Our climate is on an unsustainable path and we must act now to change its dangerous trajectory. The Earth is warming due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that we are creating, much of them through the mining and combustion of fossil fuels. As our understanding of the Earth and climate change increases, so should our policies, our habits and our actions to ensure a better world for future generations.
Innovative Approaches: Climate change is affecting the polar regions more rapidly that other portions of the globe. Understanding the nature and speed of this change is critical in these sensitive regions. Vulcan is investing in projects that are creating and expanding the platforms and equipment needed so researchers can better understand sea ice and its reaction to climate change. The Smart City Challenge is a partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation to enable an innovative, ambitious and forward-thinking American city to lay a practical path to replacing carbon-based fuel consumption.
Strengthening Communities: Through the Foundation and personal philanthropy, Paul G. Allen and Vulcan have provided grants and funding of more than $50 million for forest preservation, research, education, development and management, protecting key land and habitats in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
Policy Change: In November 2014, Friends of the Earth and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, with the support of Paul G. Allen and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to require the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for the federal coal leasing program. In a blog post, Allen said "It is time for our government leaders to make informed decisions on how to best manage our public resources to meet our nation's energy needs."
The case was dismissed in D.C. District Court in August 2015 but a notice of appeal was filed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2015.
Vulcan commissioned a forward-looking analysis to understand the potential impacts of changes to the federal coal royalty system.
In January 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced plans to launch a comprehensive review to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program to ensure that it is properly structured to provide a fair return to taxpayers and reflect its impacts on the environment.
Public Engagement: Through films such as Racing Extinction and Pandora's Promise, Vulcan Productions uses storytelling and outreach initiatives to help audiences understand the effects of climate change, spark a dialogue about the solutions and bring about lasting change.
On December 8, 2014, Vulcan led a coalition that included the World Bank Group Connect4Climate, the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Obscura and Okeanos that collaborated to illuminate the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica at the opening of Pope Francis's Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Called Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home, the public art video projection reached a global audience at the same time global leaders gathered in Paris for the COP21 summit and featured remarkable images of the earth and all of its living creatures.