Global Climate Action Summit

The Nathan Cummings Foundation


Global Climate Action Summit

Crowds march in San Francisco during the 'Rise For Climate' global action on September 8, 2018. Photo Courtesy of: Amy Osborne / AFP / Getty Images

Dear Colleagues:

This week, the Nathan Cummings Foundation is joining our partners and leaders representing states, regions, cities, companies, investors and individuals at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. We are gathering to show a united front in the face of the growing threat of climate change, and to put forward solutions and commitments to transition to a clean, inclusive economy. Heading into the Summit, I am heartened by the momentum from all across society committed to climate change solutions bridging partisan divides.  

From the earliest days of our Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation has prioritized the environment with a strong focus on equity. Today, we focus on finding solutions to the two most challenging problems of our time – the climate crisis and inequality – and the linkages between them. In 2015, members of our Board and staff traveled to Paris to COP21 to join our partners and witness this unparalleled moment in climate history. Organizations representing grassroots constituencies emphasized the importance of community-led solutions and reinforced our shared values to pursue environmental solutions that enhance equity and improve people’s lives. The Paris Agreement offered a clear signal to the business community and leaders that the world was ready for a low-carbon future.

We have come a long way since Paris, but there is more work to be done. People are working together to create the breakthroughs we need in the face of the worldwide challenge climate change poses. Frontline leaders from urban, rural and indigenous communities, governors and mayors, businesses, investors, universities and faith leaders are shifting the narrative, creating the political will to address climate change, and lifting up solutions that can transform our economy and win the fight against climate change.

NCF is using all of our assets to achieve our mission and is showing up at the Summit as a grantmaker, an investor, and as stakeholders in this critical fight for our future. We are working to bridge gaps between communities on the ground and policy leaders around the world who are turning the aspirations articulated in Paris into real action, countering the politics of denial and focusing on those most affected by its consequences. Our grantees are creating jobs and new sectors of economic growth, reducing pollution and emissions to improve the health of our communities, and increasing access to low-cost energy. We are proud to stand with them. We are joining their efforts by actively engaging companies on climate change and recently announced our commitment to 100 percent mission-aligned investing.

This weekend, our partners at helped organize Rise for Climate, a series of marches, rallies and voter registration drives in cities around the world, including San Francisco. At the Summit, NCF partners like the Climate Justice Alliance will engage funders to support diverse leaders and equity-focused solutions at events like the People’s Orientation. The NAACP Environment and Climate Justice Program will explore how the clean energy economy can deliver living wage jobs and inclusive wealth building opportunities, and thought leaders like the UC Berkeley Labor and Climate Center will highlight the role of labor in ensuring a just transition. Our partner Ceres will focus on transformative climate investments and launch the Investor Agenda, a comprehensive guide for investors looking to manage climate risks and opportunities in their portfolios.

Two weeks later at Climate Week in New York City, grantees like NY Renews will join a panel hosted by state senators to highlight how to improve equity as part of New York’s state climate policiesBusiness Forward will demonstrate how businesses leaders are helping to champion clean energy. And all eyes will be on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in early October to understand the latest scientific thinking about climate.

NCF is deeply committed to backing diverse leaders working to ensure that the clean energy transition is just. In a new piece appearing in Grist today Danielle Deane-Ryan, director of our inclusive clean economy program, has conveyed our perspective that transformative change will require a people-centered movement demanding action, leveraging a more powerful political force that combines both the grassroots and the grass tops. In the piece, she highlights how philanthropic foundations have evolved to support greater inclusion of diverse leaders and equity-focused solutions. The Summit is an opportunity to build a more inclusive movement led by those most vulnerable to climate change and to drive more funding to people of color-led organizations. She highlights how partners like the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, Jobs to Move America and People’s Action are creating strategies to ensure that the necessary transition to a low-carbon future creates shared prosperity.  

Together, we can achieve a just transition and build an inclusive clean economy, and NCF is proud to support our partners in their work. I hope to see you in San Francisco!






Sharon Alpert
President & CEO
Nathan Cummings Foundation

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