Our Climate Smart Commitment: Organizations We Support

Each year we reassess the organizations in our climate-smart portfolio, update our total contribution necessary to ensure that the carbon emitted by people flying to and from a Rick Steves' Europe tour is mitigated, and divide the total among worthy organizations.

This is how we are distributing our $1 million investment for 2019 (so far).

Project Concern International

Project Concern International works in the developing countries to empower women and promote climate-smart agriculture.
Donation: $200,000

Project Concern International (PCI) partners with communities around the world to equip them with the tools and skills they need to adapt to changing climate conditions — and lift themselves out of poverty.

Although climate change affects everyone, the burden of climate change is felt most acutely among the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Women and children are especially vulnerable to the increased risk of crop failure, drought, unpredictable weather patterns, and natural disasters brought on by climate change.

Women have an important role to play in combating climate change. Because women produce food and are the primary users of cooking fuel and water, they are in an ideal position to carry out activities to counter the negative effects of climate change. Research shows that when women are in leadership and decision-making roles, there is a positive impact on sustainable agricultural and forestry production.

With support from Rick Steves' Europe, PCI will help communities (women in particular) address their most pressing challenges posed by climate change. By promoting climate-smart farming and forestry practices like drought-tolerant seeds, soil conservation, and planting of fast-growing trees, communities will increase their harvests and better provide for themselves for the future. And by introducing and expanding the use of fuel-efficient stoves made by local artisans, communities will need only half the firewood they currently use, easing de-forestation and reducing CO2 emissions by one to three tons per household a year. This is not only good for the environment, it will also help minimize the time burden and safety risk to women and girls, who traditionally collect wood and often travel far from home to do so.

Bread for the World

Bread for the World advocates for government policies to address climate change and its connection to world hunger.
Donation: $200,000

Bread for the World is doing important work on hunger and climate change, and funding from this initiative allows them to do more.

Hungry and poor people around the world are being hit hardest by climate change. Many subsistence farm families are being driven into hunger by drought and other changes in the weather. Climate change is contributing to conflict, further environmental damage, and forced migration. Climate change is expected to have especially severe effects in the tropics, and wherever it stirs up storms or violence people in poverty are least able to cope.

Bread for the World communicates with lawmakers — and with more than 20 million concerned citizens — about policies to address climate change and its connection to hunger and poverty.

ELCA World Hunger

ELCA World Hunger works in developing countries to help small family farms be climate smart.
Donation: $100,000

Almost 80 percent of all the world's food is produced on small farms, where parents and children often work side by side. These family farms are a way of life — key sources of food and income — for much of the world, including the United States.

Yet half of the world's 815 million undernourished people live on farms themselves. Without access to adequate resources and training, farming families can often go hungry. Climate change, conflict, and lack of resources can quickly turn a hopeful season into a hungry season, driving many farmers to abandon their land and find work elsewhere — even in countries far from their homes. As climate change continues and escalates, the world's food supply will become increasingly insecure, and hunger within many regions will rise.

The Rick Steves' Europe Climate Smart Commitment will empower ELCA World Hunger to help small family farms adopt more sustainable practices, adapt to a changing climate, and increase local food security.

In the United States, gardens and farms can help provide food-insecure families with healthy foods — while building community among neighbors. In Senegal, an animal husbandry center helps dairy herders increase their cows' milk production, so they have more milk for their families and to sell at market. In India, agricultural innovations, disaster-preparedness training, and irrigation improvements help communities become more resilient. This funding will support projects like these in more than 60 countries around the world.

More organizations will be added to the list as they are selected. If you are — or know of — a nonprofit combating climate change through climate smart agriculture work in the developing world or advocating in Washington D.C. and you wish to be considered for future funding, please review our Climate Smart Commitment grant process and selection criteria.