Green Watch

The Sequoia Climate Foundation: Climate Colonialism

The Sequoia Climate Foundation and America’s Secretive Climate Colonialist (full series)
The “Secretive U.S. Vulture Fund” | Following Fred’s Money
Funding of Anti-Energy Radicals | Climate Colonialism

Climate Colonialism

The World Resources Institute (WRI) received $10.4 million from the Taylor nonprofits during the period, with nearly all of it coming during the two Sequoia-funded years.

The U.S.-based nonprofit WRI is an exceptional example of the climate colonialism supported by Sequoia. A 2018 news release promoting a WRI award ceremony in Washington, DC, said the event was for anti-energy activists who “protected South Africa from an unprecedented expansion of the nuclear industry.”

My, what heroes!

At least $180.5 million of the $450 million in Wellspring/Sequoia climate policy grants given during the 2020 through 2022 donor years—40 percent of the total—went to either nonprofits operating outside the United States or American groups (such as WRI) with a worldwide remit.

The Netherlands-based European Climate Foundation received a cumulative total of at least $106.4 million during the period from Wellspring and then Sequoia. Typical of the Taylor-supported groups, the ECF proposes to eliminate the use of hydrocarbon fuels and supports the deployment of weather-dependent wind and solar energy systems.

Sequoia Climate Foundation president Christie Ulman holds one seat on the ECF board. Representatives from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies—two other multi-billion-dollar pots of American left-wing climate and energy mischief—fill two other seats on the 12-member board of the supposedly European group.

On a per-capita basis, perhaps no nation has been a greater target of Taylor’s climate colonialism than Australia.

There are only 27 million Australians. It’s not even one of the planet’s 50 largest populations, and they account for just 1 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. Nonetheless, one of biggest recipients of Wellspring/Sequoia climate policy bucks over the 2020–2022 period was the Sunrise Project, an Australian nongovernmental organization. (Despite the name, it has no known relation to the aforementioned American-based Sunrise Movement.)

Sunrise of Australia is an anti-energy nonprofit that pressures banks to refuse financing for hydrocarbon energy projects and promotes instead the deployment of weather-restricted wind and solar power.

It isn’t clear whether Sunrise Australia has adopted a policy regarding nuclear energy, but it really doesn’t need one. Even though Australia is one of the world’s leading exporters of uranium, it perversely has a long-standing prohibition on the use of nuclear power.

Sunrise Australia received $8 million from Wellspring in 2020, then $5 million from Sequoia in 2021, and another $6.5 million from Sequoia for 2022. The $19.5 million total makes the Australian nonprofit the fourth-largest single recipient of Taylor’s anti-energy spending during the period.

Opposing hydrocarbon fuels in the Land Down Under means Taylor is literally attacking the only reliable energy Aussies can still legally produce. Unless they legalize nuclear, their remaining major energy alternatives would be weather-dependent wind and solar power . . . or returning to the 19th century.

Not coincidentally, these intermittent power systems are the energy options preferred by nearly all the Wellspring/Sequoia supported nonprofits.

Add to all this Australia’s geographical isolation and small population. It’s difficult to imagine another rich industrial nation where anti-energy climate colonialists could realize a bigger bang for the buck.

It almost resembles the behavior of a secretive hedge fund billionaire seeking a uniquely vulnerable arbitrage opportunity.

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…
+ More by Ken Braun