Joyce Program Environment

A healthy environment is essential for the next generation to thrive in the Great Lakes region.

The Joyce Foundation is addressing two of the region’s critical long-term environmental challenges: climate change and protecting the Great Lakes. Climate change is the biggest intergenerational threat to our communities and our planet, and failure to address it would hinder progress across all sectors of our economy and society. Joyce will continue to advance public policies that address climate change, but for the first time include clean energy strategies specifically designed to remedy energy-related economic and equity issues facing the next generation in our region. For more than two decades, Joyce has been a leading foundation funder of policy work related to the Great Lakes. We will continue to pursue efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes, while adding add a new area of focus to help ensure that everyone in our region has access to safe, clean, affordable drinking water.

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Climate Solutions

Because carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for a century after it is emitted, avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require deep reductions in global warming pollution between now and 2050, and especially between now and 2030. The most realistic paths to achieving such deep reductions in the United States rely on meeting three objectives: (1) switch electric power generation to 100 percent renewable, nuclear, and other carbon-free sources; (2) replace fossil fuel use in all sectors with non-carbon alternatives, including carbon-free electricity; and (3) deploy all cost-effective energy efficiency technologies to avoid having to build the most expensive clean power sources. For the foreseeable future, the most effective method of achieving the first and third of these objectives in our region will be continual strengthening and aggressive implementation of state utility policies related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. To address the second objective, we will begin work to replace fossil fuel use in the transportation sector.

Joyce will support the adoption of high-impact, evidence-based climate solutions policies through combinations of research and policy development, public and stakeholder engagement, and direct policymaker outreach. Across its climate solutions policy work, the foundation will put a priority on supporting people from highly impacted communities to participate in policy making.

Goal

Make the Great Lakes region a leader in fighting climate change by accelerating the transition to clean energy systems.


Objectives

Great Lakes

One of every five gallons of fresh water on the surface of the planet is found in the Great Lakes, which provide clean, abundant drinking water for 40 million people in our region. Yet the future health of the lakes is far from assured, given major threats to their physical, chemical, and biological integrity. Public and private decisions made in the next decade will likely determine whether the Great Lakes will be healthy enough to provide for the next generation as they have provided for us. In addition, water crises in Flint and Toledo have eroded public confidence in the safety of drinking water.

Joyce will support efforts to address threats to the health of the Great Lakes and their vital role in the region’s economy and quality of life. We also will begin work to help ensure that everyone has access to clean, affordable drinking water. We will focus first on two issues that pose significant threats to the next generation of Great Lakes residents: the risks posed by lead contamination in drinking water, and the need to repair or replace much of our aging water infrastructure while ensuring water services are affordable for all. In addressing these critical areas, Great Lakes grants will focus on research and policy development, public and stakeholder engagement, and direct policymaker outreach. The foundation will put a priority on supporting people from highly impacted communities to participate in policy making.

Goal

The next generation in our region will have healthy Great Lakes, including clean water from lake to tap.


Objectives

What We Fund

We focus on initiatives that make an impact on the Great Lakes region.

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How To Apply

Learn about our submission process for applying for a grant.

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Our Research & Reports

Explore our research & reports on Environment.

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