The AKO Foundation Trustees have become increasingly concerned by the effect of the changing climate on current and future generations and on global biodiversity.  While acknowledging that they might have done so earlier, in 2019 they initiated a third principal strand of grant-making, under the category heading ‘Climate’. By flying, driving and so on the Trustees do not live a carbon-neutral life, and would not wish to imply that they do.  Nevertheless, they believe it is better to do something than nothing.  Accordingly, they seek to support charitable entities which they believe will have significant and lasting impact. 

Several of the Foundation’s beneficiaries within this Climate category are themselves re-granting organisations.  The Foundation is thereby able to benefit from their research, scale and networks, which in turn benefit, in many cases, from the experience and expertise of other major funders.  The Foundation has also been able to take advantage of the knowledge and advice offered by the Climate Leadership Initiative.

Having developed a portfolio of beneficiaries within this field, the Trustees now focus their grant-making in three sub-categories: coal-to-clean’, carbon disclosure, and natural solutions.  Although these are widely used terms, this classification is somewhat artificial; in practice, many of these organisations work across more than one of these three sub-categories. 

Selected Beneficiaries


Client Earth

AKO Foundation support since 2020

Client Earth is a UK charity that uses legal advocacy, advice and, where necessary, litigation in order to ensure that government policies and corporate investment behaviours comply with existing environmental, energy markets and state aid legislation in countries around the world. 

Energy Foundation China

AKO Foundation support since 2019

Energy Foundation China (EFC) is the largest climate-related grantmaker operating in China.  Dedicated to facilitating China’s sustainable energy development, and working closely with a wide range of both public and private sector bodies, EFC acts as regrantor, facilitator, and strategic adviser.  Its Beijing-based staff support policy research, the development of new standards, capacity building, and dissemination of best practices across multiple sectors of the economy, for example in key areas such as transport electrification, cooling efficiency, power sector reform, and green finance.

European Climate Foundation

AKO Foundation support since 2020

Founded in 2008, the European Climate Foundation  (ECF) is a strategic re-granter whose aims are to promote climate and energy policies that will reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to help Europe play a stronger international leadership role in mitigating climate change.  It undertakes research and technical analysis and strategic communications, convenes partnerships between policy-makers and other representative groups, and co-ordinates high-level political and diplomatic action. 

The Foundation provides unrestricted support to ECF; and has also made grants to the Pooled Fund on International Energy (PIE), a re-granting entity within ECF, towards shifting both the power and steel sectors from coal to clean.

Foundation for International Law for the Environment

AKO Foundation support since 2021

Foundation for International Law for the Environment (FILE) was established to accelerate legal action globally to address the crises in climate and biodiversity.  Through a combination of grant-making and in-house legal expertise, FILE collaborates with partners in countries around the world that seek to drive legal innovation and to bring high impact legal action and precedent-setting cases.  Rather than bringing cases itself, FILE aims to promote successful legal outcomes through access to key research, strategic communications, campaign alignment, and capacity building.

Carbon Disclosure


AKO Foundation support since 2019

CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) draws on the power and influence of investors and buyers to motivate companies, cities, regions and states to disclose and manage their environmental impacts.  It plays an important role as the leading disclosure platform covering more than 7,000 companies and 600 cities globally, on the premise that what cannot be measured, cannot be managed. 

Climate Arc

AKO Foundation support new in 2022

Climate Arc’s ambition is to see global capital flows aligned with global climate goals.  Through regranting, it assists participants in financial markets to incorporate climate science-based data into investment decisions and corporate transition plans; and it supports organisations that produce the raw data and analytics, anchored in climate science.

Natural Solutions

Basecamp Explorer Foundation

AKO Foundation support since 2019

The Basecamp Explorer Foundation (BEF) is the charitable arm of a Norwegian sustainable tourism business, which operates in the Arctic and in Kenya. 

In Kenya, Basecamp has had a long association with tribal chiefs in the Maasai Mara region; by collaborating with the local communities, BEF seeks to halt the diminution of the region’s wildlife..  The Foundation’s support has been used to lease, from local families, corridors of land that are critical for wildlife migrations; and also to contribute towards the capital cost of a new educational entity, the Wildlife Tourism College of Maasai Mara, which will train local people in the tourism and hospitality industries.

Conservation International

AKO Foundation support since 2020

Conservation International (CI) seeks to protect the earth’s natural assets by promoting sustainable economic growth and climate resilience. 

Rangelands (grasslands, savannah and shrub lands) cover nearly half the Earth’s land surface and provide direct livelihoods to 180 million people globally, including more than 20 million pastoralists in Africa.  For certain African communities, restoration and sustainable management of this land is essential to lift them out of poverty and to provide them with water, food and jobs.  In addition, rangelands play an important role in ecological processes across Africa, forming important water catchment areas in dryland countries. 

Cool Earth

AKO Foundation support since 2020

Introduced to the Foundation through the Give Back programme in 2020, Cool Earth is an environmental charity that works with rainforest communities to halt deforestation and its impact on climate change. 

Global Greengrants Fund

AKO Foundation support since 2021

Global Greengrants Fund and its affiliate in the US are re-granting entities, using a widespread network of expert advisers around the world to offer micro-grants to community organisations working in the fields of climate justice, healthy ecosystems and other environmental causes.  The Foundation made a 3-year grant to be used towards re-granting in agroecology, a practice and science that uses ecological concepts and principles in the design and management of sustainable agricultural ecosystems, thus empowering local communities to lever traditional knowledge, local seed production, local consumption of food, and crop diversification.

Live Ocean

AKO Foundation support since 2019

Live Ocean is an NGO based in New Zealand, working to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, and in particular the oceans around New Zealand.  It funds marine research and the transition of research data and conclusions into ocean health action; and it uses sailing events globally to promote ocean-friendly behaviour.

The Nature Conservancy

AKO Foundation support since 2021

The Nature Conservancy promotes the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment; biodiversity; sustainable development; and the education of the public regarding environmental and conservation issues.  The Foundation supports The Nature Conservancy’s work in ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ – the protection, restoration and sustainable management of forests, farms, wetlands and grasslands as a way both of reducing emissions, and also of enhancing mechanisms of carbon capture and storage.

World Resources Institute (WRI)

AKO Foundation support new in 2022

WRI has convened a group of donors, including the Foundation, to launch the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), a pan-African platform for advancing forest landscape restoration during this current critical decade.  Endorsed by the African Union in 2015, AFR100 comprises 31 African governments committed to begin restoring at least 100 million hectares by 2030.  The project works through local entrepreneurs and social enterprises, who may derive a commercial as well as ecological benefit from tree-planting and reforestation.

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