Cover of Worldwatch Report Creating Sustainable Prosperity in the US

Worldwatch Report #186: Creating Sustainable Prosperity in the United States: The Need for Innovation and Leadership

This report assesses the country’s environmental record and calls for a broad range of policy innovations in the areas of renewable and non-renewable resource use, waste and pollution, and population growth that would help boost the sustainability of the U.S. economy while maintaining people’s overall well-being and quality of life.

Green Economy and Green Jobs in China

Worldwatch Report #185: Green Economy and Green Jobs in China: Current Status and Potentials for 2020

Since 2000, and especially during the 11th Five-Year period of 2006–10, China has prioritized green development in almost all of its leading economic sectors.  One of the greatest promises of China’s green transition is the potential for expanded employment in industries and economic sectors that can help slow and possibly reduce the country’s environmental impact. This report explores greening activities in three leading sectors of China’s economy: energy, transportation, and forestry. It sheds light on the current scale of investment and employment in these sectors and suggests potentials for 2020.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-2011: Nuclear Power in a Post-Fukushima World

Even before the disaster in Fukushima, the world’s nuclear industry was in clear decline, according to a new report from the Worldwatch Institute. The report, which Worldwatch commissioned months before the Fukushima crisis began, paints a bleak picture of an aging industry unable to keep pace with its renewable energy competitors.

Powering the Low-Carbon Economy Report Cover

Worldwatch Report #184: Powering the Low-Carbon Economy: The Once and Future Roles of Renewable Energy and Natural Gas

Over the past decade, renewable energy and natural gas have emerged as potential cornerstones of a low-carbon power sector. Wind and solar resources are abundant and can be converted into electricity using technologies that emit no greenhouse gases. Natural gas offers a cleaner alternative to coal that can deliver sharp, immediate reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector—if new supplies can be produced responsibly.

Natural Gas and Sustainable Energy Initiative Briefing Papers

This briefing paper series is designed to explore and communicate the potential of natural gas, renewable energy, and energy efficiency to work together to build a low-carbon economy. The papers provide a forum to examine potential environmental, social, and political obstacles that must be addressed if natural gas is to accelerate, rather than delay, a low-carbon energy transformation.

This publication available for free download.

Worldwatch Report #183: Population, Climate Change, and Women’s Lives

The growth of population is a major factor behind climate change today. Human-caused climate change is fundamentally an imbalance of scale, as people release heat-trapping gases into Earth’s atmosphere faster than the oceans and living things can remove them. This imbalance stems from both the explosion of technologies made possible through the combustion of fossil fuels since the late 1700s and the more than sevenfold increase in human numbers since that time. 

Worldwatch Report #182: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in China: Current Status and Prospects for 2020

Over the past few years, China has emerged as a global leader in clean energy, topping the world in production of compact fluorescent light bulbs, solar water heaters, solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, and wind turbines. The remarkable rise of China’s clean energy sector reflects a strong and growing commitment by the government to diversify its energy economy, reduce environmental problems, and stave off massive increases in energy imports. Around the world, governments and industries now find themselves struggling to keep pace with the new pacesetter in global clean energy development.

Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry

This report draws on lessons from Germany, Spain, Japan, and China, the four dominant international rail manufacturing countries, to conclude that greater investment in U.S. rail manufacturing could revive America’s former leadership in the world rail industry-–and potentially create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Written for the Apollo Alliance in partnership with Northeastern University and the Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness.

Worldwatch Report #181: Global Environmental Change: The Threat to Human Health

Over the past two-to-three hundred years, humanity’s ecological footprint has ballooned to such an extent that we are now fundamentally altering the planet. We have transformed the Earth’s land surface and altered the function of its ecosystems, and we are triggering the rapid loss of both terrestrial and marine life. We are also profoundly changing our planet’s climate. It is increasingly apparent that the breadth and depth of the changes we are wreaking on the environment are imperiling not only many of the other species with which we share the ecological stage, but the health and wellbeing of our own species as well.

Worldwatch Report #180: Red, White, and Green: Transforming U.S. Biofuels

Over the last decade, biofuels have been championed in the United States as a new source of income for rural communities, as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and most recently as a solution to the country's energy and climate change problems. These latter concerns are now the main driver behind the promise of biofuels, leading the United States and other governments across the world to encourage greater production and use. But as the market for biofuels expands, so too do the social, economic, and environmental impacts.