Our Approach
to Fossil Fuels

RMI is working to immediately reduce greenhouse gas pollution across the entire life cycle of fossil fuels, even as we simultaneously scale clean energy.

Related: Explore how RMI works across the fossil fuels value chain to rapidly reduce emissions.

At RMI, our mission is to transform the global energy system to secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. To avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis, we must cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. We are facing a planetary emergency, and business as usual cannot continue.

Pursuing a rapid phase out of fossil fuels is the only currently viable pathway to achieve these outcomes and can provide a more equitable and just approach. While clean energy pathways raise their own equity and justice concerns, RMI is committed to engaging our partners and local communities to minimize potential harms and deliver the benefits of low-carbon solutions to frontline communities.

In nearly every sector, energy efficiency and renewable energy offer scalable, cost-effective, and equitable opportunities that are already accelerating rapidly. For some sectors, other viable substitutes to fossil fuels are fast emerging (such as low-emissions hydrogen for heavy industry and transportation).

RMI uses fact-based economic research and analysis to champion climate-aligned solutions today as we develop and scale emerging solutions. That’s why we are working to reduce methane leaks in oil and gas production, because even small leaks make methane gas dirtier than coal. RMI also recognizes that carbon removal will be required in the long term to alleviate the pollution already in the atmosphere, but neither it nor point source carbon capture should be used to prolong the burning of fossil fuels where clean energy alternatives exist.

In emerging economies such as Africa and Asia where energy is in short supply, we work with a wide range of energy stakeholders to identify practical solutions. We respect the fundamental right of communities and countries to develop their own natural resources to contribute to their economic prosperity, human development, and security.

Ensuring that clean energy benefits developing and emerging economies is critical to meeting climate goals. And in most cases, non-fossil options are cheaper, more inclusive, and more resilient in spurring local economic growth and improving human development outcomes.

To fulfill our strategy, RMI works openly with entities involved in accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon future, including governments around the world, policymakers of any party, nonprofit and community-based organizations, and corporations, among them fossil fuel companies that are committed to accelerating that transition.

Related: Explore how RMI works across the fossil fuels value chain to rapidly reduce emissions.