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Renewable Thermal Collaborative wins 2030 Climate Challenge

June 25, 2021

Industrial smoke stacks producing clouds of smoke over a city

Lever for Change, an affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has announced the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) as the winner of the $10 million 2030 Climate Challenge.

Sponsored by an anonymous donor, the challenge sought an "impactful, feasible, scalable, and durable" solution that cuts U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the building, industrial, and/or transportation sectors by 2030. Selected from nearly seventy proposals, RTC aims to slash industrial thermal emissions—which generate 12.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions—by 30 percent over the next decade by scaling renewable thermal energy solutions. With the goal of increasing industrial renewable thermal energy by 150 percent, the collaborative, created and jointly managed by the Center for Climate and Energy SolutionsDavid Gardiner and Associates, and the World Wildlife Fund, will drive investments that address the primary barriers to cost-effective renewable thermal energy solutions, including inadequate policy framework, technology that is undeveloped or too costly, and a lack of market and financing solutions.

The four other finalists announced in January 2021 were the Carbon Leadership ForumSolar United NeighborsRMI, and the World Resources Institute.

"The best initiatives aim to address big problems with bold targets and credible metrics to track progress. The Renewable Thermal Collaborative does all of these things," said WWF president and CEO Carter Roberts. "It will slash the growing but largely neglected emissions from industrial thermal energy use—without which there is no credible path to achieving our Paris Agreement targets. And it sets an ambitious goal of a 30 percent emissions cut by 2030, with a stepwise plan to get there over the next nine years. WWF is proud to partner with C2ES and David Gardiner and Associates on this initiative."

Tags: Philanthropy; Technology