Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

Emma Bouton '20

Climate change is a threat not only to Earth’s diverse species and ecosystems, but to its human inhabitants as well—particuarly in developing countries and low-lying island nations.

In order to avoid catastrophic environmental change and uphold the dignity of those who are most vulnerable to its effects, wealthy nations must take immediate and dramatic steps to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.

One way to accomplish this here in the U.S. is to enact an ambitious Green New Deal, a nationwide push to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while creating new jobs and remaining just to existing communities and workers. 

To this end, Emma Bouton ‘20 is leading the Rhode Island chapter of Sunrise, a youth-led movement dedicated to ending climate change. By organizing and mobilizing large groups of students, engaging with staffers, and drawing media attention to the issue, Bouton and her team successfully encouraged Congressman David Cicilline (RI-D) to become an original co-sponsor of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Green New Deal Resolution. 

Bouton’s interest in the outdoors began in childhood, on her family’s farm in rural New Hampshire. But since arriving at Brown, her passion for the natural world has become more centered on social justice.

“My ultimate goal is to stop climate change by fundamentally changing the unjust systems that produced the problem in the first place,” she explains, “creating a more liveable and equitable world.”

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