Because climate change mitigation is a complex challenge, reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires constant innovation and a diversity of approaches.

Innovation is essential to solve a problem as complex as climate change. While innovation in technology, business, governance, finance, and civil society is required, it is also needed in the design and implementation of strategies for philanthropy. Commonly, donors and NGOs coalesce around what they perceive to be strategies with a high likelihood for success. The Packard Foundation is no exception. This focus may inadvertently limit exploration of and investment in transformative strategies and new leaders. To counter this dynamic, the Packard Foundation is devoting about 10 percent of our climate grantmaking to an Innovation subprogram to develop new climate mitigation strategies that could be pursued through philanthropy.

Our goal is to foster systematic innovation in the development of new climate mitigation strategies that can be pursued through philanthropy. Our approach includes the following:

  • Support “outside-the-box” ideas that are not receiving adequate investment but have the potential to yield significant reductions in carbon emissions.
  • Place decision-making authority in the hands of the innovators, to increase the chances for disruptive breakthroughs.
  • Build networks of professionals who can learn from one another, even as they compete to bring innovative ideas to scale.

Partner Highlight

The Climate Breakthrough Project

The Climate Breakthrough Project (formerly known as the Climate Strategies Accelerator) was created to identify and support leaders with bold and innovative approaches for arresting climate change. The project supports breakthrough ideas with the potential to result in climate change mitigation at significant pace and scale—including high-risk high-reward concepts—providing individuals or teams with $2M over three years to develop and launch their strategies.

The project is a partnership of the Packard Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and Good Energies Foundation. More information about the Climate Breakthrough Project can be found on the Climate Breakthrough Project website

Our People

Walt Reid

Vice President, Environment and Science

Kristine Ashfield

Program Associate

How to Get Support

The Conservation and Science program welcomes your ideas for funding requests. Please review our existing strategies and, if your work is aligned with our funding priorities and geographic focus, send a short description to the relevant Program Officer and Program Associate or send the description using the form here. Please do not send a full proposal until requested by the Program Officer.