The ClimateWorks Foundation emerged from a study commissioned by six foundations: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Oak Foundation.
The 2007 study “Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming" (pdf), sought to answer a critical question: What would it take to achieve a real “win” in the battle against climate change?
The authors of Design to Win interviewed more than 150 of the world’s leading experts on energy, climate change, and forests to identify the top priorities for avoiding dangerous climate change. Using cost curves and other research, the Design to Win analysts ranked investments by their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their ability to prevent the “lock-in” of long-lived, carbon-intensive infrastructure.
Based on the findings of the Design to Win study, Hal Harvey, the environment program director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 2001 to 2008, founded the ClimateWorks Foundation in 2008 and served as its CEO until late 2011. Three foundations supported the launch of CWF: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation.