambitious commitments made by leaders of American states, cities, and businesses, as well as countries around the world, who want to maintain momentum as we transition to a clean energy economy that works for everyone.