The Bellagio Center Residency Program/

Addressing Climate Change Residency

Since 1913, The Rockefeller Foundation has pursued our mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world by breaking down the barriers that limit who can be healthy, empowered, nourished, well-off, secure, and free. Today, the climate crisis threatens people around the world, including the global progress we’ve made in each of these areas.

We are leveraging every part of our Foundation—including the Bellagio Center Convening and Residency Programs—to reverse the climate crisis.

In 2025, we are especially interested in supporting leading thinkers and organizations working on solutions addressing climate change through the lens of energy systems, health systems, food systems, policy and financial systems.

We encourage applications that make opportunity universal and sustainable, including applications by and for people from the Global South, women, and other marginalized groups.

The sub-themes for the 2025 climate change residency application include:

Climate and Energy Systems

It is estimated that energy accounts for more than three-quarters of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, yet 840 million people still lack access to electricity and over 3 billion people cannot access the Modern Energy Minimum of – 1,000kwh per year. We must find ways to increase access to clean and renewable energy while simultaneously ending energy poverty around the world. Applications in this theme may address areas such as:

  • Accelerating the just transition to clean energy across the developing world, especially through institutional and human capacity in Africa to achieve universal access, equitable economic growth, job creation, and development; and novel and efficient technologies to advance energy transitions.
  • Ensuring that increased mining for minerals such as lithium or cobalt needed for renewable energy systems avoid negative impacts on local communities.
  • Avoiding future use of the dirtiest sources of energy, such as coal, including the decommissioning of currently operating coal plants.


Climate and Health Systems

While much of the climate change narrative has been about rising temperatures, rising sea levels, fossil fuels and extreme weather – human health is at the heart of climate change. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one in four deaths can be attributed to preventable environmental causes which are exacerbated by climate change such as heat, air pollution, infectious and vector-borne diseases, mental health and more. We must increase global sources of funding to the climate and health space in order to strengthen community level health systems, and ensure they are better prepared to understand, predict and respond to the impact of climate change on health and well-being. Applications in this theme may address areas such as:

  • Identifying current and future climate-specific health impacts to inform the creation of programs and policies to manage these threats.
  • Identifying the evidence-based, scalable solutions necessary to address climate-associated health threats around the world.
  • Building the knowledge, capacity, and institutional infrastructure necessary to formalize the field of climate and health through new approaches like climate health observatories.


Climate and Food Systems

Agriculture contributes an estimated 25-30% of global greenhouse emissions. We must find sustainable and climate friendly ways to grow enough nutritious food to feed the world’s poor and hungry. Applications in this theme may address areas such as:

  • Using regenerative farming techniques, climate-resilient crops, and making dietary changes to address the climate crisis.
  • Reducing the impact of livestock on deforestation, methane and CO2 emissions, and interrogating its role in nutrition.
  • Preparing global food systems to be resilient in the face of increasing weather extremes in order to prevent food shortages.


Climate Aligned Policy and Financial Systems

The annual climate financing gap is estimated at $3.5 trillion USD. Alongside this, many countries still also have policies that actively subsidize fossil fuels and petrochemicals, or allow for economic practices that contribute directly to the climate crisis, such as deforestation. We must change the global financing and policy landscape to enable the solutions we need to meet the climate crisis head on. Applications in this theme may address areas such as:

  • Increasing investment into green infrastructure and nature-based solutions which can conserve biodiversity, buffer the effects of climate shocks like flooding, and drive decarbonization.
  • Creating new carbon markets at national and regional levels, and improving those that currently exist.
  • Protecting access to clean water in the face of depleted or changing natural sources and rethinking the global approach to water rights and conservation through behavior change approaches.

Applications for the 2025 Bellagio residency opened March 4, 2024, and will close April 25, 2024.

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Building Vibrant, Connected, and Resilient Societies Residency

Humans thrive when we recognize that all of our futures are inherently intertwined. This residency focuses on how to address the core challenges toward expanding our global community of fate.

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General Open Call Residency

The General Open Call Residency is for all practitioners, academics and artists working in any discipline or area of study. Projects can be based on any topic but must demonstrate clear social impact and charitable purpose.

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