Planting seed money: Rockefellers and Ikea to give $1bn for ...

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Planting seed money: Rockefellers and Ikea to give $1bn for clean energy

Their charities are targeting projects in the developing world in the hope that more capital will follow

Leslie Kaufman and Jess Shankleman

In a move to kick-start the energy transition globally, the Ikea Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation have announced that they will each donate $500m (R7.134bn) to support distributed renewable generation projects in developing nations.

Roughly 2.8 billion people worldwide don’t have access to reliable power, according to the UN, but the two philanthropies estimate these funds will bring energy to a billion of them over the next decade. Further, since the partnership will target communities that might otherwise rely on fossil fuels for power generation either now or in the future, they expect that the combined gift will reduce carbon emissions by a billion tons.

“Really nothing has ever been attempted even close to this sort of scale when it comes to bringing renewable energy to the world’s poor,” said Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. The two foundations said their money will be used to “de-risk” the sort of projects private capital has tended to shy away from, and will be shared through a new third public charity. This, Shah said, will help increase their leverage through private corporations and international development agencies...

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