RMI Relaunches to Transform Energy on a Global Scale, Building on Nearly 40 Years of Analysis, Insight, and Market Innovation


February 4th, 2021 by  

Courtesy of RMI.

Energy visionary RMI signals an evolution in its ambition and approach to mobilize transformative change at the pace required by the climate crisis.

RMI, formerly known as Rocky Mountain Institute, is launching a new brand identity to mark an inflection point in its support of the global clean energy transition. RMI is doubling down on its innovative “think-and-do” approach of advancing cutting-edge thought leadership and business model innovation to bring all its efforts to bear on decarbonizing energy systems in the world’s most critical geographies at speed and scale.

To do so, the organization has rebuilt its portfolio of work to align with the target of cutting global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50% by 2030 and driving the global economy toward net-zero emissions by 2050, consistent with a 1.5-degree Celsius future.

With a new logo and evolved name, plus the tagline, “Energy. Transformed.”, RMI is signaling a new moment in its history. The organization is building upon its reputation as a trusted resource for techno-economic energy sector analysis, thought leadership, and convening prowess. RMI is now rising to meet the climate emergency challenge by pioneering faster, more effective ways to engender unconventional partnerships, identify key tipping points to rapidly scale change in global energy systems, and mobilize action.

“We have a bold goal: to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of RMI. “This requires a just and equitable transition through radical, inclusive collaboration across all parts of society around the world, including those who are historically disadvantaged and underserved.”
With less than ten years to avert the calamitous effects of climate change, the world urgently needs transformative energy solutions. RMI’s bold goal to cut GHG emissions 50% by 2030 rests on a comprehensive, ambitious portfolio aimed at critical global geographies. This includes China, India, and the United States, which together are the world’s largest GHG emitters, plus rapidly growing cities and developing economies in Africa, island nations and Southeast Asia.

The new portfolio is centered on achieving a clean electricity grid that powers three key sectors: carbon-free buildings, transportation, and industry while activating a set of market forces—new technologies, business models, finance flows, and big data—to exponentially accelerate the scale of transformation.

This reimagined strategy builds on RMI’s success in supporting high-ambition stakeholders across the global economy and launching transformative initiatives, such as:

  • REALIZE, a platform that establishes high-volume, net-zero building retrofit delivery programs, initiated in the United States.
  • The Global Cooling Prize, an innovation competition to develop a residential cooling solution without warming the planet.
  • Climate TRACE, a partnership to monitor nearly all human-caused GHG emissions worldwide independently and in real time.
  • Mission Possible Partnership, a global coalition aimed at rapid decarbonization of heavy industry and transport.
  • Third Derivative, a world-wide cleantech accelerator that aligns investors, corporations, and market experts with startups to commercialize climate innovations.
  • The Center for Climate-Aligned Finance, a coalition helping large, global financial institutions work towards net-zero portfolios.
  • The Urban Mobility Lab, a scalable platform that supports a replicable process to transform the way goods and people move in cities, originating in India.

“The clean energy transition is clearly accelerating, faster than many experts had predicted, driven primarily by relentlessly falling costs of technologies including solar, wind, and storage,” said Maria Van Der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency from 2011 to 2015. “Yet, we are still not moving fast enough to address the climate crisis. Pathways might differ, but all organizations around the world must rapidly cut emissions in half this decade, to achieve the 1.5-degree target as RMI is doing with this bold new strategy.”

Throughout RMI’s tenure, the organization has leveraged its unique techno-economic expertise and whole-systems thinking to publish groundbreaking research and analysis that has proved prescient in redefining market-based energy solutions, many of which are standard practice in energy sectors today. With its unique ability to operate across ideological boundaries, RMI drives impact in the real economy even as effective, worldwide climate action has lagged behind.

“Climate change is an existential threat, and it is past time to for us to treat it as the urgent crisis that it is,” said Todd Stern, the US Special Envoy on Climate Change during the Obama administration. “With a new level of focus on the 1.5-degree Celsius target, RMI is demonstrating how organizations around the world can align on the critical goal of cutting emissions in half by the end of this decade. Immediate action, from all nations and all sectors of the economy, is essential for humanity’s path towards a more sustainable future.”



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About the Author

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. Please visit http://www.rmi.org for more information.

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