Annual Report of the Breakthrough Institute

2022 in review

The last several years have witnessed a remarkable period of growth and development for the Breakthrough Institute. Since 2019, our staff and budget have more than doubled. We’ve moved into a larger and more flexible space near UC Berkeley and, this year, opened a Washington office. We’ve brought world class researchers to Breakthrough, placed the Breakthrough Journal on newsstands around the world, and launched ambitious new policy initiatives, to reform licensing of advanced reactors at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and double US federal spending on agricultural R&D over the coming five years.

Our work and footprint has grown after the need for ambitious and pragmatic ecomodernist advocacy has become ever clearer. Energy shortages as the global economy rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have made clear that the world will not break its dependence on fossil fuels with renewable energy sources alone. Food shortages due to the war, rising fertilizer prices, and climate disruptions have similarly highlighted the critical need for continuing improvements in agricultural productivity and technology. Meanwhile, the provision of unprecedented funding for low carbon infrastructure and technology through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act has made clear the uncomfortable truth that deep reductions in US carbon emissions cannot be achieved without far reaching reforms to much of the federal environmental regulatory framework governing infrastructure permitting and construction established during the heyday of the post-war environmental movement in the 1970’s.

As we look forward to 2023 and beyond, we believe that Breakthrough is better positioned than ever to deliver on our vision of an ecologically vibrant future that is good for people and nature, even as the nature of many of the challenges we face remain daunting. So I’m very proud to publish this annual report, summarizing all that we’ve accomplished over the last year, and hope to accomplish in the years to come.

Thanks for joining us on the journey.

Ted Nordhaus
Executive Director