Foundation grantmaking focuses on four major program areas.
These programs touch upon a number of major issues.
Each grantmaking program also works within clearly stated geographic parameters or regions.
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The mounting evidence is that developing countries will be most impacted by climate change and will have an urgent need to make use of efficient, renewable energy. However, World Bank lending to developing countries does not address the energy needs of poor people and constrains long-term efforts to alleviate poverty in these countries. To address these challenges, the Sierra Club Foundation's International Financial Institution Reform Project will seek to ensure that the World Bank energy policy limits lending for fossil fuel projects; strengthens and fully implements export credit agency reforms in the United States; increases lending awareness among decisionmakers on the environmental and social impacts of World Bank and other international financial institutions; and builds alliances with environmental and other nongovernmental organizations, especially local groups impacted by international financial institution-funded projects.
The International Financial Flows and the Environment project of the World Resources Institute provides important research and data to nongovernmental organizations and key public and private institutions on international financial flows and public policy options. This grant increase will allow the World Resources Institute to take advantage of a unique opportunity to develop innovative financing mechanisms to compensate countries that are willing to forego exploitation of oil and gas reserves in fragile and unique ecosystems. The increase will support research, publications, technical services, and travel costs associated with a workshop that will explore potential financing options.
The ways in which the world’s natural resources are used to meet human needs ultimately impacts the economic, environmental and social conditions — indeed, the sustainability — of people, communities and entire countries. Ensuring that resources are used in ways that help to strengthen sustainability for all people is a vital thread in the Mott Foundation’s Environment Program.
Internationally, our grantmaking seeks to improve the social and environmental accountability of those investing in large-scale infrastructure and energy projects in developing countries. This work includes a focus on the investment patterns of emerging economies, particularly of Brazil and China, whose financial institutions are becoming major lenders for developing countries.
Billion dollar hydroelectric dams. Miles of highways. Oil and gas exploration. Such large-scale energy and infrastructure projects in the developing world and in sensitive eco-regions such as the Amazon rainforest often are promoted as bringing modern development to people in need. However, they also frequently present significant environmental risks and social and economic challenges for those living in the projects’ immense shadows.
For nearly three decades, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has supported efforts to ensure that the institutions financing these projects:
One of the areas the Mott Foundation’s Environment program focuses on is on international finance for sustainability. The Foundation’s grants in this area have totaled more than $105 million since 1988.
In a Q&A, Mott Program Officers Traci Romine and Sandra Smithey reflect on that grantmaking and the important changes — and challenges — in the field.
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