Originally posted at weforum.org here. Coordinated public-sector support once kick-started the technologies, business practices, and markets needed for a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon energy future. Over time, the increasing profitability of clean energy activity has come to drive exponential growth in global annual investment—amounting to more than $333 billion…
Chief Executive Officer
- Executive Leadership
Jules Kortenhorst is the Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Mountain Institute. He is a recognized leader on global energy issues and climate change. His background spans business, government, entrepreneurial, and nonprofit leadership.
Since 1982, Rocky Mountain Institute has advanced market-based solutions that transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous and secure future. An independent, nonprofit think-and-do tank, RMI engages with businesses, communities and institutions to accelerate and scale replicable solutions that drive the cost-effective shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables.
Prior to RMI, Jules was the founding CEO of the European Climate Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization dedicated to policy development and advocacy on climate change in Europe. Before launching ECF, he served as a member of the Dutch parliament for the Christian Democratic Party.
During the first 20 years of his career, Jules worked in the business world. He was the CEO for International Operations of ClientLogic Corporation, a global leader in outsourced customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. He worked for almost 10 years for Royal Dutch/Shell, among others as managing director of Shell Bulgaria, and he began his career as an analyst at McKinsey & Co.
Jules currently serves on the Energy Transition Commission, on the WEF Future Council on Energy and on the Board of Stedin Holding NV. Jules is married to Searl Vetter and has four children.
- Masters of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Baker Scholar
- Masters in Economics, Erasmus University, Netherlands
Authored Blog Posts
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) most recent Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) should give anyone watching today’s energy markets a jolt of surprise. Not for projecting that U.S. energy demand will grow by an average of 0.4 percent per year after two decades of evidence to the contrary. Not…
Yesterday, the U.S. government presented a new challenge for the clean energy industry. The confused logic of the solar PV import tariff challenges all reason: intended to boost the domestic manufacturing of cells and modules—which currently employs less than 38,000 people—and add some jobs while reducing imports, the tariff also…
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has long focused on ways to help companies and consumers transition to a cleaner and more prosperous energy future. A new collaboration will help us achieve this mission faster. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that RMI has formally incorporated WattTime—a Silicon-Valley based nonprofit…
Friends, We are greatly disappointed in President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Agreement constitutes humanity’s best effort to put a global governance mechanism in place to address the global climate change threat. It is and will remain an unprecedented achievement…
While the U.S. administration continues to surprise the world by focusing on bringing back coal, elsewhere in the world momentum toward a low-carbon energy system continues to build. Nowhere was this more obvious than this week in New York where, in the margins of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit,…
In May of 2011, Rocky Mountain Institute cofounder Amory Lovins started his commencement address at the College of Natural Resources, University of California at Berkeley, talking about applied hope. “Many of us here stir and strive in the spirit of applied hope,” Amory said. “We work to make the…
Cleantech companies and investors are now a large global force, creating jobs and wealth. What if they had a platform where they could network and promote innovation? What if there was a way to link all the cleantech start-ups, nonprofits, corporates, investors, venture capitalists, and the public sector? We would…
The Risky Business Project, founded by co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer, has shifted its focus from analyzing the risks—which are increasingly being realized as costs—of climate change to the tremendous opportunity that reducing these risks presents to the U.S. economy.
This week we all woke up to a new and different political reality for the United States and the world. RMI CEO Jules Kortenhorst describes how our work has endured through decades of various administrations because it's the right thing to do environmentally and economically.
This week, a number of European countries will submit paperwork to the United Nations formally binding them to the Paris Agreement, raising the tally of committed countries above 55 percent of global emissions and triggering the agreement’s entry into force 30 days later. For those who thought the champagne corks popped last December in Paris, here’s a brief guide about why this week’s events constitute a historic milestone and what comes next.
Rocky Mountain Institute's CEO Jules Kortenhorst interviews Tom Dinwoodie on his new movie about the threats of climate change and the stories of people working on the frontlines to address this global challenge. The film will open soon across the country.
The climate agreement reached in Paris was an unprecedented global achievement. Unfortunately, the climate action plans submitted by the signatory countries fall far short of the energy shift the world needs. Recently released reports by the Energy Transitions Commission highlight what needs to be done to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C and elaborate on pathways for how to go about doing it.
The Paris agreement represents a tremendous breakthrough in the fight against climate change, with an explicit goal to keep the global temperature rise well below 2°C by 2100.
This morning, COP21—the UN’s annual international climate change conference—kicked off in Paris with a very encouraging announcement. On one hand 20 countries—from the developed to the developing world arm-in-arm—made a commitment to double their research and development spending in the energy solutions of the future. They have labeled it “Mission…
From an exhilarating Climate Week in New York, I marvel at the momentum of the transition to the low-carbon economy. We have seen that many of the world’s largest corporations are waking up to the tremendous economic opportunity the energy revolution represents.
Today’s U.S.-China Announcement is the Most Significant Milestone to Date for Battling Global Climate Change
Today’s joint announcement by President Obama and President Xi represents the second time in two years the leaders have met to make significant climate commitments. Last year’s meeting focused on setting aggressive goals that reflect each country’s unique situation. This year’s meeting moved decisively to implementation commitments intended to deliver…
The Obama administration issued its Clean Power Plan setting out a clear direction for greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the U.S. power sector. The plan, long under way and the subject of the most extensive consultations the EPA has ever undertaken, is a bold step to overcome congressional inaction to address climate change.
The alliance between CWR and RMI means we can go even further, even faster. We can make change happen around the world, from the two biggest carbon emitters—the United States and China—to smaller nations like our respective countries Costa Rica and the Netherlands, and to every country in between.
Last week, WWF released a set of principles signed by leading Fortune 500 companies—including Bloomberg, Facebook, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, REI, Sprint, and Walmart—that frame the challenges and needs they are facing as large renewable energy buyers.
Earlier this week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced new guidelines under the Clean Air Act limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The move comes in the wake of the federal government’s Third National Climate Assessment, exposing the serious risk climate change poses to the nation’s economy and security.
During the first Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, economic growth and societal progress faced a problem of relative scarcity—not of resources, which were then considered inexhaustibly abundant, but of people. Making people (and the labor processes by which they manufactured goods and provided services) radically…
On Earth Day yesterday, RMI CEO Jules Kortenhorst and New Climate Economy program director Jeremy Oppenheim co-authored a USA Today op-ed.
Last week, RMI’s program to significantly scale the commitment by Fortune 500 companies to source renewable energy was chosen as one of six winners at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit’s Finance for Resilience (“FiRe”) event.
If we are to solve perhaps the greatest challenge that global capitalism has created – climate change – it is essential that we reconcile our prevailing economic model to place more emphasis on the importance of natural capitalism.
Forty years ago this week the U.S. and much of Europe learned tough lessons about our addiction to fossil fuels. Our dependence on their dirty energy made us vulnerable.
Climate change, and the energy transition that we must carry out to solve it, are the most daunting global issues that mankind faces. It is therefore a privilege as well as a huge challenge to join the team at Rocky Mountain Institute that has been working on the transition to a new energy era.