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Businesses Taking Real Action Is Essential to a Zero-Carbon Future

Two years into this decisive decade for climate action, when we must halve global carbon emissions, we have reasons to feel hopeful about the state of climate-related innovation and action. One of the reasons is the private sector, which is leading the charge toward scalable solutions like never before.

For every sector of the economy, the time to race toward ambitious, market-driven solutions and innovation is not in ten years—or even two—but now, so we can avoid catastrophic global warming. RMI has always been willing to work with any sector or any business ready to move the needle on climate change, if we believe true progress is possible. Companies are taking risks and learning as they go, and we support their authentic efforts.

The good news is we’re already seeing progress, with accelerated adoption leading to systemic change across industries. The examples below illustrate ways in which RMI is helping companies move from their net-zero commitments to measurable impact:

  • Net zero is the new normalMore than 20 percent of the largest 2,000 public companies, representing nearly every sector of the economy, have set a net-zero emissions goal. RMI’s work as part of the Mission Possible Partnership is helping create pathways for a critical mass of actors in the hardest-to-abate sectors to achieve this goal.
  • The financial community is putting their money where their mouths are: Banks, investors, and insurers representing $130 trillion in assets have committed to decarbonize their businesses by mid-century. Our Center for Climate-Aligned Finance is working with the world’s largest financial institutions to turn these commitments into action and accountability.
  • Automakers are driving the EV transition: Phasing out diesel and gasoline engines has gone from seeming possible to being inevitable as the world’s largest car manufacturers have committed to go all electric over the next 15 years. RMI’s Mobility program is working with General Motors to increase equitable access to EV charging infrastructure in major North American cities.
  • Technology is catching up: Innovations in areas such as hydrogen will unlock progress to net zero across a number of essential sectors—including steel, shipping, and aviation. On hydrogen, the companies that form RMI’s Green Hydrogen Catapult set their stake in the ground this past year with a 45 gigawatt commitment that would power 45 steel mills.

Helping corporations take action is RMI’s sweet spot. For forty years we have worked with business leaders to drive ambitious, pragmatic solutions to the energy transition—helping companies deliver against aspiration, not compliance, in their climate goals.

It’s why we created Horizon Zero, an initiative to create greenhouse gas accounting methodologies to track emissions as they move through the value chain, to help companies understand the emissions impact of their purchases.

It’s why we co-created the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Alliance (now CEBA), which saw members announce power purchase agreements amounting to a quarter of all new US electricity capacity added in 2020. It’s why we co-launched Third Derivative—a clean energy technology accelerator, which has seen more than $220 million invested into its initial cohort of 53 startups in the first year alone.

It’s why we’re bringing transparency and comparability into opaque commodity supply chains, through COMET’s harmonized accounting framework, and enabling the market to objectively certify commodities with lower climate impacts with data-driven standards like MIQ or SABA’s certified sustainable aviation fuel standard.

There is much more to come, and throughout the year I, along with my RMI colleagues, will be sharing our insights on the zero-carbon transition within critical sectors and geographies. We are here to support businesses like yours in leading the clean energy transition in the coming years, helping you overcome obstacles to act, and building catalytic partnerships to unlock progress across business ecosystems.

Greenwashing is real. At RMI, we believe the solution is meaningful plans that guide real action to deliver measurable reductions. I hope you’ll join us in this mission by signing up for our new business newsletter, and by contacting us to explore how you can collaborate with us.

No one can afford to wait.