Press Release
Newsletter Article


April 29, 2020

The 2030 Climate Challenge will Fund Solutions to Reduce Emissions in the Transportation, Buildings, and Industry Sectors

2030 Climate Challenge

CHICAGO - Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Lever for Change announced today the launch of the 2030 Climate Challenge, a national competition sponsored by an anonymous donor, which offers a $10 million grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 2030. While the impact of COVID-19 presents new challenges, the urgent need to find solutions to the climate crisis has not changed. In this spirit, the 2030 Climate Challenge seeks proposals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. in three sectors: buildings, industry, and/or transportation. Together, these sectors produce 63 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions according to the U.S. EPA.

“Over the last decade, we have started to see a shift away from an overreliance on coal-fired power plants in the U.S. towards newer, cleaner sources. While the good work in the electricity sector has to continue, we must also find scalable, rapid ways to decarbonize the three other key sectors in energy: transportation, buildings, and industry.”

Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation

Scientists have been increasingly sounding the alarm that global leaders must take drastic steps to reduce emissions by 2030 for us to have a reasonable chance of achieving the Paris climate agreement targets. According to a recent analysis by Nature, annual global GHG emissions increased by 14 percent between 2008-2018, compounding the urgency for more aggressive action sooner. In fact, 75 percent of GHG emissions come from 20 countries, and among these, the United States has historically been the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter and currently produces the second highest amount of emissions in the world. If the United States starts decarbonizing these sectors at scale in the next ten years i.e. by 2030, then we are more likely to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Failure in the United States almost guarantees global failure.

“There is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that we must act immediately and collectively to solve climate change,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “How we implement and scale the policies and tools we need to solve climate change most effectively is still a question and one that we hope applicants in the 2030 Climate Challenge will help to answer.”

Applicants must register online by Thursday, July 23, 2020, and applications are due no later than Thursday, August 20, 2020. The 2030 Climate Challenge is open to organizations or a coalition of organizations. Only registered 501(c)(3) entities—non-profit organizations and academic institutions—can serve as the lead applicant. Individuals, for-profits, and government agencies can participate as part of a coalition led by an eligible lead applicant. Competitive proposals will offer solutions that are impactful, feasible, scalable, and durable.

The highest-ranked proposals from the 2030 Climate Challenge and each of the competitions run by Lever for Change will be included in the newly-launched Bold Solutions Network. In addition to managing the 2030 Climate Challenge, Lever for Change is also managing five other $10-to-$100 million competitions addressing a variety of issues and ranging in scope from city-based to global:

More information on these and upcoming competitions can be found at

Media contact: Jill Geiger, 312-307-9688 or

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