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Our Commitment to Urgent Climate Action

From water resource management and food production, to disease and conflict: climate change exacerbates underlying vulnerabilities. As the severity of these impacts increase over the coming decades, poor communities in developing countries will be disproportionately affected. Each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are intertwined with climate change, and without bold action, that vision of a sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous world will remain an ambitious target.

In the Paris Agreement, which entered into force in November 2016, countries agreed to the following:

  • To take action to limit global temperature increase to well below 2°C.
  • To pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C.
  • To reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century.
  • To re-visit and strengthen the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of participating countries every five years.

To reach these ambitious goals, global greenhouse emissions must peak by 2020. There are many signs of progress.

In 2010, global greenhouse gas emissions came from a range of sources: the energy supply sector (35% of total), forestry and land use (24%), industry (21%), transport (14%), and buildings (6%). From driving the transition to a clean energy economy, to arresting tropical deforestation, Skoll Awardees and their partners are contributing to emissions reductions across these sectors. They’re exerting influence in some of the highest emitting countries, like China, the U.S., India and Brazil.

While the U.S. government officially pursues an isolationist path on climate and energy policy, a multitude of other parties from the public and private sector have strengthened their collective resolve to act. The Skoll Foundation joined over 1,600 cities, counties, schools, non-profits, investors, and businesses that signed onto the We Are Still In declaration.

“This means we do all we can to meet the emissions targets to which the U.S. has committed and to the State of California’s even more aggressive targets,” said Sally Osberg, CEO, Skoll Foundation. “This includes both our own behavior as an organization as well as our grant-making and investments, sticking with and identifying new investees whose work reduces our emissions and spurs the transition to clean, renewable energy.”

Far beyond raising our voice, the Foundation convenes and funds high-leverage actors. We invest in social entrepreneurs who develop and deploy an array of tools that more efficiently and effectively align people and institutions to drive public will, capital, and policy to address the existential threats from climate change and accelerate a transition to renewable energy.

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