The initiative aims to reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and improve 1 billion lives by kick-starting post-pandemic economic recovery and enabling emerging economies to leapfrog to renewable energy.

The IKEA Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation announced on 21 June 2021 they will join forces to set up a $1 billion global platform to fight climate change and energy poverty.

The platform – to launch this year – aims to empower 1 billion people with distributed renewable energy (DRE), energy generated from sources such as mini-grid and off-grid solutions, located near the point of use, rather than centralized sources like power plants.

The new global platform, which will be run as a public charity, will oversee the organizations’ combined matching funds and manage a concerted effort to rapidly channel development funds to life-changing projects on the ground. It aims to deliver clean and reliable power to the 800 million people worldwide who lack electricity, and a further 2.8 billion who have unreliable access.

While funding to support energy transition has increased at a global level, many organizations struggle to identify viable, investment-ready projects. As a result, many emerging economies still depend on unreliable and polluting energy sources.

By creating a platform to deploy catalytic capital more efficiently, and at scale that supports the expansion of local renewable energy projects, governments will be better able to achieve renewable electrification and development targets.

If global energy consumption doesn’t change from fossil fuels to renewable energy, we will not meet the Paris Agreement ambitions and millions of families will be left behind in poverty. We need to be honest and recognize that the current approach is not delivering the impact the world needs in the time that we have.

Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation

“Our collective ambition is to create a platform that supports renewable energy programmes which can deliver greenhouse gas reductions fast and efficiently and accelerate the energy transition,” Per added.

Polluting sources of energy need to be replaced with renewable ones, communities be provided with  access to energy and  further funding for sustainable models should be unlocked. Per said that the ultimate aim was to  unite countries and communities in urgent action to tackle the climate crisis and, by doing so, hope to positively impact the lives of 1 billion people.

Millions of lives and trillions of dollars have been lost to Covid 19, forcing people back into poverty after decades of progress. The effects of the climate crisis will make this even worse, which is why we must invest now to reverse this downward spiral,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation

 He said that big, bold, and pioneering collaboration and investment was required not only for the short term, but also the long term, to galvanize a better future.

“That is why we are announcing our largest commitment to date and joining forces with IKEA Foundation to double that investment. Our partnership will unlock the financing and resources that are essential to provide clean, reliable electricity that improves the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere.” Rajiv said.

To facilitate the joint investment, The Rockefeller Foundation will incubate the platform in RF Catalytic Capital Inc., which the foundation launched in 2020. This offers an innovative way for impact investors, and governments to combine their resources and expand their global philanthropic reach.

The Rockefeller Foundation and the IKEA Foundation have a shared mission, backed by expertise and funds to achieve large scale greenhouse gas emission reductions and look forward to partnering together to improve lives and livelihoods around the world.

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