What We Fund
The urgency of dealing with climate change, unsustainable consumption, and loss of biodiversity are the overall themes for the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation.
We work primarily in the United States, but only on national and international level issues. Any non-US funding must be multinational in scope and not focus on any specific country, region, or continent.
We favor projects that:
- take stock of the scale of the environmental problems
- use a systems approach to achieve change
- link policy, advocacy, and practical solution
- have international significance and perspective – even if US based
- are based on original thinking and creative ideas
Our typical grantees are small or midsize organizations with demonstrated leadership in developing strategy, communicating vision, and effective project performance. We do not provide core funding. Currently, we only evaluate projects that fall within one of the following categories:
Ecosystems Resilience, Protection and Restoration
- Ecosystem services - research and tools of relevance to large scale geographic areas including many countries and continents
- Natural greenhouse gas sequestration and storage with large-scale impact potential
Framework of Ecological Stability
- Economic models of living within global limits and practical implementation of change to a stable global ecosystem
- Sustainable consumption, production, and land use
- Carbon negative strategies, including climate engineering governance issues
Communication and Leadership
- Communicating value-based living with sustainable use of water, energy, and food resources
- New innovative initiatives to enhance international cooperation and knowledge-sharing
- Next generation leadership
On our latest programmatic focus on carbon negative strategies and climate engineering governance issues:
In the wake of the Paris climate agreement and in view of the need to limit global warming to 1.5°C there is more interest than ever in carbon negative strategies and climate engineering. A growing number of scientists and policymakers are advocating for research on, and the deployment of, technologies that would remove and sequester greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or that would reflect incoming solar radiation back into space. Since there currently is no systematic, coherent set of international legal governance frameworks in place to guide further climate geoengineering research and facilitate decision-making about any potential deployment, the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation has decided to supplement its twenty-year effort on climate mitigation with grant support to a limited number of climate engineering governance projects. VKRF does not fund research into climate engineering, and we do not take any position on the merits or risks of the various proposed technologies. Rather, VKRF wishes to ensure that thoughtful and practical international governance pathways exist to manage issues surrounding the consideration and implementation of technologies that, by their very nature, will have implications for the global environment. In our view, here as elsewhere, the precautionary principle should take precedence. As we learn more about the complexity of the governance and technical requirements of climate engineering, we will learn if the development of climate engineering technologies is untenable or something to carefully consider, given proper oversight and regulation. We need to know more about climate engineering, if only to discover what is and is not possible, and we need to be careful that investigation in this space is not driven solely by the interests of individual investors, scientists, or non-transparent governments.