The Equation Campaign is a new ten-year funding initiative working to bring about a safe and just future by enhancing the power of movements to keep oil and gas in the ground.
The science is irrefutable: to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis, carbon emissions must be cut in half by 2030. While supporting the rapid growth of renewables and energy efficiency is essential, this support cannot solve the climate problem alone. There is a missing piece of the equation: stopping oil and gas at the source.
Studies show we can’t even burn all the oil and gas currently under production without pushing our climate over the brink. But instead of working towards a managed transition, the oil and gas industry is pushing for $1.4 trillion dollars worth of new infrastructure in the next five years. This expansion must be stopped.
As a society, we know exactly how to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis: We have the data, the money, the technology and enough time to achieve a smooth transition if we begin to shift course right now. We have everything we need to transform our future, except for one thing: the power to make it happen. The potential for mass mobilization around climate is unprecedented, and so is the need. Our strategies support the transformational change required, in the time science demands.
We will keep it in the ground by funding movements on the ground. We center and amplify voices of people on the frontlines, for whom the expansion of the oil and gas industry is a matter of life and death. This includes young people fighting for their future, indigenous people defending their land and water, farmers protecting their crop, black and brown communities living in the shadow of the industry’s operations, and poor people who are not responsible for global warming but who bear the brunt of its effects. Yet the truth is that in the climate crisis, we are all on the frontline; none of us can escape the impacts of climate change. Together, we can avert the worst of it.
The Equation Campaign supports the climate movement by funding resistance on the ground and diminishing the industry’s sources of financial support. We also make grants for strategic litigation and the legal defense of activists. And we work to revoke the industry’s social license by countering its deception and unmasking its deceit.
What We Offer And What Distinguishes Us
It is rare and refreshing to find a funding partner who is so aligned on mission, values and collaboration as the Equation Campaign. Their deep understanding of social justice and movement power, combined with their ability to move money fast make them ideal collaborators for collective impact. In addition to being funders, they are practitioners who have decades of experience lawyering and organizing to challenge climate-depleting industries and institutions steeped in injustice. They are bold and unapologetic about protecting the climate and advancing racial justice. Period.Conniel Malek
Executive Director, True Costs Initiative
(Equation Campaign Funding Partner)
As we move forward the Equation Campaign will aspire to the core tenets of Trust Based Philanthropy, which are to do our own due diligence rather than placing the onus on the grantee, to simplify and streamline paperwork, to be transparent and responsive, to solicit and offer feedback and to facilitate a range of support beyond the check. When it comes to support beyond the check, our team provides:
Expertise: We bring deep geographic, cultural, tactical, or issue-specific knowledge, connections, relationships, and expertise to inform funding decisions.
Leveraged Funding: We are alert to gaps in the movement, identifying unmet needs and responding with innovative new initiatives or other forms of support that will in turn generate greater giving by our partners. We often facilitate collaboration and strategic aggregation with other funders, pooling resources, and tracking collective impact.
Grantee Network Impact: We manage relationships and build networks across a range of grant partners and others including civil society leaders, lawyers and researchers. Our strategies reflect the linkages and synergies across issues, and seek to maximize impact by addressing the common roots of climate and racial injustice: corruption, inequality, greed, and the privileging of power and wealth over nature and health.
Adaptability: We navigate the legal guidelines and requirements for making grants to groups and movements that are not always traditionally structured. We are able to make many small grants to grassroots or community-based organizations in ways that large funders or those with small program or administrative staffs find challenging.
In sum, we are more than a donor — we are also campaigners, connectors, thought partners, co-producers, and all-around champions of our grantees. We are willing to do what it takes to help them wield their power and access new tools and tactics to thwart fossil fuel expansion and sustain their work through the long haul that it will take to achieve victory.
Mazaska Talks has been coordinating indigenous divestment and finance campaigns since Standing Rock, but we’ve always done it on a shoestring until the Equation Campaign gave us our first grant. This allowed us to provide stipends and cover core costs so that we could do more faster, and invite more native activists and youth to join our campaigns. Since then, they have worked with us to develop and expand our organization, connecting us with other funding, and collaborated with our fiscal sponsors to make it as easy for us as possible.Matt Remle (Hunkpapa Lakota) and Rachel Heaton (Muckleshoot)
Co-Founders, Mazaska Talks
(Equation Campaign Grantee)
We aim to:
Shift paradigms in philanthropy by spending more now. We are digging into our principal and accelerating our giving, knowing that the clock is running out, so our dollars are more valuable now than they will be in 10 years.
Be a movement funder, prioritizing grantmaking that helps center the power in communities and on the frontlines in climate campaigns. We are deliberate about ensuring that frontline voices and the voices of historically marginalized BIPOC groups are getting the resources that they need. We are constantly working to expand our expertise through a network representing voices not often listened to in climate philanthropy, namely Black, indigenous, Latinx, economically distressed communities, and the youth. With our network of activists, organizers, and experts, we find out where the “dots” are and fund the connections “between the dots” to ensure that powerful coalitions and movements have what they need to confront the fossil fuel industry.
Do what it takes by providing core funding to our grantees, responding rapidly to emergency needs, and offering technical support, training, skill-sharing, networks, and resources for legal advice and defense.
The founders of the Equation Campaign are Rebecca Rockefeller Lambert and Peter Gill Case, two Rockefeller family members and cousins who recognize the urgency of the moment and the window of opportunity. Rebecca, who raises her family in Maine, has a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources with a focus on climate and energy policy from the University of Vermont, and Peter, who lives in Providence RI, is an architect who works on sustainably developed buildings. Moved by their fierce love for their children, communities and the natural world, they are greatly accelerating their philanthropy, digging deep to disarm the fossil fuel industry from its destructive course. Recognizing the need to raise far greater resources for this battle, they hope to inspire others to do the same.
It’s time to invest more in Earth’s principal, so that not just our children but the world’s children can depend on homes that are reasonably safe from floods, fires, and war, so that they can depend on water to drink and land for crops, and live in a rich and biodiverse natural world. For more than 30 years, corporate behemoths have had a stranglehold on climate progress. I’m interested in leveling the playing field for those on the frontlines of climate change and the oil and gas expansion, who are rising up to protect our collective future.Rebecca Rockefeller Lambert
The Equation Campaign uses grantmaking as a tool, but at its heart it is a campaign to fast-track promising strategies, support movements, shift power, and develop and implement the initiatives that can dramatically reduce extraction and weaken the fossil fuel industry’s grip on our political processes. Our Executive Director, Katie Redford is no stranger to these battles. As a founding Director of EarthRights International, she spent decades as a human rights lawyer winning “impossible” victories against the same industries the Equation Campaign and its partners confront head on. Annie Plotkin-Madrigal, our Deputy Director, supports the coordination of our work and brings experience in highlighting and uplifting bold, innovative ideas from her previous work as Director of U.S. Fellowship at Ashoka. Corinne Gaston, our Operations and Knowledge Manager, supports the backend processes behind our grant partnerships, bringing her years of experience in communications and operation management at startups. Samantha Lumpkin, who recently joined our team as Senior Manager, brings her background of fundraising and marketing to strengthen our development and communications.
This team sources grantees and develops programs in partnership with a deep and trusted network of experts and luminaries we’ve met along the way, ranging from climate policy wonks to indigenous and local community leaders on the ground. We are working to constantly expand our expertise through a network representing voices not often consulted in climate philanthropy, namely Black, indigenous, Latinx, economically distressed communities, and young people. We are uniquely positioned to channel philanthropy where it’s most missing in the climate fight: to those doing the hard work closest to the polluting industries. In our first six months of operations, we saw our grantees achieve astounding results even while under pressures of police occupation and a global pandemic.