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.

YouGov on British climate change attitudes

By Bridget Elliott on 30th May 2013

This article outlines the results of YouGov’s annual tracker of British attitudes to renewable energy, and highlights that there is stable and overwhelming consensus in the belief that the planet is warming and humans are either wholly or partly to blame. This is despite a decline since the onset of economic crisis in the number of those who are interested in the issue or attach high urgency to it. According to results, 72% of the British public described themselves as interested in the issue of “global warming and climate change” in 2008, compared to just 59% in 2012.

Since 2007, the world has suffered three rounds of high food prices, caused by a variety of factors from extreme weather events to civil conflict. A recently-published study  looked at policy responses to price crises in the United States, the European Union and 14 middle- and low-income countries throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa south of the Sahara, and indicated that poor policy decisions were also a significant contributing factor.

This new report provides an overview that sets out the drivers, benefits and vision for Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in the UK and is based on findings from a collaborative project that included extensive consultation and a literature review to understand the role of WSUD in the UK. The report describes WSUD as the process of integrating water cycle management with the built environment through planning and urban design.

The Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate Coordination Network (ARCC CN) has recently published this report based on the experiences of six ARCC projects. The study investigates how good collaboration between all partners contributes to better research outcomes. The report highlights that the benefits of effective collaboration are substantial, but working with the different expectations, aims and expertise of researchers and stakeholders can be difficult.

The CIRCLE-2 network has published a book of 22 case studies of implemented climate change adaptation measures.  CIRCLE-2 is a European Network of 34 institutions from 23 countries committed to funding research and sharing knowledge on climate adaptation and the promotion of long-term cooperation among national and regional climate change programmes. The book is designed to inspire science, policy and practice and it is hoped that it will assist in the branding of adaptation as a positive approach to facing climate change.

Net Balance, in collaboration with RMIT University and the City of Greater Geelong in Australia, has developed an ‘Adaptation Toolkit’ to assist organisations in prioritising their climate risks and adaptation actions. There are three separate tools that make up the toolkit.

KPMG launches Green Tax Index

By Bridget Elliott on 15th May 2013

The UK has recently been named by audit and tax advisory company, KPMG, as one of the six most active countries in using tax as a tool to drive sustainable corporate behaviour and achieve green policy goals. The findings are the result of KPMG’s Green Tax Index, a tool created to increase awareness of the ‘complex, fragmented and rapidly evolving’ green tax landscape worldwide. The index analyses green tax incentives and penalties in 21 major economies, focusing on key policy areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, carbon emissions, green innovation and green buildings.

On 9th May 2013, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958. As reported on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website (http://researchmatters.noaa.gov/news/Pages/CarbonDioxideatMaunaLoareaches400ppm.aspx), the rate of increase has accelerated since the measurements started, from about 0.7 ppm per year in the late 1950s to 2.1 ppm per year during the last 10 years.

This article published in The Environmental Forum, the policy journal of the Environmental Law Institute, compares and contrasts the actions of two important countries that have an historic ‘special relationship’—the United States and the United Kingdom. Suggestions as to what these two counties can teach each other about climate change and sustainable development at the national level are provided in the article.

The Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring (RAC Foundation) and UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) have just published a report by Ricardo-AEA on the future of low-carbon cars and fuels. The report describes how industry consensus and market projections suggest that there will not be a single, dominant technology or fuel going forward in the way that there has been over the last century (i.e. with the monopoly of the internal-combustion engine). Instead, there will be a range of solutions for different transport applications.

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