Grantham

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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 […]

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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    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 […]

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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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    What energy and climate change policies can we expect from President Trump?

What energy and climate change policies can we expect from President Trump?

Strip coal mining, by Stephen Codrington, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic licence
The election on 8 November of Donald Trump as President of the United States has created great uncertainty about future American policies on energy and climate change. President-Elect Trump has in the past made a number of public statements questioning the existence of climate change, even claiming […]

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    Negative interest rates are an opportunity for the UK to invest in sustainable infrastructure

Negative interest rates are an opportunity for the UK to invest in sustainable infrastructure

London, by jo.sau, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
The new UK Government under Prime Minister Theresa May has committed to boosting UK productivity and addressing the widening wealth gap. Achieving all this will require the right investments by both the public and private sectors at a time of heightened economic uncertainty.

The UK Government could improve economic growth by taking advantage of negative […]

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    When enough countries lead by example, they create a tipping point for climate agreements

When enough countries lead by example, they create a tipping point for climate agreements

Avoiding dangerous climate change is one of the most complex problems for international cooperation. It requires overcoming several barriers to collective action and success hinges on widespread cooperation by countries faced with incentives to delay costly mitigation and free-ride on the efforts of others.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has warned that climate change may be “abrupt […]

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    Climate change impacts the economic development of low-income countries

Climate change impacts the economic development of low-income countries

The Earth has warmed on average by about 1 degree Celsius since the late 19th century. Regardless of international commitments to reduce emissions, further substantial warming is now locked in for the next several decades at least. The worst effects of this warming, for societies and economies, will be felt in low-income countries, where livelihoods depend strongly on the […]

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    Africa’s Nile basin countries should invest in rain, not big infrastructure projects

Africa’s Nile basin countries should invest in rain, not big infrastructure projects

Last month the The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and over 1000 experts gathered in Dar es Salaam during the Africa Water Week to discuss new pathways for development and increased investment in water infrastructure. The challenges are huge; the El Nino of last year showed the exposure of African economies to the vagaries of weather. Climate change […]

How Brexit will affect climate change policy

It is still too early to know all the ways in which the UK’s departure from the European Union will affect the climate change policy of the 28 current Member States, but some things now seem likely if not inevitable.

‘Brexit’ will not be completed for at least two years, particularly as the UK has not yet activated Article 50 […]

People first resist but later tend to embrace garbage taxes

People do not like taxes. This is a recurrent fact in many contexts. Sometimes people do not like taxes even though they work just fine. Environmental taxes represent a good example. In most cases, environmental taxes aim at changing behaviour, not raising fiscal revenues. Yet, they are seen with suspicion by the population, and their effectiveness is often challenged.

But sometimes […]

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    Business involvement in climate negotiations has come a long way

Business involvement in climate negotiations has come a long way

As the Paris climate summit is nearing its end, an impressive array of global business leaders from around the world have lent their support to a strong climate agreement. Why are the likes of Richard Branson, Ratan Tata and Paul Polman calling for international cooperation on climate change? How serious are their commitments, and what can be done to […]

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    New economics of climate change action challenges ‘costly burden’ arguments

New economics of climate change action challenges ‘costly burden’ arguments

As representatives from more than 190 countries gather in Paris to negotiate an international deal to tackle climate change it is timely to reflect on the evolving economic rationale for international climate cooperation.

A central conclusion of the 2006 Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change was that the global costs of failing to act on climate change would […]

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    Zero growth wouldn’t bring the world anywhere near the necessary reduction in CO2 emissions

Zero growth wouldn’t bring the world anywhere near the necessary reduction in CO2 emissions

Could you comment on zero-growth proposals, as opposed to delinking economic activity and greenhouse gas emissions?

“There are some that would argue that we cannot manage climate change unless we stop growing, and I think that’s a mistake. Let me just be slightly numerical to illustrate that. We are emitting as a world 50 or 51 Gigatons a year of […]

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    Growth of emerging markets, new technologies and urbanisation are historic world shifts

Growth of emerging markets, new technologies and urbanisation are historic world shifts

What role do universities play in helping businesses understand the world and where the world is going?

“The world is undergoing fundamental structural change. The balance of economic activity is moving to emerging markets and developing countries, as they have faster growth rates than we’re seeing in the rich countries. It’s moving into towns and cities at an extraordinary rate. […]

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    Where do multinationals fit in global efforts to adapt to climate change?

Where do multinationals fit in global efforts to adapt to climate change?

Climate change is widely recognized as one of the critical global challenges on the political agenda and is not a new topic for the boardrooms of multinational corporations (MNCs) either. Ahead of the upcoming climate change summit in Paris in December governments and companies are pledging emission reduction targets and are working on new initiatives to lower their carbon […]