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On Monday, the IKEA Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation announced that they will join forces to set up a $1 billion global platform to fight climate change and energy poverty.

The platform, launching this year, aims to empower 1 billion people with distributed renewable energy (DRE). This is renewable energy generated from sources such as mini-grid and off-grid solutions located near the point of use, rather than centralized sources like power plants.

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The new global platform will oversee the organizations’ combined matching funds.

It aims to deliver clean and reliable power to the 800 million people worldwide who lack electricity and a further 2.8 billion who have unreliable access.

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It will be run as a public charity to manage a concerted effort to rapidly channel development funds to life-changing projects on the ground.

While funding to support energy transition has increased at a global level, many organisations struggle to identify viable, investment-ready projects. As a result, many emerging economies still depend on unreliable and polluting energy sources. By creating a platform to deploy catalytic capital more efficiently, and at scale that supports the expansion of local renewable energy projects, governments will be better able to achieve renewable electrification and development targets.

“If global energy consumption doesn’t change from fossil fuels to renewable energy, we will not meet the Paris Agreement ambitions and millions of families will be left behind in poverty. We need to be honest and recognize that the current approach is not delivering the impact the world needs in the time that we have,” said Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation.

“Our collective ambition is to create a platform that supports renewable energy programmes which can deliver greenhouse gas reductions fast and efficiently and accelerate the energy transition. We need to replace polluting sources of energy with renewable ones, provide access to energy to communities and unlock further funding for sustainable models. Ultimately, we aim to unite countries and communities in urgent action to tackle the climate crisis and, by doing so, we hope to positively impact the lives of 1 billion people.”

“Millions of lives and trillions of dollars have been lost to Covid-19, forcing people back into poverty after decades of progress. The effects of the climate crisis will make this even worse, which is why we must invest now to reverse this downward spiral,” said Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.

“Big, bold, and pioneering collaboration and investment is required not only for the short term, but also the long term, to galvanize a better future. That is why we are announcing our largest commitment to date and joining forces with IKEA Foundation to double that investment. Our partnership will unlock the financing and resources that are essential to provide clean, reliable electricity that improves the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere.”

To facilitate the joint investment, The Rockefeller Foundation will incubate the platform in RF Catalytic Capital Inc., which the foundation launched in 2020. This offers an innovative way for impact investors, and governments to combine their resources and expand their global philanthropic reach.

The Rockefeller Foundation and the IKEA Foundation have a shared mission, backed by expertise and funds to achieve large scale greenhouse gas emission reductions and look forward to partnering together to improve lives and livelihoods around the world.

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