The Hewlett Foundation: Environment Program

The Hewlett Foundation makes grants to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. Grantees are working to reduce poverty in the developing world, curb carbon emissions that lead to climate change, and improve education for students in California and elsewhere, among many other valuable goals.

The Environment Program is committed to dramatically lowering global emissions of greenhouse gases and traditional pollutants worldwide. As it attempts to achieve this goal, the Program pursues strategies in three areas:

1. Global Climate Policy: Most scientists agree that to avoid significant impacts of global warming, we must limit temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius.  In 2007, the Hewlett Foundation worked with five other foundations to sponsor a study of what could be done to fight global warming. The ensuing report, "Design to Win," concluded that policy reform is one essential step toward stabilizing temperatures. Working with international foundations and organizations in regions with the largest greenhouse gas emissions, the Environment Program makes grants to help create efficient energy policies. This work targets Europe, the United States, China, and Latin America.

2. National Energy Policy: The Energy Independence and Security Act, signed in 2007, serves as an example of how efforts to create energy and climate policies can result in important national changes. The bill requires vehicles to get an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020- an increase of 40 percent from current averages-and creates additional energy efficiency standards. Such national policy, supported in part by the scientific analysis of Hewlett Foundation grantees, will eliminate 320 metric tons of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. Our grantees continue to work on establishing sound energy and climate policies to increase energy efficiency and environmental health.

3. Sustainable Transportation: Cities are now home to more than half of the world's population and are responsible for 75 percent of global energy consumption. Without careful investment and planning, cities in large developing countries will be overwhelmed by environmental problems. But urban centers can provide solutions to the very problems their growth creates. High-quality public transportation, green buildings, and cleaner vehicles and fuels can lower pollution, reduce health care costs, and strengthen local economies. Since  transportation is responsible for at least half of urban air pollution, grantees are developing Bus Rapid Transit systems-high-speed mass transit systems built for a tenth of the cost of a subway line-in China, Latin America, and the United States. Hewlett grantees also are working to reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel quality. Through the China Sustainable Cities Initiative, grantees are integrating green standards and design into China's building and transportation plans. The Environment Program's urban planning and sustainable transportation grantmaking continues to focus on the large developing countries of China, Mexico, and Brazil.

The Environment Program accepts Letters of Inquiry for its Energy and Climate grantmaking. For more information, please visit: