Over the last 20 years the Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) has contributed to the global vision of sustainable development which we see as socio-economic development that protects and enhances the environment and social justice. Through world-class innovative research and interdisciplinary teaching in environmental studies and management we are responding to the challenges of the 21st century.
The IES delivers innovative, interdisciplinary, flexible and practical programs that combine a solid foundation in environmental management with choice from a wide range of cross faculty electives. Our students develop comprehensive knowledge and skills designed to enhance their careers and enable them to play a meaningful role in a sustainable future. Postgraduate programs by coursework or research  are available on campus and online. 

See 2013 IES ANNUAL REPORT  and the IES Strategic Plan 2014-17



Low Carbon Economy Transition and  Stranded Assets image

Low Carbon Economy Transition and Stranded Assets

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 - 1:00pm – 2:15pm  |  Lecture room G24, Ground level, Electrical Engineering Building G17

Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, will cover the state of the global electricity markets, reflecting on the rapid transition away from thermal coal towards a more diverse and robust electricity system. Energy efficiency, policy progress and slower economic growth will all assist in accelerating the move to a lower carbon economy globally.

The Humanity System image

The Humanity System

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 - 1:00pm – 2:00pm  |  IES Room 413, Level 4, Electrical Engineering Building G17 UNSW Kensington main campus

We don’t simply live in a society, economy or  human ecosystem, but in all of these interacting, forming a humanity system. Despite the growing cross-disciplinary effort, specialisation in the social sciences has slowed progress in humankind’s understanding of the world and our capacity to improve it. Seminar presenter Michael Tuckson is the author of Changing the World (published by Humanity System Books). Most of his work lay in rural and urban development in Thailand and Laos, and as a government and university staffer in Australia.

Zero Carbon Australia Land Use Report image

Zero Carbon Australia Land Use Report

Wednesday, 5 November 2014 - 6:30pm – 8:30pm  |  Theatre M17, Mezzanine, Chemical Sciences Building (Building F10), UNSW, Kensington, Sydney

Come along and hear the key findings from the Zero Carbon Australia Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry report, followed by a Q & A session with an expert panel to discuss issues relating to implementation as well as social and economic opportunities. FREE - but you need to  Register here


EA chooses Eminent Speaker 2015

EA chooses Eminent Speaker 2015

28 October 2014

 A/Prof Mark Diesendorf has been chosen to be Eminent Speaker for 2015 by Engineers Australia. A series of public lectures on A Sustainable Energy Future for Australia will ask the question:  if we replaced all the fossil fuelled power stations of the Australian National Electricity Market by commercially available renewable energy systems, how reliable would the renewable electricity supply system be?  Mark believes that the results are encouraging for a renewable energy future, both in terms of reliability and economics.

No Free Rides to the Future

No Free Rides to the Future

14 August 2014

Last night Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, said that 'other countries were investing strategically in science “for the long haul”, and Australia needed to catch up.'
Professor Chubb said he will release his proposal for a national science strategy in Canberra on 2 September, with recommendations for improving competitiveness, education and training, research, and international engagement. "We must ensure that we bequeath a planet that can sustain the coming generations"... more
Read the  full transcript here, published in The Conversation

Science Policy Interface for UNCCD

Science Policy Interface for UNCCD

10 July 2014

Through competitive selection IES Director Prof Graciela Metternicht joins the membership of 20 eminent scientists in the Science Policy Interface (SPI) established by  the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This group of scientists and 3 observers (NGO and other UN agencies) first met in June to facilitate the two way science policy dialogue and ensure the delivery of policy-relevant information,knowledge and advice on desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD). Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, are identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development. READ MORE