Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program is funded by the following foundations and individuals. All donations are philanthropic gifts.
J. Baker Foundation
The Blue Marble Fund
OW Caspersen Foundation
The Crows Nest Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Constance C. and Linwood A. Lacy Jr. Foundation
The Open Philanthropy Project
Pritzker Innovation Fund
Ronin Private Investments LLC
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Tansy Foundation
Teza Technologies LLC
The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
Laura and John Arnold
G. Leonard Baker, Jr.
The Imperial Family
Chris and Crystal Sacca
In addition to Harvard’s standard funding policies, SGRP follows two further policies:
- We do not accept anonymous donations.
- We do not accept donations from corporations, foundations, or individuals if the majority of their current profits or wealth come from the fossil fuel industry unless they can clearly demonstrate that they do not have a conflict of interest and present a strong track record of supporting efforts to address climate change.
We are concerned that fossil fuel companies or other interests will seek to exploit solar geoengineering as a pretext for delaying reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We do not want donors who are (or could reasonably be construed as being) motivated to support solar geoengineering research to protect fossil fuel industries. For purposes of excluding such donors, we consider a rough weighting system as a guide. We rate the donor's ties to fossil fuels on a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 has no connection with fossil fuels and 5 has nearly all of their current wealth and social connections tied to coal. Then, we rate the donor’s commitment to climate from 1 for a donor who has long devoted a majority of their time and resources to climate action to 5 for a donor who has no visible interest in climate. We then take the product of the two ratings, rejecting donors with a multiplicative combined rating that is larger than 10.
We would like to elaborate on this last point. We take issues of conflict of interest very seriously. And we take the “moral hazard” concern very seriously—the idea that research or even discussion on solar geoengineering could reduce incentives to mitigate. The world must reduce greenhouse emissions to zero, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to address the root cause of climate change. Solar geoengineering does and will not change this fact.
We offer a few examples of our funding decisions:
- We would not accept funding from Exxon both because the company would benefit from prolonging the use of fossil fuels and because it has clearly undermined efforts to meaningfully address climate change. In other words, we would rate Exxon with a 5 x 5 = 25.
- We would accept funding from Tom Steyer or The Rockefeller foundation because they no longer would benefit from a delay in fossil fuel use even though their wealth was generated from investments in the fossil fuel industry (N.B. neither have donated to SGRP, this is illustrative.) Here, we would rate Rockefeller as 3 x 2 = 6.