As part of a larger effort to support environmental causes, including clean energy, wildlife and habitat conservation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) has granted $20 million to more than 100 organizations across the globe. Of that it gave nearly $3.6 million to its climate program supporting renewable energy organizations across the world, including two specifically aimed at increasing solar power in the US and abroad.
“We are proud to support the work of over 100 organizations at home and abroad. These grantees are active on the ground, protecting our oceans, forests and endangered species for future generations—and tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change,” DiCaprio said of the grants. DiCaprio has previously spoken out for Congress to take action on climate change.
Of the climate program funds, Re-volv received a $120,000 grant to expand its crowd-funding efforts to install solar power on schools, community centers, homeless shelters, churches and other non-profits. Under the grant the foundation will provide matching funding on a dollar for dollar basis.
“The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is excited to support RE-volv,” said Gregory Lopez, climate program director of LDF. “Not only is their work important in deploying solar energy and reducing greenhouse gasses, their unique model provides an introduction of accessible, renewable energy to new communities.”
The organization also announced funding for SunFunder, which has created the Beyond the Grid Solar Fund (BTG Fund), a $50 million fund to install solar energy in off-grid and grid-deficit areas in Africa and South Asia. The organization found that one of its household solar installations will provide energy access for five people saving each household around $80 a year. “This means children can study after dark, families avoid the fire and health risks of kerosene lighting, while new businesses can get started or stay open longer,” Lopez said of the award.
“Over the past few years, SunFunder has made 98 loans to 30 solar companies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, while maintaining a 100% repayment rate for investors and a default rate below 1 percent,” Lopez said. “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 has been avoided annually.”
The foundation said it’s the largest-ever portfolio of environmental grants it’s offered, and has increased LDF’s financial impact to over $80 million since 1998. Beyond the grants to solar foundations, it’s also supporting wildlife and habitat conservation, aiding indigenous rights, and combating climate change efforts. It’s also focusing on marine life and ocean conservation and LDF’s California program.Tweet