Environment

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    Intellectual property rights and the transfer of low-carbon technologies to other countries

Intellectual property rights and the transfer of low-carbon technologies to other countries

Wide access to clean technologies is crucial to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the increase in global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius. This requires considerable technology transfers from North to South as 90 per cent of the increase in global carbon emissions until 2050 is expected to occur in the developing world, while the vast […]

UK must create a cap-and-trade pollution market

PMQs on Wednesday opened with an attack on the Government’s air pollution strategy from the backbenches. It was by no means the first time in recent years the strategy has been challenged. It wasn’t even the first time that day. That morning, Government had – for the third time – lost a legal battle over its plan.

All this controversy […]

February 23rd, 2018|Dan Lewis, Environment|0 Comments|

Delinking economic growth and CO2 emission is possible

Six of the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gas are developing countries, according to a recent analysis of the World Resources Institute (see Figure 1). At present, developing countries already account for more than half of total annual emissions, and the share will only rise as developing countries grow. Clearly, achieving the global climate targets of the Paris Agreement […]

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    We can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

We can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

Climate change is now the ever-present reality of human experience. Late last year we witnessed a procession of huge hurricanes batter the US and Caribbean, the largest wildfires on record burn through California, and in Australia, despite the death of up to half of the Great Barrier Reef in back-to-back coral bleaching events, political support for new mega-coal mines […]

Socially responsible investment is growing at a fast clip

The Paris Agreement on climate change took place in December 2015 with signatories agreeing to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels). The most recent follow-up meeting took place in Bonn, Germany in November. Politicians, NGOs and regulators have taken the lead, but they need the financial services industry to put its money […]

December 19th, 2017|Environment, Tim Fright|0 Comments|

Simulating shared mobility in Helsinki

New types of ride-sharing services offered by companies like Uber, Lyft and Cabify have been gaining ground in recent years, especially in urban areas. The conflation of technology, both within and outside of the transport sector, with evolving societal trends around the production and consumption of services has been faster than anticipated by many authorities and has outpaced the […]

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    Low-carbon services can enhance the UK’s economic prospects

Low-carbon services can enhance the UK’s economic prospects

The government’s post-Brexit customs proposals, published on 15 August, recognised that one of the biggest opportunities for the UK is in trade in services. The second largest exporter of services worldwide, with services accounting for 45 per cent of the country’s exports in 2016, the UK already has a head start on its competitors. Last month Liam Fox, UK Minister for […]

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    Lessons from Paris 2015: In multilateral negotiations, process is key

Lessons from Paris 2015: In multilateral negotiations, process is key

Recent attempts to advance international cooperation have shown the importance of a very well managed negotiation process. While the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen ended without official agreement in 2009, they got back on track one year later in Cancún and reached a global deal in Paris in 2015. The largest summit ever at that time, with 120 […]

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    What’s holding back investment and innovation in renewable energy?

What’s holding back investment and innovation in renewable energy?

Renewable-energy technologies are critically important, both in addressing the risks of climate change and achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 7 (SDG7,) relative to affordable and clean energy. They have also become increasingly cost-competitive: the capital cost of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy has fallen by more than 60 per cent since 2010, and that of onshore wind energy by […]

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    US cities’ buy-green schemes reduce their environmental liabilities and costs

US cities’ buy-green schemes reduce their environmental liabilities and costs

As the U.S. federal government pulls back from policies and agreements that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, local governments are poised to pick up the slack. More than 270 U.S. mayors have affirmed their continued commitment to reducing GHG emissions following the Trump administration’s recent withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.

How can local governments work to further […]

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    Some tech devices try but fail to make us minimize our carbon footprint

Some tech devices try but fail to make us minimize our carbon footprint

For a couple of weeks now, I am the proud owner of a wireless wrist device that tracks my physical activity, heart rate and sleep. It gives me real-time feedback and nudges me towards a healthier behaviour. Along with the device comes an app that allows me to monitor my weight, calorie- and water intake. The app further provides a […]

You broke the planet, you pay for it

The general public is more likely to accept new climate policies if the ‘polluter pays’ principle is implemented and if assurances are given that convince them that the policies will be implemented both domestically and internationally. Our study examines the public acceptability of various climate mitigation policies in three countries (the UK, the Czech Republic and Poland) based on […]

Financing the transition to low carbon economies

Over the last decade a series of multilateral agreements on climate change in Copenhagen (2009), Paris (2016), and Marrakesh (2016) has established a global consensus on the need to transition towards sustainable, low-carbon economies that might allow us to limit global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.  But developing countries, not least in Latin American and the Caribbean, face […]

Think locally, act globally

Why do we observe climate-friendly behaviour?

From an economic perspective, it is particularly hard to explain why people, and countries, engage in pro-environmental behaviour. Even more so when it comes to climate-friendly behaviour. Since its benefits are enjoyed worldwide, regardless of who shoulders its burden, why not simply free riding on the efforts of others?

Yet, people purchase hybrid cars, solar […]

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    Slow economics: shifting the focus to sustainability and quality of life

Slow economics: shifting the focus to sustainability and quality of life

This post explores the relationship between some relatively new concepts in economics – slow living, slow food, slow writing and the green economy. The goal is twofold – discussing the possibilities opened by these exciting new concepts, in terms of an increase in the quality of life combined with an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, as well as ascertaining what they […]

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    The UK needs free trade in low-carbon technologies with the EU

The UK needs free trade in low-carbon technologies with the EU

The Government has made it clear in its White Paper that the UK will not be seeking membership of the Single Market after it leaves the European Union, but it will pursue “an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement”.

The White Paper also states: “The UK’s climate action will continue to be underpinned by our climate targets as set out in the […]

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    How changes in the prices of milk and beef affect deforestation in Brazil

How changes in the prices of milk and beef affect deforestation in Brazil

At first glance, this may seem like a trivial question but in the context of the Brazilian Amazon, heavily deforested over the last half-a-century, understanding the links between commodity prices and deforestation is important given ever-increasing demand for beef and dairy products. Tropical forests host critical biodiversity ‘hotspots’ as well as providing a range of important ecosystem services, in […]

Saving energy when it matters most

Unlike most other goods, electricity cannot be cost-effectively stored even for short periods. Supply must always meet demand, or you have blackouts. In addition, electricity demand is highly variable and inelastic (Ito 2014). As a result, electricity markets clear mostly on the supply side, with production ramping up and down to meet demand (Borenstein 2000, Griffin and Puller 2005). […]

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    Theresa May should press President Trump about his actions on climate change

Theresa May should press President Trump about his actions on climate change

On 13 January, the office of the Prime Minister, Theresa May, received a letter signed by 100 members of the climate change research community about the potential threats to, and opportunities for, the UK national interest arising from the recent elections in the United States.

I had signed the letter after becoming concerned by alarming reports of plans that could […]

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    Where mining takes place, food production takes a hit in Ghana

Where mining takes place, food production takes a hit in Ghana

The device you are using to read this blog contains at least a dozen different types of minerals, many of which most likely come from modern large-scale mines in developing countries. As these mining operations tend to be located in poor rural locations, the question of how neighbouring populations are affected by their expansion becomes an interesting one. The […]