Worldwatch Institute

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The Worldwatch Institute is a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.



The Worldwatch Institute helps to inform policymakers and the public about the complex links between the world economy and its environmental support systems. Research conducted by the Institute is integrative or interdisciplinary in nature and global in scope.[1]

Worldwatch Institute develops and disseminates data, analysis, and strategies to create an environmentally sustainable society that meets human needs and confronts the 21st century challenges of climate change, resource degradation, population growth, and poverty.

Worldwatch’s priority programs include:

  • Building a Low-Carbon Energy System that dramatically reduces the use of fossil fuels and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 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. Current projects include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded, Nourishing the Planet, a comparative analysis of environmentally sustainable agriculture innovations to alleviate poverty and hunger.
  • Developing a Sustainable Global Economy that meets human needs, promotesprosperity, and is in harmony with nature.

Worldwatch also monitors human health, population, water resources, biodiversity, governance, and environmental security.[2]


  • 1974—The institute was founded by Lester Brown.[3]
  • 1975—The first Worldwatch Paper was published.
  • 1984 –- First State of the World published.[4]
  • 1988 -- World Watch Magazine was launched.
  • 1992 -- Vital Signs, Worldwatch's third annual series, was premiered.
  • 2000 -- Christopher Flavin became President of Worldwatch in October.
  • 2008—Worldwatch hosted the 20th Anniversary of the James E. Hansen hearings.


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