Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Letter from the Director

Jeff Colgan

Welcome to the Climate Solutions Lab!

The Climate Solutions Lab (CSL) is dedicated to learning, creating and distributing solution-oriented climate knowledge at Brown University and across the world. It is part of a university-wide Climate Solutions Initiative launched in September 2020, which aims to spur climate action locally and globally through scholarship, learning and research-informed infrastructure changes. The Initiative connects people around the university, such as those at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES) and the Initiative for Sustainable Energy (ISE), to generate interdisciplinary lessons and new insights.

CSL is the cornerstone of the initiative to elevate climate change as a focus for the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. The Lab draws on the Watson Institute's deep expertise in climate-adjacent subjects such as energy, trade, finance, inequality and international development to launch new courses, research and policy discussions.

The Watson Institute is an ideal place for those discussions. It is home to senior fellows such as Deborah Gordon and Alice Plane, who lend their expertise in public discussions and work with students in seminars. Watson hosts groundbreaking talks between leaders who have different but complementary expertise, and it is home to renowned faculty whose scholarship often sparks discussion in Congress and leads to real change.

As director, I am delighted to be teaching a course titled Politics of Climate Change, which arms potential climate advocates at Brown with knowledge of the political forces obstructing climate action, as well as the social movements, institutions and economic interests that shape the response to climate change. That course is part of the course sequence that the Climate Solutions Lab supports at the Watson Institute.

At the Climate Solutions Lab, we are excited to bring new ideas to find solutions to the climate challenge. Join us!

Jeff Colgan
Director, Climate Solutions Lab
Richard Holbrooke Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs