SDRN Mailing, 1 June 2016

By Editor on 1st June 2016
Network news
Research and resources

Network news

1.  SDRN and JISCmail
Some of you may have received an email informing you that the SDRN JISCmail list has been suspended due to lack of use. Don't be alarmed, SDRN is alive and well. In fact, we've been using Mailchimp for our fortnightly newsletters for the past four years. These communications will continue. If you would like to spread the word about your events, research or calls, just let us know at and we'll add them to the next newsletter. Thanks.
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1. Call for applications from early career researchers in the UK and Mexico to attend a funded workshop 
Under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund, the British Council, the James Hutton Institute (JHI) and Colegio de Postgraduados (COLPOS, Campus-Puebla), a workshop will be held on 'Economic development and social welfare under pressure: Climate change impacts on water resources', in Puebla, Mexico on 7, 8 and 9 of September 2016. The workshop is being coordinated by Prof. Alison Hester (JHI) and Dr. Javier Ramirez (COLPOS), and will have contributions from other leading researchers. Early Career Researchers from the UK and Mexico are invited to apply to attend this workshop. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Newton Researcher Links programme.  The closing date for applications is 5 June 2016.  More...

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1. Land degradation, Desertification and Climate Change: Anticipating, assessing and adapting to future change
8 June 2016, 16.00 – 17.15, University of Leeds
Mark Reed, Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation at Newcastle University and Lindsay Stringer, Professor in Environment and Development at the University of Leeds will be presenting the latest seminar in the Sustainability Seminar series, hosted by the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds.  The seminar will present highlights from their new book – Land Degradation, Desertification and Climate Change: Anticipating, assessing and adapting to climate change.  It places people at the centre of analysis and outlines ways in which people need to work together in order to anticipate, assess and successfully adapt to future change.  It shows how some adaptations can tackle both climate change and land degradation, while at the same time protecting livelihoods and biodiversity.  More...

2. Impact Activities from Research on Business Sustainability
29 June 2016, 10.00 – 16.00, Newcastle University London
This workshop, organised by Newcastle University London and the British Academy of Management (BAM) Sustainable and Responsible Business SIG aims to discuss impact activities arising from business sustainability research in business schools exploring avenues for engagement using online platforms, examining successful collaborations between business schools and non-academic users, discussing non-academic engagements in the EU context and exploring opportunities and challenges of putting together REF impact case studies.  The workshop welcomes academics from business and management disciplines who are conducting research in areas of business sustainability and are interested in sharing ideas and experiences and learning about non-academic impact engagement activities arising from academic research.  It is open to senior and junior academics with an interest in reaching out to non-academic users such as public policy makers, business community, non-governmental organizations, consumers and other communities as part of their research activities.  More...

3. A low carbon transport future: The UK capability to lead the way
30 June 2016, 10.00 – 18.00, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, will be giving the keynote speech at the The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership’s (LowCVP) annual conference, held in association with the Advanced Propulsion Centre.  The Conference aims to attract leading figures from government, industry, academia and the environmental movement to discuss: The political and economic situation for the UK low carbon auto and fuels sector following the Paris Conference, the EU Referendum and in the context of the Fifth Carbon Budget – which must be set by June 30; How the UK is placed to develop and benefit from the low carbon propulsion technologies of the future; Efficient, intelligent and autonomous; how new technologies can change the outlook for transport carbon; The energy infrastructure for future mobility; how do we move to an EV-ready powergrid?, and, Future vehicles; delivering lower carbon and cleaner air & including LowCVP’s key initiatives in 2016-17.  Conference delegates will also have the chance of a VIP tour of the ‘Make the Future London’ exhibition and an opportunity to see the teams’ concepts for the future of efficient cars in action at the Shell Eco-marathon.  More...

4. Sustainability in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities
6 – 7 July 2016, (Pre-conference social on 6 July, 17.30 – 19.30; Main conference on 7 July, 09.30 – 16.00), Canterbury Christ Church University
This free conference, organised by Canterbury Christ Church University, will explore four key themes within its Framework for Sustainability 2015-2016: Staff and student experience; Education for Sustainable Development; Research and Knowledge Exchange; and, Our Environment and will have five parallel sessions during the day.  Martin Wright of Collectively will be the keynote speaker and the conference will offer a variety of creative inputs and activities including research paper presentations, interactive workshops, campus tours and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) showcases.  There is an additional pre-conference social event at St Augustine’s Abbey on the evening of 6th July – Heritage, hops and harmony – where delegates have the opportunity to explore the World Heritage Site, enjoy drinks and canapes, live music and to taste Green Chapel Ale brewed from heritage hops grown on the Canterbury campus.  These two events need to be booked separately.  More…   

5. Realising Wales’ energy potential – innovation, regulation and building investor confidence
14 July 2016, 09.00 – 13.00, Cardiff
Charles Hargreaves, Associate Director, Renewable Energy, Ofgem, will give the keynote address at this seminar, organised by Policy Forum for Wales.  Delegates will discuss recent EU and Welsh Government investments in energy research in Wales, the practical near-term prospects for progress with new technologies in fields of energy storage and energy efficiency and the future for marine energy including the tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay and alternative marine energy projects in Pembrokeshire and Anglesey following the launch of the UK Government’s review of tidal lagoon projects.  Also central to discussions will be the marketing of Wales as a destination for inward investment in energy, the potential for building major wind, solar, nuclear and gas infrastructure in Wales and the next steps for delivery. Sessions will also examine how to encourage further community renewable projects and overcoming the challenges such projects pose for the grid.  More...

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Research and Resources
1. The EU referendum: Implications for UK Energy Policy
The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has published a new policy briefing which reviews the changing energy policy in both the UK and the EU, in response to various challenges, policy goals and technological developments, and considers the implications for UK energy policy in the event of a vote to remain in the EU or of Brexit.  Whatever the outcome, the authors consider that the UK will need to relate to the wider energy system(s) of the European mainland and of Ireland.  If the decision is to remain in the EU, questions might arise as to how consistent current UK policy is with existing EU climate and energy policy, and with the European Commission’s proposals for an Energy Union.  A vote to leave is likely to result in a period of uncertainty of at least two years for the UK energy sector and could reduce the UK’s ability to influence European energy markets, which could lead to price rises.  More...

2. Tool Assessor – the UK’s online resource on tools that connect the environment and society
The Ecosystems Knowledge Network has produced a new service – Tool Assessor – that provides information about tools that analyse the environment and can enable a better understanding of ecosystem services, natural capital and green infrastructure.  Tool Assessor focuses on tools that help people manage the environment as an asset, rather than simply managing it for nature conservation objectives.  Profiles are given of 12 tools and it is intended that the list will grow. Users are encouraged to provide comments on the tools so people can learn from each other.  More...

3. Plates, pyramids, planet – Developments in national healthy and sustainable dietary guidelines: a state of play assessment
A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Food Climate Research Network at the University of Oxford evaluates government-issued food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) from across the world, looking at whether they make links to environmental sustainability as well as public health, with evidence suggesting that dietary patterns that have low environmental impacts can also be consistent with good health.  The report highlights instances of forward thinking governments who are taking the lead in developing integrated guidance; examines what these guidelines say; identifies common messages; and considers whether and how their approaches could be replicated elsewhere.  Successes and failures are examined and specific suggestions are given for developing dietary guidelines that incorporate sustainability.  More...

4. CO2 labelling of passenger cars in Europe: Status, challenges and future prospects
EU member states are required to ensure that consumers are informed about the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new passenger cars.  The European Commission is currently evaluating the relevant directive and in support of this, Gary Haq and Martin Weiss assess the status of car labelling in the EU in their new paper, published in Energy Policy.  They found inconsistency in the labelling information presented to consumers, as well as fuel consumption data that significantly underrated yearly fuel costs.  In order that European car labelling can receive wider recognition and to enable the consumer to make better-informed choices, Haq and Weiss recommend that Member States adopt (i) a uniform label that mirrors, as far as feasible, the design of the EU energy label, (ii) data and classification metrics that accurately reflect the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions observed by consumers and (iii) a labelling scheme that allows differentiation between efficient hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. More...

5. Partnership of placation? The role of trust and justice in the shared ownership of renewable energy projects
Governments in several European countries have developed policies that encourage companies to share ownership of renewable energy projects with local communities. Shared ownership presumes that company and community actors have common goals, can form effective partnerships and negotiate fair outcomes. But there is a lack of research on shared ownership, in particular, how it is constructed by different actors, and the role of trust in shaping practice. This study addressed this gap, drawing on qualitative data from in-depth interviews with 19 UK stakeholders from industry, community and advisory backgrounds. Thematic analysis revealed strong support for shared ownership in principle, but significant challenges in practice. Actors held different rationales and contrasting views on whether the policy should be discretionary or mandatory. A lack of trust was prevalent, with developers expressing skepticism regarding the capacities and representativeness of community actors; and community actors viewing developers as solely motivated by profit, instrumentally using communities to gain planning consent. The authors conclude that for shared ownership to become conventional practice, it will be necessary to provide mechanisms that facilitate partner identification at an early stage, which can help to build relations of trust between actors, within a more stable and supportive policy.  More...

6. Syria and climate change: did the media get it right?
Climate Outreach has produced a digital report which uses interactive maps, video and infographics to explore a complex and controversial issue: did climate change play a role in sparking the crisis in Syria and the flow of refugees out of the country? And how did the media report the issue?  Section 1 looks at what the media said about the role of climate change in the Syrian conflict.  Section 2 asks how much of the media’s narrative is supported by evidence and Section 3 looks at the media’s future predictions, and asks how they compare with existing evidence.  More...

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