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 more variable nature of some forms of renewable energy can be balanced by using adequately flexibile measures, such as adaptable fuel generation sources, active demand response (a change in consumer power consumption to match the demand for power with the supply), better storage of power and interconnections; the big challenge is to develop a flexible power system with the adequate resources to ensure a cost-effective integration of renewables.

This European Environment Agency report explores the circular economy from a product perspective, applying a systemic approach and transition theory. Drivers of product design and usage are discussed in the context of emerging consumption trends and business models. For governance to be effective, it has to address the product life-cycle and the societal context determining it. Indicators and assessment tools are proposed that can help fill the current data and knowledge gaps.

This thematic issue of Science for Environment Policy presents recent peer-reviewed research examining the impact of AES on European farming, with a particular focus on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. AES have been shown to benefit a range of animals and plants by increasing the number of individuals and species. However, as with all measurements involving complex ecosystems, the findings and causal links are nuanced, and sometimes difficult to isolate.

This report for Nature Climate Change is a quantitative assessment of the economic costs of the joint impacts of local and global climate change for all main cities around the world. Cost–benefit analyses are presented of urban heat island mitigation options, including green and cool roofs and cool pavements. It is shown that local actions can be a climate risk-reduction instrument.

The latest report from the CCC argues that two new plans covering emissions reductions and actions to prepare for climate change are needed to meet the UK’s climate change objectives. The plans to be developed by the new Government will be drawn up against a backdrop of changes that could help to deliver better policy. However, some of these changes also present risks to the delivery of those climate change plans.

This study, based on a one-year field trial of a solar power installation in India, found that despite substantial increases in access to electricity there was no systematic evidence for changes in savings, spending, business creation, time spent working or studying, or other broader indicators of socioeconomic development.

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A recent report by the International Council for Science examines the interactions between the various goals and targets, determining to what extent they reinforce or conflict with each other. It provides a blueprint to help countries implement and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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This briefing sets out why the scale of the air pollution problem in the UK requires a bolder and more holistic approach, which involves moving away from diesel vehicles (in favour of petrol and, ultimately, hybrid and electric alternatives), as well as a shift from private car ownership to car sharing schemes, public transport, walking and cycling. Not only could these shifts save thousands of lives, they could also drive improvements in two of the government’s other transport objectives: a reduction in congestion, and a reduction in road-based CO2 emissions.

Two-thirds of cities experiencing relative economic decline face above average flood disadvantage according to new research by Sayers and Partners for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The report highlights how floods interact with social vulnerability across the UK to create flood disadvantage, an issue which will be exacerbated by climate change.

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Healthy and Sustainable Diets for European Countries

By Robert Lyons on 20th June 2017

This report by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) presents both evidence and recommendations for European policy development on sustainable healthy diets. Starting with an overview of the health and environmental consequences of dietary habits, the report moves on to present an analysis of individual and societal costs and benefits of implementing sustainable healthy diets, and a list of the European actors and institutions working on this issue. 

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