Change on the Ground, Change in the Air
ANNUAL REPORT 2022
We are living in challenging times, with multiple crises affecting both the economy at large and individual livelihoods. 2022 was an undeniably difficult year for the world. It began with deep uncertainty about the economy and fears of inflation and recession. In February, we witnessed the Russian invasion of Ukraine. March marked the third anniversary of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. Together, these challenges contributed to the escalation of global energy and food crises, which sent countries and households scrambling for resources.
Climate change only multiplied these threats. Extreme weather events caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage and devastating losses for the world’s most vulnerable communities. Unprecedented flooding in Pakistan submerged one-third of the country and displaced 33 million people. These were not just environmental disasters but economic and humanitarian disasters.
Yet, in spite of these immense challenges, we saw undercurrents of positive change throughout the year.
Amidst an energy crisis, the world managed to break records on clean energy deployment. The largest climate finance package in history – a $20 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership deal – was announced for Indonesia to move away from coal toward clean energy. The U.S. enacted three ambitious pieces of legislation that add up to $390 billion dollars for climate action over the next five years, with large sections earmarked for climate justice. And at the end of 2022, countries agreed to establish a much-needed fund for Loss & Damage at COP27 and made a landmark deal to protect 30 percent of the world’s land, ocean and water.
These developments indicate that we are moving toward a new economy, a different economy that no longer accepts exploitation of people and natural resources as the norm. The global transition is underway, but it is not yet clear whether these recent breakthroughs are happening at the speed and scale necessary to add up to the change the world needs.
WRI’s new strategy is a response to this critical moment. Together, we asked ourselves: what kind of WRI does the world need? We took our External Review seriously and spent the year strategizing with our staff, Board and partners to explore how WRI can do its part to set the world on a path that is not only low-carbon, but nature-positive and good for people.
In our new strategy, we focus on driving the transformation of three critical human-centered systems — food, land and water; energy; and cities — while creating the frameworks needed to track progress as we go. We are also working to strengthen the enabling systems that ratchet up political ambition and deliver the finance necessary to accelerate these transitions.
At the same time, we cannot achieve low-carbon, resilient economies without local action. A key pillar of our new strategy is supporting country transitions, with an emphasis on the major emitters and influential countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America where we work. WRI is committed to helping each country on its unique sustainable development path.
With our global reach and rich history of providing solutions, WRI is uniquely positioned to help deliver these system transformations by building bold and inspiring partnerships. Our vision for partnerships considers the entire ecosystem we work in and how we can play a role in making it better.
We are just getting started. The examples in this report showcase the depth and range of our work. In the years to come, you will be able to see many more examples of how we reorient our organization to ensure the global transition will be right for people, climate and nature.
We could not have achieved this impact without the generous support of our donors and partners . Everything we do to deliver outcomes and create positive change is thanks to you. I speak for WRI’s Board and staff when I offer our deep appreciation for the support this year and for the past 40 years.
We value your partnership as together we shape the great transition ahead!
President & CEO
World Resources Institute