Electrification Coalition and Partners Selected as Finalists for $10 Million Climate Challenge

Electrification Coalition and Partners Selected as Finalists for $10 Million Climate Challenge

Award will identify solutions to decarbonize transportation, buildings and industry


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Contact: Marc Moorghen, 773-789-1714, mmoorghen@leverforchange.org


CHICAGO – Lever for Change announced that the Electrification Coalition is among the finalists for the 2030 Climate Challenge, a $10 million award launched last year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry and/or transportation sectors in the United States by 2030. The Challenge, sponsored by an anonymous donor, will fund proven, data-driven solutions ready to serve as a model for change in communities across the country.

The United States produces the second highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Three-quarters of these emissions derive mainly from four energy sectors: electricity, transportation, buildings and industry. As the country makes progress in decarbonizing the electricity sector, the other three key sectors together account for more than half of national greenhouse gas emissions.

“While the world is rolling out a rapid response to the coronavirus pandemic, there is no vaccine for climate change,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “The global nature of this threat requires a similar sense of urgency and commitment to significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. The solutions proposed by the finalists for the 2030 Climate Challenge are a promising start.”

The five finalist projects are:

  • Turning Point: Driving Southeast Transportation Electrification: The World Resources Institute, Electrification Coalition, EVHybridNoire and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will drive Southeast transportation electrification, increasing EV market share to 50 percent and reducing transportation emissions by 50 million tons per year by 2030.
  • Building with Biomass: Using Buildings to Sequester Carbon at Gigaton-Scale: The Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington, in partnership with Endeavour Center, University of Colorado Boulder and Building Transparency, proposes to convert buildings to carbon sinks by storing carbon in buildings using biogenic materials and reducing carbon emissions in all other building materials.
  • Decarbonizing U.S. Industry with Renewable Thermal Energy: World Wildlife Fund, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and David Gardiner and Associates will harness collective corporate demand through the Renewable Thermal Collaborative to drive investments in technology, markets, and policy to double industrial renewable thermal energy by 2025 and triple it by 2030, slashing industrial thermal emissions by 30 percent over the decade.
  • First Statewide Virtual Power Plant: Equitable Transition to Clean Energy: Solar United Neighbors, in partnership with Liberty Homes, Clean Energy Works, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Resource Media proposes to push the pedal to the floor on an inclusive financing tool that enables home energy upgrades to reach mass scale by assuring all households can participate regardless of their income, credit score, or renter status. It will create the first demonstration for the nation of full statewide residential sector decarbonization and creation of a statewide virtual power plant—all through equitable energy transition.
  • Scale Zero: Healthy, Zero-Emission, Affordable Housing for All: RMI, in partnership with Emerald Cities Collaborative, NYCEEC, Association for Energy Affordability, and Enterprise Community Partners, will decarbonize the nation’s building sector through a two-pronged campaign focused on policy and retrofits of multifamily, affordable housing in five states.


“This decade is a critical window in which to advance the policies and actions that will electrify the U.S. transportation sector,” said Ben Prochazka, national director of the Electrification Coalition. “We’re honored to be a finalist for the 2030 Climate Challenge, and we look forward to working with our amazing team of partners to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the Southeast.”

“Electrifying the transportation sector in America is an immediate strategy for reducing carbon emissions, and the Southeast is a critical region to focus on,” said Stan Cross, Electric Transportation Policy Director for SACE. “Although the region has been lagging in EV adoption, the market is gaining traction as the Southeast has captured over 30 percent of the nation’s EV manufacturing investment to date, leading to job growth and sparking state and local policymakers’ interest. We have the opportunity to transform transportation in the Southeast into a cornerstone of an equitable clean energy economy.”

“With transportation being the largest source of emissions in the United States, it is a critical time for the country to move toward clean electric cars, buses and trucks that not only benefit our climate but also our health and our economy,” said Dan Lashof, United States Director of World Resources Institute. “We are thrilled Turning Point has been selected as a finalist for the 2030 Climate Challenge. This prize would enable WRI and our partners to greatly accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in a pivotal region of the United States.”

Lever for Change is featuring the finalists for the 2030 Climate Challenge in its Bold Solutions Network. This Network seeks to match outstanding nonprofits and social enterprises from Lever for Change competitions with additional donors and funding.


Sixty-eight proposals were evaluated during a three-month process that included peer  reviews and a final review by an expert panel of more than 45 philanthropic and civic leaders and climate experts. Applications were evaluated based on four criteria: whether they were impactful, feasible, scalable and durable.


Over the next three months, the finalists will work with a team of technical experts to strengthen, revise and re-submit their proposed solutions for the $10 million award.


Donors interested in supporting 2030 Climate Challenge finalists projects may contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy at Lever for Change. A final grant recipient will be announced in the summer of 2021.


More information on the 2030 Climate Challenge can be found at www.2030climatechallenge.org.





Lever for Change

Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, helps donors to find and fund solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, ranging from racial and gender equity to economic development and climate change. Building on the success of the MacArthur Foundation’s $100 million competition, 100&Change, Lever for Change customizes and manages open and transparent competitions for donors. In addition, we match donors with nonprofits and social enterprises in our Bold Solutions Network whose solutions to significant social challenges were highly ranked after rigorous evaluation in one of our competitions. Currently, Lever for Change is managing nine competitions, ranging in size from $10-to-100 million, awarding $295 million to grant recipients and strengthening dozens of top organizations. For more information, visit www.leverforchange.org.

The Electrification Coalition

The Electrification Coalition is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes policies and actions to facilitate widespread deployment and adoption of electric vehicles across the United States. We work to accelerate transportation electrification through public policy development, market research, policy advocacy, implementation projects, technical support and innovative partnerships at the local, state and national levels.

Amy Malaki

Amy Malaki is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas, pioneering global leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production and supply. Prior to SkyNRG, Amy was the Associate Director for the transportation portfolio at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she developed philanthropic investment strategies to advance a sustainable, equitable and low-carbon mobility system. She also pioneered the organization’s international aviation decarbonization strategy. Prior to that she focused on Asia business development at Better Place, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle network startup. She has a B.A. in Chinese and China studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in international policy studies (energy and environment) from Stanford University.