In 2017, our Earth continued to warm at an alarming pace, settling in as the third warmest year on record. The world saw firsthand how warming temperatures threaten our planet’s natural systems with an unprecedented string of extreme hurricanes, floods, and wildfires that cost over $100 billion in damages.
LDF’s Climate Program is built on a strategy of action that accelerates the best solutions to climate change, like the global transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. The Solutions Project Fighter and Ecosystem Movement Funds support leaders on the ground that are fighting for 100% renewable energy in their communities.
As part of COP23, LDF partnered with the Fijian Government to launch the Fiji Rural Electrification Fund (FREF), a non-profit trust that will bring solar and battery systems to rural villages across Fiji. Currently, about 10% of Fijians live off-grid and either have no access to electricity, or, are utilizing dirty, and polluting diesel generators. FREF will bring affordable climate solutions to these communities, with all payments being recycled to finance future installations and maintenance.
LDF also places a priority on implementing natural climate solutions that serve an important role in both climate change mitigation as well as adaptation. In 2017, we supported WILDCOAST as they laid the groundwork to protect over 71,000 acres of mangroves in Mexico that hold approximately 26.7 million tons of CO2. Not only do these blue forests sequester vast amounts of carbon, they also provide numerous ecosystem benefits like protection against storm surges and acidifying waters.
And lastly, LDF believes in supporting innovative approaches to galvanize action on climate change. SunFunder is utilizing an innovative finance model to bring solar to Sub-Saharan Africa through their $50M Beyond the Grid Solar Fund. To date, 2.7 million people have been directly impacted by SunFunder's financing of clean, affordable solar power and, as a result, 200,000 tons of CO2 have been avoided annually.
LDF ACTION HIGHLIGHTS
· RE-volv, with match funding by LDF, launched and completed 5 solar crowdfunding campaigns for non-profits in the US. Together, these installations will prevent over 1 million pounds of CO2 emissions over their lifetime.
· Our Children’s Trust (OCT), the group representing the voice of youth in a ground-breaking climate change lawsuit against the U.S. Federal Government, achieved notable successes, including winning the right to have their case heard by a US District Court in late 2018.
· Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) has received pledges from over 11,250 individuals and congregations across the US to commit to reduce their carbon footprints in their homes or houses of worship.
· CarboTax, an initiative supported by LDF, allowed people to voluntarily report and offset their carbon footprint and raised over $750,000 for innovative ocean and forest conservation projects.