Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation awarded $20 million in environmental grants

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The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced on Tuesday that it awarded its largest-ever portfolio of environmental grants of $20 million to more than 100 organisations all over the world aimed, among others, to support wildfire and habitat conservation projects, to aid the defence of indigenous rights, and to back grassroots efforts at combating climate change.

Founder and Chairman of LDF Leonardo DiCaprio presented the initiative during a climate change conference at Yale University, which was hosted by former Secretary of State John Kerry’s ‘Kerry Initiative’.

He said: “We are proud to support the work of over 100 organizations at home and abroad”.

“These grantees are active on the ground, protecting our oceans, forests and endangered species for future generations – and tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change”.

$1,436,750 was awarded to the California Programme, to help local efforts across the State of California to make the transition to fully sustainable food, energy and infrastructure.

LDF’s Climate Programme received $3,573,562 to projects contributing to the vision of 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and to projects protecting ecosystems.

The Wildfire and Landscape Conservation Programme received $6,360,000 for the protection of endangered wildfire by enabling cutting-edge conservation and restoration projects.

Marine Life & Oceans Programme received $3,756,000, and the Indigenous Rights Program received $796,500.

The Innovation, Media & Technology Programme comprises three distinct portfolios and received $4,077,568 in total.

The Innovation portfolio comprises grants for scientists, think tanks and NGO’s to support the development of a new data-driven research.

The Media portfolio will fund environmental journalism and climate change communication efforts, and the Technology portfolio will support cutting-edge technology.

Leonardo DiCaprio went on to address the urgent action that is needed to drive the large-scale, global shift from fossil fuels reliance, to a world that celebrates the power of renewable energy.

"There exist today many proven technologies in renewable energy, clean transportation, and sustainable agriculture that we can begin to build a brighter future for all of us".

“Our challenge is to find new ways to power our lives, employ millions of people and turn every individual into an advocate for clean air and drinkable water. We must demand that politicians accept climate science and make bold commitments before it is too late”.

Terry Tamminen, CEO of LDF commented: “This round of grants comes at a critical time. With a lack of political leadership and continued evidence that climate change is growing worse with record-breaking heatwaves and storms, we believe we need to do as much as we can now, before it is too late”.

After this last round of awarded grants, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has given in total $80 million since 1998.

You can read the full press release along with some highlighting projects from each programme here

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