Climate Change & Environment

We believe that climate change is the single most pressing problem facing our planet and that we must all do our part to address it.

For over a decade, this has been a priority for our Foundation.

John McCall MacBain was a founder and founding chair of the European Climate Foundation, which has pushed for ambitious climate action in Europe and globally.

In 2019, the Foundation updated its climate change strategy to reflect new evidence and new opportunities. Today we work primarily in Europe and Canada, focusing our efforts where each geography can play a disproportionate role in realizing climate solutions. The McCall MacBain Foundation’s strategic priorities are:

Strategy 1: Investing in immediate and deep emissions reductions that can be achieved within the next decade

The latest climate science makes clear the urgent need for greenhouse gas emission reductions over the next decade if we are to keep open the possibility of a world where temperature increases are kept well below 2ºC. We seek to accelerate these reductions through two areas of focus.
First, we support initiatives that can significantly reduce emissions of super pollutants over the next decade, with a focus on methane from oil & gas. Super pollutants have greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide yet live in the atmosphere for a short period. Limiting emissions has a significant benefit that is felt immediately. Despite this, philanthropic funding to reduce short-lived climate pollutants like methane is limited. The Foundation focuses on the policy and on-the-ground actions that can help achieve rapid and deep reductions of short-lived climate pollutants.
Second, we support nature-based climate solutions. Our reliance on healthy and resilient landscapes is increasingly clear, and the latest science points strongly to an overlooked and critical role for nature and our management practices to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon. Our goal is to support initiatives that build the resilience of our land base and the livelihoods that depend on them while adding significantly to climate solutions.
Grantees in this strategy include Nature United, Environmental Defense Fund, FluxLab at St. Francis Xavier University, WWF-Switzerland, and the European Climate Foundation.

Spotlight on Our Grantees


WWF is an international conservation organization known for protecting fauna, flora, and ecosystems around the world. In Switzerland, WWF works to protect against the habitat destruction that accompanies increasing human expansion; as agriculture becomes more and more...

Flux Lab at St. Francis Xavier University

Flux Lab is a gas detection and measurement research lab at St. Francis Xavier University. Whether by foot, truck, drone, robot, or satellite, they aim to provide information and solutions that will help Canada’s energy sector achieve greenhouse gas emission...

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund is the global technical leader on methane emissions, including monitoring and measurement of emissions and policy and regulatory options. They have been pivotal in bringing attention to the urgency needed in addressing methane emissions and...

The European Climate Foundation (ECF)

ECF was created by a group of philanthropic foundations to collboratively invest in research, policy development, and advocacy in order to increase the political and policy viability of pursuing a net-zero carbon future. John McCall MacBain was...

Nature United

Formerly known as TNC Canada, Nature United puts investing in people to drive change at scale, advancing reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and innovating to advance natural climate solutions at the core of its work. Its philosophy is to...

Strategy 2: Support voices of change that can accelerate and intensify climate action

We aim to amplify voices that can show how we might constructively achieve a low-carbon future, and ensure we do so with greater urgency. The finance sector has a critical role to play in helping industry account for climate risk in business and use finance as a tool for proactive climate action. Youth voices centre climate action as a top political and social priority, and advocate for immediate action. Our grantees include the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Queen’s University, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and the Laval UniC International Student Climate Network.

Spotlight on Our Grantees

International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a globally renowned environmental research and policy institute based in Winnipeg, Canada. The work of IISD includes highly respected research and policy analyses related to climate change, sustainable...

Laval UniC

UniC International Student Climate Network was launched by the Université Laval in 2020. A catalyst for student climate action, this initiative has connected 300 university students and young graduates from 62 countries in its first year. The UniC International...

Institute for Sustainable Finance

In late 2019, the Foundation supported the launch of the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF). Housed at the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, the ISF brings together academia, the private sector, and government to increase Canada’s sustainable finance...