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Philanthropic and Long-term Sources of Capital in Clean Energy Finance

Philanthropists, making grants and program related investments, and family offices, using an array of investment mechanisms, can deploy significant capital to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology, beyond current funding provided by venture capital, private equity and project finance firms.   Philanthropic dollars can fill critical clean energy finance gaps that government and private sector dollars cannot fund, but many barriers remain in the way of realizing this potential.  Family offices, generally enjoying a significant degree of independence and creativity, have a track record of pioneering replicable and scalable investment structures, later adopted by institutional investors, such as university endowments as well as pension and sovereign wealth funds.  Led by Alicia Seiger, this project will engage philanthropic and long-term sources of capital to devise and scale up new approaches to clean energy finance.

As part of the ongoing effort of this project, the center launched a workshop series called Investing in a New Climate, which aims to arm investors with portfolio strategies, data sources, and tools for navigating climate risk and capitalizing on innovation opportunities.   The goal of these salons is to move beyond the simple "divest" narrative and towards strategies that have real efficacy for environmental and economic outcomes.  The first event in the series was held in February 2015, and was targeted family office investors.  Future events will target pension funds, university and foundation endowments, sovereign wealth funds, and insurance companies.  For more information visit Investing in a New Climate.