The Karuna Foundation supports visionary organizations in developing nations working to both mitigate carbon emissions and help human populations and the ecosystems they rely on adapt to climate change. Karuna is the Sanskrit word for compassion. 
Rapid economic development in Western economies caused much of the climate change that we are witnessing today. The impacts of climate change are already affecting the world’s poorest people, who have contributed very few carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Developed nations have a moral, ethical, and arguably a legal duty to work with the developing world to mitigate the effects of economic development on the earth’s climate, while helping the world’s most vulnerable populations adapt to the impacts of climate change.



In 2010, Eric Lemelson founded the Karuna Foundation to contribute to the pressing issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation in the vulnerable Himalayan region.  As a career environmentalist and a farmer, he was deeply concerned with consequences of even slight changes in temperature, particularly in vulnerable regions and communities whose livelihoods would be hardest hit that had least contributed to global emissions. Research shows that mountainous high-elevation regions were going to see the most dramatic changes in temperature, and in response, the Karuna Foundation decided to focus funding efforts in Bhutan.

The Karuna Foundation Board of Directors is composed of friends of Eric Lemelson. Collectively, they boast a wide-ranging set of professional credentials and an array of skills and experiences that contribute to the Karuna Foundation's creative grantmaking.

The Board


Contributing Consultants