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.

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.

Brexit: environment and climate change

By Robert Lyons on 15th February 2017

A new report by the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee was published on 14 February. The Committee concluded that one of the key challenges in this area will be that of effectively maintaining environmental protection through the Great Repeal Bill, given the complex and extensive nature of environmental legislation.

The Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience. The final report provides a snapshot of the UK ‘heatwave planning’ and ‘community resilience’ national, regional and local policy and practice landscapes. The reports also offers a compelling, evidence-based analysis of the untapped potential of the VCS to contribute more fully to local planning and practice in climate resilience and emergency planning. 

This report sets out the work done by the committee, an independent advisory to government, since March 2016. It also makes a series of recommendations to government on developing the 25 year environment plan.

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Recycling reset: how England can stop subsidising waste

By Robert Lyons on 17th January 2017

The latest report from the Circular Economy Task Force recommends four positive steps to solve the problem:

  • standardised recycling collections;
  • waste-generating companies to contribute to council costs;
  • responsible companies should pay lower producer responsibility fees;
  • enable councils to charge those households which don’t recycle properly.

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A new report by the Environmental Audit Committee suggests that protections for wildlife and habitats could be weaker after the UK leaves the EU if the Government doesn’t take action before, or in the early stages of the Article 50 process. The MPs looked at the legislative, trade, and financial issues and make recommendations for action to secure the future of the natural environment. They call on the Government to allow full parliamentary scrutiny of its plans for the future of environmental legislation after Brexit.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia, the University of Exeter and the James Hutton Institute have identified a set of key ‘sticking points’ that they believe inhibit consideration of the natural environment in decision-making. The briefing provides potential solutions. These include the creation of knowledge networks and the use of political ‘windows of opportunity’ such as flood incidents to get messages across. The briefing uses findings from the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, as well as more recent research undertaken by the organisations involved. 

Shaping the Paris Mechanisms

By Robert Lyons on 3rd January 2017

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement established three approaches for countries to cooperate with each other: cooperative approaches, a new mechanism to promote mitigation and sustainable development ('sustainable development mechanism'), and a framework for non-market approaches.

A consultation tool written jointly by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was launched at the Town and Country Planning Association’s ‘Are we planning for the climate challenge’ event. The new tool lets communities take the lead in planning their own low-carbon future. It adopts CSE and CPRE’s new ‘Future Energy Landscapes’ approach that shows that putting local people at the centre of energy planning can result in ambitious vision and targets.

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Sustainability and HM Treasury

By Robert Lyons on 22nd November 2016

This new report by the Commons Environmental Audit Committee argues that ministers cannot make well-informed decisions unless they have access to all relevant information  including  long-term  costs  and  benefits.  The  Treasury  needs  to  do  more, says the report,  to  factor  these  into  its  decision-making  processes,  so  that  decisions  are  subject  to  a  systematic ‘green-check’ and set out concrete steps on how it will incorporate new evidence on natural capital into its ‘Green Book’ appraisal process and its reporting and accounting mechanisms.

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