A Turning Point: From Our Chair

This past year, we proved climate action is possible, even in the face of long odds.

NRDC Board Chair Kathleen Welch standing in front of a blue back holding a microphone

NRDC Board Chair Kathleen Welch speaking during an NRDC Board dinner, February 2023, Santa Monica, California, on February 9, 2023


Lauren Justice for NRDC

 ›   2022 ›  For Our Supporters

I’m honored to have this opportunity for what I call a “look forward and look back” moment with you at a banner year of achievements behind us, and one ahead that is full of potential for steady climate progress.

This past year, we proved climate action is possible, even in the face of long odds. ​​We saw a number of landmark achievements, including the most sweeping climate legislation in history and the U.S. Senate voting to ratify the Kigali Amendment to help phase down a powerful climate-warming gas. It’s clearer than ever that NRDC is a key organization that takes on big challenges, delivers enduring results, and builds upon those wins. Our commitment, as we launch into 2023 and beyond, is nothing less than seeing changes through with action, grit, and persistence.

The unequivocal highlight of this past year was the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act—a monumental historical achievement that calls for $369 billion in strategic funding from the federal government to support climate action. This bill is exactly what the country and the world need right now: strategic investments to help transition the United States as quickly as possible to clean energy while slashing carbon emissions. The Inflation Reduction Act will help drive innovation, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. It will also provide investments for frontline communities facing the worst impacts of climate change and real benefits to people across the country. And it will diminish U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, all the while helping to build resilience to mounting and overlapping climate effects.

A person in an orange construction suit sitting on top of solar panels with a laptop

Power sector investments supported by the Inflation Reduction Act tax credits are expected to create at least 153,000 to 169,000 high-quality clean energy jobs in the U.S. economy in 2030.


Getty Images

This legislation is the result of decades of our advocacy, and it required the efforts of many

people across the organization, as well as a coalition of our partner groups, to strengthen and see it through to the finish line. But now we must see that it comes to life. We must seize this momentum and make sure progress is tangible for everyone. I am proud of the leadership role that NRDC has played for many years to get us to this point, and I am confident in the climate bill’s ability to move us forward.

Beyond the Inflation Reduction Act, NRDC was a force behind many other wins this past year as we continued in our mission to protect our air, our water, and the environment. We saw real results, from securing the health of clean water through our advocacy to strengthen the Lead and Copper Rule post-Trump to fighting for stricter health standards on toxic chemicals and further safeguarding Canada’s boreal forests. The details are in this report.

A view of white ibis and roseate spoonbills flying over wetlands at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida

Flying white ibis and roseate spoonbills at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida


Elizabeth W. Kearley/Getty Images

There is much to keep fighting for as we build upon our collective progress, all the while keeping any backsliding in check. For one, we will keep tracking recent and upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decisions that may have big implications for the future of our environment and the planet, such as West Virginia v. EPA and Sackett v. EPA. Our attorneys are at the ready to litigate and defend our shared climate future—as NRDC has done for more than 50 years.

I’m amazed at the work we were able to achieve this past year, and I’m determined to do so much more with you all, with more tenacity and determination to propel us to take even more concerted action toward the world we want to see and share together. We could not do it without your standing by our side. Thank you so much for your vital support that sustains the critical work of NRDC—now and into our climate future. 

More for Our Supporters

2022 Highlights

Annual Report 2022: A Turning Point

Explore the rest of our annual report for an overview of what we've accomplished in 2022.

An illustration of a utopian earth

Annual Report 2022: A Turning Point

We are living in uniquely challenging times. At this juncture between what exists and what should be, and backed by supporters like you, NRDC is at its best—defining new perspectives and new pathways to drive the change our planet demands.