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Midwest Climate & Energy

Program Goal

To foster and support Midwest climate and energy leadership, making the region a national and international leader in addressing climate change by achieving energy-related greenhouse emission reductions.

Our Midwest Climate & Energy Vision

Clean and resilient power sector
  • Utility business models that work
  • Modern grid and transmission infrastructure
  • Robust market for renewables
  • Energy efficient homes, businesses, and industries
Durable public will for climate and energy action
  • Engaged rural and urban communities
  • Private sector leadership
  • Strong climate and energy advocates


McKnight’s climate-related work engages the region’s public and private leaders, decisionmakers, and citizens in building low-carbon communities and economies that are vibrant, equitable, and resilient.  Through grants, investments, convening and community engagement, we’re working to galvanize and maximize Midwest success.

We seek to help community leaders develop, cultivate, and advance replicable and scalable local solutions that demonstrate what is possible and deliver real economic, social, and environmental benefits. We seek to showcase these examples in order to catalyze actions and investments in other communities. We advocate for strategic policy reform and infrastructure that encourage and make it easier for others to replicate, adapt, and scale solutions, contributing to a virtuous cycle of transformation over time. Ultimately, we will see the evidence of our success in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing resilience to climate change on the ground in communities and local economies — where people live and work.

Given the scope of the problems and opportunities related to climate change in the Midwest, we know we cannot move the needle in every sector. Power generation is the largest source of emissions in the Midwest, and is also the sector with the greatest economic opportunities- clean energy is the gateway to a clean economy.

NOTE: The Midwest Climate & Energy program uses a closed application process; proposals for funding are accepted only from organizations that are invited by Foundation staff to apply.

Program Contacts

Aimee Witteman, Program Director    

Bio  |  Email  |  Twitter: @AimeeWitteman  

Brendon SlotterbackProgram Officer

Bio  |  Email  |  Twitter: @BSlotterback

Tim MurphyProgram Assistant