Doris Duke has set up a $100 million (EUR75 million) Charitable Foundation to pay for five years of research into global warming.
The aim of the foundation's Climate Change Initiative is to look at policies that can speed the use of new technologies _ and broaden use of existing ones to reduce carbon dioxide, methane and other industrial gases that scientists blame for heating the atmosphere like a greenhouse.
Up to $100 million (EUR75 million) is to be awarded to nonprofit groups, research institutions and universities. They would be expected to study which policies and technologies will be the best to help build a "clean-energy economy," the foundation said in a statement Sunday.
Joan Spero, the foundation's president, said there are things people can do now, and keep options open for dealing with climate change, rather than continuing to build inefficient buildings and polluting power plants that "will lock ourselves into years of high carbon emissions."
"The foundation's goal," said Andrew Bowman, who will direct the $100 million (EUR75 million) fund, "is to keep us from losing the game in the first quarter so that we will still be in a position to win in the fourth quarter."
The $1.8 billion (EUR1.35 billion) foundation was set up in 1996 and is named after the only child and heiress of tobacco and utility industrialist James Buchanan Duke.
Based in New York, the foundation also maintains three Duke family estates in New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island and awards grants in performing arts, wildlife conservation, medical research and child abuse prevention.