The IKEA Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation announced today a joint initiative targeting climate change and energy poverty, with the establishment of a $1 billion platform, focused on distributed renewable energy (DRE).

According to the foundations, the new platform aims to reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and 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.

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, said:

“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.”

The distributed energy platform will supply 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. According to the foundations, the creation of a platform to deploy catalytic capital more efficiently, and at scale that supports the expansion of local renewable energy projects, will better enable governments to achieve their renewable electrification and development targets.

Per Heggenes, CEO IKEA Foundation, said:

“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.

“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, reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and, by doing so, we hope to positively impact the lives of 1 billion people,”