Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spotlight: World Resources Institute

By, Kimberly Pierce Cortes, J.D. Candidate 2014, Pace Law School

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global environmental think tank whose mission is “to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.” WRI focuses its work on four key program areas: 1) climate, energy, and transport, 2) governance and access, 3) markets and enterprise, and 4) people and ecosystems.

WRI is a prolific publisher—ten new publications in December 2012 alone—with data and other relevant information for each of its program areas. This information is accessible via the publications page. The archive dates back to 1984 and includes 608 entries. There is no advanced search feature, but the search engine can be narrowed by topic. Although not especially sophisticated, the search engine does turn up relevant publications as well as relevant excerpts available directly on the website with links to the larger report. For an example, see this excerpt on nuclear energy in the United States, part of a larger report on energy options in the U.S. For publications not available online, WRI will ship print copies for a small fee to cover the cost of printing and shipping.

In addition to publications, WRI provides access to data sets and charts and maps. Data sets include U.S. state level data and global data on greenhouse gas emissions, along with more specific information on ecosystems both globally and for select countries. The charts and maps feature is very similar to the publications search, allowing you to narrow by topic and search across all WRI info-graphics.

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