Finalists Announced for the 2030 Climate Challenge

Credit: Super Tiny Magnet

On February 9, 2021, Lever for Change announced five finalist teams that will advance in the next stage of the 2030 Climate Challenge, a competition for a $10 million grant sponsored by an anonymous donor. One of the finalists will be selected as the recipient in the summer of 2021.

Selected from a pool of 68 applicants, these projects are focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in the U.S. by 2030.

The finalists are listed below in alphabetical order (follow links to their profile pages for more information):

  • Building with Biomass: Using Buildings to Sequester Carbon at Gigaton-Scale: The Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington, in partnership with Endeavour Center, University of Colorado Boulder, and Building Transparency, proposes to convert buildings to carbon sinks by storing carbon in buildings using biogenic materials and reducing carbon emissions in all other building materials.
  • Decarbonizing U.S. Industry with Renewable Thermal Energy: World Wildlife Fund, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and David Gardiner and Associates will harness collective corporate demand through the Renewable Thermal Collaborative to drive investments in technology, markets, and policy to double industrial renewable thermal energy by 2025 and triple it by 2030, slashing industrial thermal emissions by 30% over the decade.
  • First Statewide Virtual Power Plant: Equitable Transition to Clean Energy: Solar United Neighbors, in partnership with Liberty Homes, Clean Energy Works, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Resource Media proposes to push the pedal to the floor on an inclusive financing tool that enables home energy upgrades to reach mass scale by assuring all households can participate regardless of their income, credit score, or renter status. It will create the first demonstration for the nation of full statewide residential sector decarbonization and creation of a statewide virtual power plant—all through equitable energy transition.
  • Scale Zero: Healthy, Zero-Emission, Affordable Housing for All: RMI, in partnership with Emerald Cities Collaborative, NYCEEC, Association for Energy Affordability, and Enterprise Community Partners, will decarbonize the nation’s building sector through a two-pronged campaign focused on policy and retrofits of multifamily, affordable housing in five states.
  • Turning Point: Driving Southeast Transportation Electrification: The World Resources Institute, Electrification Coalition, EVHybridNoire, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will drive Southeast transportation electrification, increasing Electric Vehicle market share to 50% and reducing transportation emissions by 50 million tons per annum by 2030.
About the 2030 Climate Challenge

Launched in early 2020 by an anonymous donor, the 2030 Climate Challenge will fund a $10 million project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in the U.S. by 2030.

Over the next few months, the finalists will work with a team of technical experts to strengthen, revise, and re-submit their proposed solutions for the $10 million Challenge grant.

Donors interested in learning more about funding 2030 Climate Challenge projects may contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy at Lever for Change.

Additional information about the Challenge and finalists can be found in the finalist announcement press release.