About Growald Family Fund
GFF has focused on climate change since 2007, and particularly efforts to slow emissions from coal.
- Our vision is a stable, healthy world.
- As climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our world, we are dedicating our philanthropy to stopping further damage.
- Our goal is to minimize climate change by reducing emissions by at least 20% by 2020.
- Our objective is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal by 50% by 2020.
- Scientists agree CO2 emissions must be reduced 80% by 2050 or we will face catastrophic impacts from global warming. Proposed new coal plants in the US would release 380 million tons of CO2 to the atmosphere each year, making it impossible to meet target reductions1.
- There is a rush to build new plants in the next 1 – 2 years before federal regulations are put in place. Although we have been successful in stopping 100 proposed new plants, there remain over 100 pending proposals2.
- The US is a world leader in producing CO2 emissions, and must lead the world in cutting these emissions 3. Coal is responsible for almost 40% of the total US emissions, and over 80% of emissions from electricity generation4.
- Each new coal plant will create up to 50 years of emissions, negating other reduction efforts5. For example:
- Wal-Mart is investing a half billion dollars to reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of their existing buildings by 20% over the next seven years. If every Wal-Mart Supercenter met this target... The CO2 emissions from only one medium-sized coal-fired power plant, in just one month of operation each year, would negate this entire effort.
- If every household in the US changed a 60-watt incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent... The CO2 emissions from just two medium-sized coal-fired power plants each year would negate this entire effort.
The Growald Family Fund (GFF) uses a venture philanthropy approach, investing heavily in a small portfolio of leading organizations. We identify opportunities with the highest potential to reduce or avoid emissions per dollar invested, with the current target being coal. Our selection process identifies high leverage investments and develops a diversified risk portfolio of leading organizations, providing financial, strategic and networking support. In addition, we engage in direct lobbying and political advocacy to compliment their philanthropic efforts.
- Stop new coal plants in the US
- Reduce emissions from existing plants
- Limit coal mining in the US
- Slow international coal use
- Build climate change philanthropy
- RE AMP Midwest Coalition, Rapid Response Fund
- Sierra Club National Coal Campaign
- Rockefeller Family Fund Power Plant Financing Project
- Wise County coalition in Virginia
- Policy: Sierra Club c4, Fresh Energy
- Environmental Integrity Project for working on regulation of coal ash
When we started down this path 4 years ago, the coal industry was ready to grow. It had proposed 150 new plants, poised to lock us in to coal for the next 50 years and emissions levels that would keep us from being able to make the emissions reductions needed. We have had astounding success as a movement, derailing the coal rush and changing the national conversation. 128 plants have been blocked to date, the equivalent of over 519,336,641 metric tons of CO2 avoided per year (the average car emits 6 tons of CO2 per year, so that would equal the emissions of 86,556,107 cars per year). The Growald Family has been a key part of supporting this success.
Highlights of impact to date include:
- Stopping proposed new coal plants:
- In 2009 alone, our contribution helped stop 26 plants from being built, which avoided over 136,809,677 metric tons of CO2 avoided per year.
- Funded pilot of Power Plant Financing Project, now an established program
- Provided business planning support to Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, helping it scale to a $10M/year campaign.
- Funded pilot of a new collaborative focused on the role of coal mining in climate change work
- Kept over 4.3 million tons of coal on the ground
- Philanthropy :
- Directly leveraged over $3.9M in additional investments to coal efforts