Climate and Energy


Climate change is the defining issue of our day. It is an urgent global crisis that affects every problem philanthropy seeks to solve, whether it’s improving health, alleviating poverty, reducing famine, promoting peace, or advancing social justice. To safeguard human health and the environment, the Hewlett Foundation supports work to ensure that energy sources are clean and efficient, and that global average temperature rise does not exceed 2° Celsius.

Our grantmaking focuses on six sectors where large emission reductions are possible: clean power, oil, efficiency, forests, non-CO2 greenhouse gases, and finance. We concentrate on regions that are or will be the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions: developed countries with high energy demand, and developing countries with fast-growing energy demand or high deforestation rates.


Clean power

Reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy and efficiency, and accelerate the global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.


Increase zero-emissions technologies in both passenger and freight transport, improve use and quality of public transit, and increase shared-use transportation, biking and walking options in cities while reducing use of oil for transportation.

Energy efficiency

Promote energy efficiency across the board – in buildings, in national standards, household appliances, large-scale projects, and in industries.

Non-CO2 forcers

Phase out potent non-carbon greenhouse gases – such as fluorinated gases, especially hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – that cause rapid climate change, and promote solutions that minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Forests and land use

Promote the protection of the world’s largest forests, which absorb carbon emissions and help to counteract climate change, recognize the land rights of indigenous peoples, and reduce destructive land-use practices.


Increase capital investments in low-carbon technologies that promote climate solutions and incorporate climate risks into financial decision making to reflect the true costs of climate change.

Ideas + Practice

Our Grantmaking

ClimateWorks Foundation
for general operating support
Aligned Intermediary
for investor education in climate infrastructure
Energy Foundation
for renewables integration and wholesale market reform
United Nations Foundation
for the California Global Climate Summit and the US Climate Alliance

Our Team

Jonathan Pershing [Headshot]
Jonathan Pershing 
Program Director
Mary Flannelly 
Program Associate
Claire Genese 
Program Associate
Liz Judge
Liz Judge 
Communications Officer
Cristina Kinney 
Program Associate
Erin Rogers
Erin Rogers 
Program Officer

Learn More

The stakes are enormous. Melting ice and the resulting rise in sea levels are accelerating beyond predictions, and dangerous tipping points once thought to be a century away may now occur in years and decades. The impact of climate change in its current course is a serious global threat that must be addressed. Science tells us that we need to make drastic changes in the way we use energy over approximately the next decade to prevent irreversible climate change.

That is why in 2008, the Hewlett Foundation decided to make a five-year, $500 million commitment to supporting efforts to solve climate change. In 2013, we renewed our commitment and pledged another $500 million through 2018.

Our climate change grantmaking support efforts that can have the greatest impact in achieving climate pollution reductions. This means focusing on developed countries with high energy demand, such as the United States and European Union nations, as well as developing countries with fast-growing energy demand such as China and India, and countries with high deforestation rates such as Brazil and Indonesia.

Our energy and climate work emphasizes developing policies and building a broad base of support in constituencies essential for policy change: business, national security, public health, environmental groups, and groups representing diverse populations and communities hit by climate change. We track progress by measuring the emission reductions resulting from climate and clean energy policies that governments adopt, and on building political will for action on these policies.

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