A Letter from the CEO + The Board Chair
The year is 2030. An electric vehicle is the only kind of new car you can purchase in California. In Nigeria, the solar power industry employs 250,000 individuals. Indonesia is well on its way to retiring coal, has reduced emissions by more than 40 percent, and has created thousands of new jobs in the clean energy industry.
This vision for a cleaner, more prosperous, zero-carbon future is less than a decade away, and it is within reach, thanks to major advancements this year in policy, private sector action, and mounting public pressure to protect our planet and its people from the climate crisis. RMI and our partners across the public and private sectors were at the center of these developments, from advising US policymakers on the Inflation Reduction Act to launching the Energy Transition Academy in Nigeria and the Caribbean to creating a differentiated market for zero-emissions deliveries in India. You will find more examples of our impact on the global energy transition in this annual report.
RMI was founded as Rocky Mountain Institute in 1982, a 501(c)3 nonprofit aiming to radically improve America’s energy practices. We celebrated this anniversary milestone by reflecting on how we’ve evolved, from a small team working out of the Lovins’s house in the early 1980s to the 600-person international powerhouse we are today. Amory Lovins’s philosophy of “Applied Hope” continues to drive our passionate and motivated staff, who roll up their sleeves even when it seems like the odds are against us. Our approach for today’s urgent context is “Hope, Applied,” which you will see reflected throughout this report.
Against a backdrop of the devastating war in Ukraine, inflation, and volatile energy prices, RMI continues to push the boundaries of what may seem impossible to some. A multi-country deployment of green hydrogen; moving to a zero-carbon heating pathway in China; affordable carbon dioxide removal; national legislation in the United States that projects a 40 percent decrease in carbon emissions by 2030; and a proven past peak in fossil fuel demand. These goals and so much more are coming to life because of RMI’s work this year, made possible by the incredible support of our donors. Our shared vision for a better future is showing real results, but our work doesn’t stop just because we’re seeing progress.
In the year ahead, we need to see the world’s largest economies — and its biggest polluters — step up on turning national commitments into action while also supporting resilience and adaptation in the Global South. The financial and private sectors must take big steps to focus investment on renewable energy. RMI is supporting and informing this action, making the case for why these moves are in everyone’s best interest.
Following the recent CEO transition, as we both step forward together, we are eager to drive this powerhouse organization through and beyond the decisive decade to meet our climate and clean energy goals. This is a moment of great transformation globally, nationally, and within our 40-year-old institute. Thank you for your continued support and partnership, without which the past year’s impact wouldn’t have been possible. We know we can do even more in the year ahead.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Serving RMI as CEO for the past decade has been the honor of my career. I want to congratulate Jon Creyts, the new CEO, who has been instrumental in building RMI into a global force for change over the past decade, most recently serving as our chief program and strategy officer. Climate change is the fight of our lives and leading this incredible institution is hard work. I am absolutely convinced that Jon’s deep care, wickedly brilliant brain and analytical capabilities, deep experience in this space, and passion for this mission will make him an incredible leader.
Tracking State Progress
Even with the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, US states are setting the pace toward a clean energy transition.
Electric Mobility for All
As electric vehicles revolutionize transportation, it’s vital that nobody is left behind.
Getting Smart with Climate Intelligence
Our groundbreaking open-source tools are reducing the climate impacts of oil and gas supply chains — from extraction through end use.
The Energy Security Nexus
The Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrated the importance of diversifying energy supplies — with renewable sources.
Leading the Way in the Global South
By promoting community-led initiatives and educating new climate leaders, we’re flipping the familiar north-south script.
Money Talks, Carbon Walks
Teaming up with financial institutions to drive innovation helps us transform hard-to-abate industries.
Clean Energy Just Makes Sense
RMI’s nonpartisan approach and focus on equity helps states and countries around the world move beyond fossil fuels.
The Power of Communications
We’re working to expand our audiences and multiply our impact by growing what we can do and investing in independent climate journalism.
The Momentum Behind our Zero-Carbon Future
From supporting worldwide vehicle electrification to building the capacity of energy leaders in the Global South, gifts to the Acceleration Fund give RMI flexible funding to pursue and scale the big, bold ideas that will become the next climate breakthroughs.