WorldWatch Institute

Worldwatch Institute delivers the insights and ideas that empower decision makers to create an environmentally sustainable society that meets human needs. Worldwatch focuses on the 21st century challenges of climate change, resource degradation, population growth, and poverty by developing and disseminating solid data and innovative strategies for achieving a sustainable society.

The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization recognized by opinion leaders around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Its mission is to generate and promote insights and ideas that empower decision makers to build an ecologically sustainable society that meets human needs.

Worldwatch has catalyzed effective environmental decision making since 1974. The Institute's interdisciplinary research is based on the best available science and focuses on the challenges that climate change, resource degradation, and population growth pose for meeting human needs in the 21st century. Worldwatch seeks innovative solutions to intractable problems-emphasizing a blend of government leadership, private sector enterprise, and citizen action that can make a sustainable future a reality.

Based in Washington, D.C., Worldwatch leverages its Internet presence and strong network of partners in more than a dozen countries for wider global impact. Its research is disseminated in over 20 languages through innovative use of print and online media.

The Institute's priority programs include:

Energy and Climate Change Program

Building a Low-Carbon Energy System that dramatically reduces the use of fossil fuels and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

Worldwatch Institute's Energy and Climate Change Program is dedicated to achieving a transformation of the global energy system in order to stabilize the climate and increase energy security.

Strong scientific evidence indicates that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2015 and then decline precipitously to avoid catastrophic climate change. Worldwatch's Energy and Climate Change Program aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon energy system based on sustainable use of renewable energy sources in concert with major energy-efficiency gains. Although many argue that such a transition will be expensive and difficult, Worldwatch research shows that it would create vast economic opportunities, spur innovation and job creation, and assist efforts to reduce poverty while providing a more resilient and sustainable global energy system.

Achieving the needed energy transformation will require:

•Profound changes in government policies
•Strengthened global governance in the form of a new international climate agreement
•Mobilization of the private sector to develop and deploy new technologies

As the world progresses toward agreement on-and implementation of-a new climate agreement in late 2009 and beyond, Worldwatch works to inform decision makers about the potential for a low-carbon future and to develop and communicate policies and strategies that can best achieve that goal. The program's particular focus is on Brazil, China, Europe, India, and the United States, which together account for 60 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.  

Sustainable Agricultural Program

Creating a Healthy Future for Agriculture that provides a healthy, nutritious diet for all while sustaining the land, water, and biological resources on which life depends.

Welcome to the era of food activism. More than ever before, how we farm and feed ourselves is how we change the world around us. Worldwatch Institute's Sustainable Agriculture Program highlights the benefits to farmers, consumers, and ecosystems that can flow from food systems that are flexible enough to deal with shifting weather patterns, productive enough to meet the needs of expanding populations, and accessible enough to support rural communities.

The program's major focus is on creating a roadmap for farmers, agribusiness, policymakers, international development agencies, private funders, and other agricultural decision-makers to guide them through such challenges as food price spikes, the collapse of major seafood sources, and the emergence and reemergence of animal diseases.

While today's dominant farming systems produce food in abundance, this often carries the steep price of depleted soils, poisoned lands and waterways, rising greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing poverty. When sustainably practiced, however, agriculture can nourish people and support rural livelihoods. It can also protect soils and water supplies and help communities cope with a changing climate.

As more and more people view what they eat as a way to change the world around them, farmers, agribusiness, chefs, parents, and other interested eaters can be harnessed as important allies in addressing hunger, climate change, and other global challenges.   

Green Economy Program

Developing a Green Economy that meets human needs, promotes prosperity, and is in harmony with nature.

Worldwatch Institute's Green Economy Program recognizes that the global environmental and economic crises have common origins and must be tackled together. The program seeks to offer solutions that enhance human wellbeing and reduce inequities while protecting the planet.

The dual crises share the same roots, namely a narrow pre-occupation with short-term gain at the expense of long-term sustainability. Solving both of them requires technological leapfrogging, bold policy innovations, and a new solidarity across borders, social classes, and generations. Infusing economic structures with democratic and participatory principles is also required.

Support is growing around the world for an integrated approach increasingly referred to as a "Green New Deal." The idea builds on the 1930s' U.S. New Deal, which entailed visionary planning, ambitious public programs, and social protections to escape the clutches of the Great Depression.

While job creation is essential, a meaningful solution to today's problems lies not in simply restarting the engine of consumption. That approach led to the degradation and depletion of the planet's resources even as it failed to meet the basic needs of the majority of humanity. The current crisis offers a unique opportunity for laying the foundation for a greener and fairer global economy.

Beyond these three priorities, the Institute monitors human health, population,
water resources, biodiversity, governance, and environmental security.

For information about employment opportunities at the Worldwatch Institute, please visit:

Contact Information:

1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #800
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 452-1999

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