Time to Go Big: From Our President & CEO
Realizing a net-zero, nature-positive, and more just world will require nothing short of transformational change—and NRDC is exactly the right group to steer that transformation.
It is an extraordinary honor and privilege to write this message as president & CEO of NRDC. It’s telling to me that for the short amount of time I’ve been a part of this organization, it’s taken no time for it to feel like home.
In following the work of NRDC for many years, I’ve known it to be an organization with many successes and a storied history, one that has held onto its scrappiness and tenacity. These traits are exactly what we need to confront the climate, biodiversity, and inequality crises in this decisive decade. Realizing a net-zero, nature-positive, and more just world will require nothing short of transformational change—and NRDC is exactly the right group to steer that transformation.
Our work this past year shows the breadth of what NRDC is able to accomplish, from key climate wins at the national and state levels to our work on the international stage.
NRDC has led the fight to significantly curb carbon pollution from cars and trucks, from advocating for stringent rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to setting the bar high for California vehicle emissions standards that other states are adopting. We’ve protected communities coast to coast, as a driving force behind Illinois’s ambitious Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and winning a ban on dangerous fracking in the Delaware River Basin—a historic victory that heralds the transition toward clean energy for the rest of the nation.
We will also remember 2021 as a year of decisive victories that combined conservation with climate action: putting a stop to the Keystone XL pipeline after more than a decade of activism and securing protections for three iconic national monuments: Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts.
But we also know that we cannot create a safe climate without strong international action, and we took formidable steps toward that goal, including urging China to end overseas financing of coal power and pressing India to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to decrease the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons.
At NRDC, we have a vision for the world that we can create together: one where we are standing up for climate, nature, and equity. Achieving this vision will not be easy, but we have never been one to back down from tough challenges.
We must compel those in power to take action on climate and environmental justice, and help put in place measures to stop the worst climate impacts and create resilient communities that can adapt to them.
We must decarbonize the power, transport, and building systems and at the same time demonstrate that bold climate action leads to better health and better jobs. We must put a stop to drilling that pollutes the land, air, and water. We must ensure that all homes and schools have safe and abundant drinking water. In short, we must join together to create a more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous world.
Each and every day, NRDC is fighting on the frontlines to protect people, our planet, and our future. With the winds at our back and with the wisdom and guidance of my predecessors—John Adams, Frances Beinecke, Rhea Suh, Gina McCarthy, and Mitch Bernard—I’m excited to make our commitments come to life, together with you.
We can only create the big changes we need with your support and actions. Thank you all for being a critical part of our fight for a better future.
More for Our Supporters
Time to Go Big: From Our Chair
Ways to Give
Remembering Robert Alan Billstein Sr.
2021 Financial Statement
Advancing Clean Buildings and Transportation
Championing Conservation as Climate Action
Building a Healthier Food System
Protecting Public Health
Advancing Global Climate Solutions
Time to Go Big
Check out the rest of our annual report for an overview of what we've accomplished in 2021.