Evaluation Period: 2014 – 2018
Total Awarded: $261,126,150
Total Number of Grants: 131
Geographic Focus: United States, India
The world is experiencing the disruptive effects of climate change. The principal cause is the accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping substances emitted by the burning of fossil fuels for energy production and the increasing use of land in ways that limit its ability to absorb greenhouse gases. There is scientific consensus that allowing the earth’s temperature to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will cause significant and ever-increasing negative impacts around the world such as rising seas, severe droughts, and food and water insecurity. Three countries are responsible for a large share of global emissions: United States, China, and India.
Since 2014 the MacArthur Foundation’s Climate Solutions program has invested over $260 million dollars to ensure our goal that global temperature rise stays well below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Our working theory of change is that the United States, India, and China must lead the world’s efforts to address climate change. Each nation will have its own style, approach, advances and setbacks, and goals; collectively they must ensure a steep decline in current and future greenhouse gas emissions within the next decade. If these three nations exert leadership on climate change, then other nations will be encouraged to follow suit, and humanity will be on a path toward ensuring global temperature rise stays well below 2 degrees Celsius.
In 2016, the Foundation engaged Grassroots Solutions to evaluate the Climate Solutions theory of change. At the highest level, the evaluation and learning partner is to answer two big-picture questions:
To answer these questions, the evaluation is designed to measure the ultimate contribution of the Climate Solutions program work and progress toward the specified goals of our efforts. It is also designed to better understand the contexts in which the work is taking place and identify and document what is working well and what needs to be adjusted.
Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used to assess the contribution of the Climate Solutions program and to determine if progress is being made towards desired outcomes in each country-specific context.
The purpose of each annual report is to facilitate learning and decision making. This report builds on the 2014-2017 Climate Solutions Big Bet Baseline and Landscape Report. In the 2018 annual report, Grassroots explores findings about progress towards desired impacts and outcomes, changes in the broader landscape that could help or hinder the Foundation’s work, and, to the extent possible, the contribution of the strategy to larger impacts:
From this report high-level takeaways included:
Subsequent reports will continue to report on the progress towards outcomes and impacts and changes in the landscape.
MacArthur’s evaluation philosophy ›
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