Talk about burying the lede.
The Rockefeller Foundation announced April 1 that it was donating $30M to the Atlantic Council to support its work in helping cities meet the environmental and climate change threats facing cities, which will account for 75 percent of humanity by 2050.
The press release’s headline played it up straight: "The Rockefeller Foundation Announces a $30M Grant to the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council.”
The Rockefeller Foundation has been in the forefront on climate and resilience over the past decade. It has invested about $500M to help urban areas address the physical, social and economic challenges facing global communities.
The release headline read like the Foundation was bolstering an ally.
Under its 100 Resilient Cities initiative, the Foundation provided funds for more than 80 cities to hire chief resilience officers, according to its April 1 release.
The 100RC has forged a network of city leaders/partners and guided areas in post-disaster phases to rebuild with resilience in mind. More than 2,600 projects and initiatives have been proposed with more than $3B leveraged to implement them.
And now the kicker. In paragraph seven of the release, the Foundation informs readers that it has a “long history of incubating projects and entities that have matured to become independent organizations in their own right.”
In order to sustain and institutionalize 100RC, the Foundation is kicking in $12M “to allow continued support and transition time to the 100RC network through much of 2019."
Hammer time arrived in paragraph eight: “With a new grant in place to the Atlantic Council and new structures within the Rockefeller Foundation to carry forward its resilience work, the grant that funds 100RC will conclude in 2019.”
See ya, 100RC.
The result: New York, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and overseas cities threatened by climate change are left high and dry (pun intended) by the Rockefeller Foundation’s decision to pull the plug on the 100RC.
“This morning our staff of 86 was informed that their last day would by July 31, 2019—myself included—with severance following,” 100RC spokesperson Andrew Brenner told Bloomberg via email.
The Rockefeller exit from 100RC comes as the Trump administration, which doubts global warming, has reversed Obama policies designed to prepare communities for global warming.
The April 1 release could have been a not-so-funny April Fools' Day prank.
If only that was true.