Environment, Energy & Health in the 21st Century

As more local communities make the connection between their living environment, the economy, jobs and climate, the New World Foundation’s place-based grantmaking is critical to building community resilience in the face of climate disruption.

From ranchers in Montana or farmers along the Mississippi or miners in Appalachia to residents of the major urban metros like Los Angeles and Boston, to immigrant laborers on farms across the nation, the negative impact of our fossil fuel economy on land, water, and air is calamitous.

As an early supporter of the environmental justice movement in the 1990s, NWF funded the anti-toxics movement and key environmental justice anchors and networks, as well as the two people of color environmental summits during that decade. As the environmental justice movement evolved, New World Foundation’s grantmaking expanded to include land use, transportation, and climate.

In the 2000s, NWF made grants to frontline organizations in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines working on these issues. While we do not have an active international docket now, we are open to exploring the international links and connections to our domestic grantmaking and always analyze our work in the global context.

Now, the New World Foundation supports work that aims to reverse the devastating impact of society’s dependence on fossil fuels. We focus on communities calling for toxic cleanups; urban health activists concerned about soaring asthma rates; unions demanding better workplace health and safety; Native Americans fighting for sovereignty and land rights; farm workers exposing the dangers of pesticides; Appalachians trying to stop mountaintop removal coal-mining; and rural communities working to halt the harm from natural gas fracking.

Our range of work includes:

  • Launching collaborative pooled and donor-advised funds to spearhead work on fracking, sustainable agriculture, and food systems
  • Organizing tours for funders exposing the impact of toxins in rural communities, and coal in Appalachia, and water pollution in urban settings
  • Convening multi-issue funder briefings to introduce new leaders and organizations in order to underscore the overlapping impact of climate issues with a social justice agenda
  • Working closely with environmental health funders to incorporate environmental justice into their grantmaking
  • Designing multi-session education seminars for young donors
  • Funding both of the Environmental Justice Summits over the past decade