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The globalization of industrial consumer societies has generated unparalleled prosperity, but it also presents a profound threat to the environment. If unchecked, climate change will exacerbate economic, social, and political problems on a global scale. The effort to provide food, water, and energy for a growing world population will impact challenges of development, governance, and security into the future.

The Global Future of the Environment was the focus of the Georgetown Global Futures Initiative during the fall 2016 semester. A series of lectures by leaders of major international organizations framed a structured conversation with faculty, students, and a global audience about key environmental challenges and how to address them in the decades to come. 

The lectures were complemented by a range of other events across campus related to the theme of environment, as well as a global online dialogue including more than 30 scholars, students, and practitioners around the world. The environment was also the theme of World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim’s second lecture in the spring 2015 series on the Global Future of Development.

For an overview of Georgetown’s engagement with environmental issues across schools and programs, visit the Global Georgetown website or follow the links below.

Select Academic Programs

Select Centers, Institutes, and Research Programs

  • Georgetown Environment InitiativeA multi-campus effort, this initiative advances interdisciplinary study of the environment in relation to society, scientific understanding, sound policy, and the challenges we face.
  • Center for the EnvironmentThis center, located in Georgetown College, provides an evolving forum for the discussion, dissemination, and awareness of environmental issues at Georgetown and beyond.
  • Georgetown Climate CenterBased at Georgetown Law Center, this center examines interconnected climate, energy, and transportation policies and legal frameworks, with a focus on the United States.
  • Program on Science in the Public InterestLocated in Georgetown College, this program promotes direct dialogue with the government, industry, and community on critical issues including the environment.
The Global Future of the Environment Fall 2016 Report

The Global Future of the Environment Fall 2016 Report

During the fall 2016, Global Futures hosted a series of high-level lectures. Featured speakers included Secretary of State John Kerry; Rachel Kyte, chief executive officer of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative; and Anote Tong, former president of the island nation of Kiribati.




What Will it Take to Build a Sustainable Energy System for the Future? (Video)

November 7, 2016

Duration: 1 hour 2 minutes

The Global Challenge of Climate-Induced Migration (Video)

October 17, 2016

Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes

Our Ocean, One Future Leadership Summit (Video)

September 16, 2016

Duration: 1 hour 9 minutes