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Rockefeller Foundation To Pull The Plug On Climate Activism?


The Rockefeller Foundation intends to disband its 100 Resilient Cities initiative, the largest privately funded climate-adaptation program in the U.S., according to people familiar with the foundation’s plans.

The program was started by Rockefeller in 2013 to help U.S. cities — including Boston, Miami, New York and Los Angeles — as well as cities overseas prepare for threats related to climate change. Rockefeller plans to close the organization’s offices and dismiss its staff of almost 100 as soon as this summer, said the people, who asked to be anonymous because they weren’t authorized to discuss the move.

The Rockefeller Foundation didn’t respond to requests for comment. Neither did 100 Resilient Cities, which operates as a separate entity.

The potential shift comes as U.S. cities face increasing pressure from climate change, especially following a string of major natural disasters over the past two years. And it would coincide with a pullback in climate adaptation work by the Trump administration, which has reversed policies designed to prepare communities for global warming.

The resilience program, to which Rockefeller provided $164 million in grant money, pays for cities to hire “chief resilience officers’’ who develop and then implement strategies for coping with climate change. The initiative also gives cities access to the organization’s staff and external consultants, as well as to a global network of cities trying to grapple with similar problems….

The demise of 100 Resilient Cities may be tied to a change in leadership at the foundation. The initiative was created by Judith Rodin, who was president of Rockefeller from 2005 to 2017. Rodin didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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