Why It’s Important

Climate change is an urgent global threat that demands action while we still have time to make a difference.

The science is clear. The impacts surround us every day. The costs in terms of human suffering and planetary disruption are mounting fast. Fires. Droughts. Hurricanes. Rising sea levels. Food insecurity. Refugee crises. And much more.

Yet less than two percent of all philanthropic dollars are currently being spent to slow climate change. More investment and coordination across the philanthropic sector can make a lasting difference.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades can reduce climate risks in the 21st century…and contribute to climate-resilient pathways for sustainable development.”

The good news: There is ample evidence of progress from every continent. The Packard Foundation is committed to working with our grantees and partners to expand and increase the impact of these efforts.



Metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere annually by human activity.

(Source: National Geographic)

400 ppm

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which was reached in 2013 for the first time in three million years.

(Source: NOAA)


Proportion of total annual greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity related to land use – including deforestation, forest degradation, agriculture and more.

(Source: CLUA)


Year by which growth in agricultural productivity in the world’s poorest countries will be halted or reversed if bold steps to reduce climate change are not taken.

(Source: United Nations)

19 cm

Global mean sea level rise over the period 1901 to 2010 (equivalent to 7.4 inches).

(Source: IPCC)


Increase in acidity of surface ocean waters since the Industrial Revolution. The amount of C02 absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about two billion tons per year.

(Source: NASA)