San Diego Foundation


San Diego Foundation’s Climate Initiative 

Since 2006, San Diego Foundation’s Climate Initiative has provided leadership and philanthropic investment to create a more sustainable path towards economic growth and a higher quality of life for San Diego’s diverse communities. The Initiative aims to advance science-based, collaborative development of local policies and programs that reduce our region’s polluting emissions and minimize local risks from climate change.  

Our Strategy

Tackling climate change will require an unprecedented level of cooperation and commitment from every member of our community, from public and private agencies to San Diego’s diverse communities and leaders. San Diego Foundation’s Climate Initiative was established to provide philanthropic leadership and investment in efforts that move the region towards a more sustainable path of economic growth and a higher quality of life for all San Diegans. Through this initiative we hope to build equitable climate resilience through the following strategies: 

  • Supporting environmental research to inform regional climate action and response;
  • Supporting climate education and cross-sector collaboration;
  • Supporting community-driven climate action, adaptation, and resilience planning; and
  • Supporting local climate projects with measurable verifiable environmental benefits.

Positioning for Impact  

For those seeking to make progress on complex issues like sustainability, climate change, and community resilience, working with and through community foundations is a strategic way to deepen impacts of local investments. Community foundations like the San Diego Foundation have established trust, insight, and connections with San Diego’s diverse communities. This comprehensive understanding of San Diego’s needs uniquely positions the organization to advance understanding of and progress on localized issues like water use and supply, air quality, land use, and disaster preparedness.  

Since 2006, SDF has catalyzed greater regional action to help San Diego prepare for the serious impacts of a changing climate. To date we have:

  • Invested more than $6 million to build regional climate resilience through research, cross-sector partnerships, education, and community engagement that has informed public policy and enhanced public understanding of local impacts from climate change. 
  • Funded 34 research grants totaling $1.7 million to provide a road map for local governments and public agencies to proactively develop sustainable climate preparedness plans.  
  • Published California’s first regional assessment of climate change impacts, the 2050 is Calling Study in 2014 and funded follow up research to map the risks from climate change along San Diego’s coastline 
  • Partnered with technical experts to provide climate planning assistance to all 19 local jurisdictions and cities in the San Diego region, resulting in 18 Climate Action Plans

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