Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

The Sustainable Development Goals in the UK

By Robert Lyons on 26th April 2017

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has published a new report arguing that the government has no clear plan for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. The report questions whether the government has a clear plan for meeting the Goals, and calls for a Cabinet-level minister to take responsibility for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals across government and to report on progress every three years from 2018.

Global trends in renewable energy

By Robert Lyons on 25th April 2017

A new report for UN Environment’s Economy Division finds that wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up eight per cent from the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before. The added generating capacity roughly equals that of the world's 16 largest existing power producing facilities combined. Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation.

This first set of annual reports give insight into the progress Scotland’s public sector is making towards meeting Scotland’s climate change targets. The reports also provide useful insight into how the Scottish public sector is responding to the challenge of climate change within each organisation, including how the sector is contributing to carbon emissions reduction, climate change adaptation, procurement policies and activity.

This study notes that under current carbon-emission rates, this temperature rise will occur around the middle of this century, with damaging effects on coastal businesses and ecosystems, while also triggering major human migration from low-lying areas. Global sea-level rise will not be uniform, and will differ for different points of the globe.

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Citizen science - the involvement of volunteers in data collection, analysis and interpretation - simultaneously supports research and public engagement with science, and its profile is rapidly rising. This systematic assessment of environmental and ecological citizen science projects found that they take a wide variety of forms and are increasing in number thanks to the availability of smartphones and online databases.

What impact can hydrogen and fuel cell technologies have in addressing the energy trilemma: energy security, energy cost, and CO2 emissions?

The H2FC SUPERGEN commissioned four evidence-based White Papers to inform key stakeholders, especially policy makers, of the roles and potential benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in addressing:

Community resilience to climate change

By Robert Lyons on 27th March 2017

Disadvantaged groups need to be helped to cope with the cost pressures caused by climate change, according to a new report compiled by the University of Dundee for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The report warns that shocks such as extreme weather events and stresses like changes in the cost of living will interact to generate hardships for local communities.

There has been limited study to date on the environmental impacts of crime prevention measures. This paper for Security Policy addresses this shortfall by estimating the carbon footprint associated with the most widely used burglary prevention measures: door locks, window locks, burglar alarms, lighting and CCTV cameras. Window locks are found to be the most effective and low-carbon measure available individually.

The authors of this paper compare the impact of intensification in the beef and dairy sectors via two pathways; either intensification within a system (eg, a mixed crop-livestock system) or through transitioning to another more productive system (from pasture to mixed crop-livestock production) and assesses the mitigation potential that could arise. The paper reviews the impacts of these forms of intensification on both GHG emissions, land occupation and land use change (LUC), the last of which has often been excluded in other similar analyses.  

Smart cities have been criticised for implementing technology in ways that do not pay sufficient attention to political or social issues. In response, a new paper by three members of the International Eco-Cities Initiative investigates the role of the public in smart city initiatives. The paper identifies four modes of publicness - ‘service user’, ‘entrepreneurial’, ‘political’ and ‘civic’ - and finds that the first two modes are dominant in the digital initiatives that are analysed.

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