Institute at Brown for Environment and Society


Sustaining life on Earth requires change in the way we power our campuses and cities, how we incentivize reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and how we grow and distribute our food.

IBES is the nexus point for a diverse set of activities, partnerships and initiatives, aimed at increasing sustainability at Brown, in our surrounding community, within the US and worldwide.

Map of IBES connections to sustainability

Getting Brown to net-zero emissions.

Under the leadership of Associate Provost for Sustainability, IBES faculty member Stephen Porder, Brown has set an aggressive goal to cut its campus greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2025, and to achieve net-zero no later than 2040.

Combatting climate misinformation and denial.

IBES is the headquarters for the Climate Social Science Network, an organization of social science scholars across the world that is dedicated to expanding research on the global climate change countermovement: an invisible network of actors that pushes narratives of climate denial and aims to slow, stop or roll back climate protections around the globe. The Climate Social Science Network is the only coalition of its kind in the world.

Challenging climate inaction and disrupting inertial barriers to change.

The Climate Solutions Initiative is a collaboration between IBES and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs that aims to curb climate inaction locally and globally by identifying and disrupting the status quo factors (from behaviors to infrastructure) that prevent changes that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We aim to provide the tools, guidance and inspiration to universities, cities, regions and international governing bodies to enable action to halt and reverse the effects of climate change. 

Informing national and international policy.

Our undergraduates help staff the Climate and Development Lab, a think tank housed at IBES that produces timely, accessible, and impactful research aimed at generating just and effective climate change policies. Reports generated by our students have informed the fight for sustainable climate solutions on the local, national, and international level.

Developing a more resilient Providence.

Led by IBES fellow and former EPA administrator Curt Spalding, the Providence Resilience Partnership is a coalition of academic scholars and civic and business leaders dedicated to advancing community understanding of climate change. The Partnership aims to develop strategies to equitably address looming hazards such as sea level rise, severe storms, and heat waves in Providence, enabling the city to thrive, socially and economically, for the foreseeable future.

Enabling more sustainable food systems.

Food production is intimately connected to climate change. IBES Senior Lecturer Dawn King, an expert on local food policy, agriculture, and their intimate connections to the our changing climate, is working with local stakeholders to ensure Rhode Island food systems are equitable and sustainable.

Partnering with NPR on Sustainability.

IBES has teamed up with Rhode Island’s public radio station to create "Possibly," a radio show that explores the science behind sustainability. On “Possibly,” a co-production with The Public’s Radio 89.3FM, student reporters work with faculty and professional staff to help listeners make informed decisions about everyday choices — ones that can increase local and global sustainability. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, or listen at

Contact us

Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES)
Brown University
Box 1951
85 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912

Phone: 401-863-3449
Fax: 401-863-3839