China Sustainable Energy Program: David and Lucile Packard Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 1999

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



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Throughout most of the 1990s, China experienced 8 percent annual GDP growth. This rapid modernization created enormous opportunity for millions of Chinese, but it also carried with it significant hazards. Among the risks was the very real possibility that China would destroy its natural environment for the sake of continued industrialization and economic growth. Such an environmental disaster could have environmental implications on a global scale—rapidly accelerated global warming, for instance. But it could also cause political and economic turmoil. As more and more nations require ever larger shares of a limited pie of energy resources, geopolitical stability would inevitably be undermined.
In 1999, the Packard Foundation committed $22.2 million over five years for the China Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP). The program was to be managed by the Energy Foundation and would aim "to assist in China’s transition to a sustainable energy future by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy." In 2002, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation joined the program with a grant of $2 million for the program’s transportation work.



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