Environment

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    Good management improves productivity, but it may worsen environmental performance

Good management improves productivity, but it may worsen environmental performance

The reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is an increasingly important policy objective for many governments, both in developed and developing economies. This is reflected, among other things, in the emergence of energy efficiency as a high-priority topic on the policy agenda.

In manufacturing – one of the key sectors from the point of view of GHG emissions and energy […]

December 11th, 2019|Economics, Environment|0 Comments|
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    To meet its ambitious ‘net zero’ target, the UK will need to ramp up climate change policies

To meet its ambitious ‘net zero’ target, the UK will need to ramp up climate change policies

UK greenhouse gas emissions are declining and have been declining for some time. The UK has a framework of long-run targets developed by the Committee on Climate Change, an independent body of experts advising government. Despite this, things are far from well when it comes to climate change in the UK and there are concerns about the country’s ability […]

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    How to change the paradigm in finance to incorporate a changing environment

How to change the paradigm in finance to incorporate a changing environment

Climate change poses existential threats to global prosperity, but political and economic systems are unprepared for responding to that risk. Governance, incentives and thinking are still misaligned. The financial and corporate sectors could play an important role in turning the tide by truly managing for long-term value creation, i.e. by managing for positive financial, social and environmental returns in […]

December 2nd, 2019|Environment, Finance|0 Comments|
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    The trade-offs between labour productivity and decarbonisation

The trade-offs between labour productivity and decarbonisation

In a recent paper, we show how decarbonisation in industrial plants interacts with efficiency-driven initiatives regarding flow management, waste reduction and workforce commitment, which represent three key fields in which high-performance shop floors strive. Inventory turnover reflects our measure for improvements in flow. The ratio of the total manufacturing cost to the cost of materials indicates how efficiently firms carry […]

November 26th, 2019|Environment, Management|0 Comments|

The role of international climate finance initiatives

Financial institutions have a critical role in stepping up the actions against climate change.  In Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, nations agree to scale up finance flows consistently, opening a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. Consequently, ‘climate finance’ will continue to remain central to the climate change agenda. The recent United Nations Climate Action […]

November 18th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Nudging professional drivers to improve performance and reduce fuel consumption

Nudging professional drivers to improve performance and reduce fuel consumption

Understanding how to change behavioural habits is playing a crucial role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This holds true for private behaviour (e.g. using the bike instead of the car), as well as behaviour in the working environment. In the transportation sector, saving greenhouse gas emissions goes hand in hand with saving money: fuel consumption is the main variable […]

October 29th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    The unfair treatment of biodegradable products: the case of the Mexican chewing gum

The unfair treatment of biodegradable products: the case of the Mexican chewing gum

Last year, the organic chewing gum producers from the South of Mexico, also known as chicleros, launched an initiative to improve the trade treatment they receive. The reasons for doing this are quite clear. Unlike conventional chewing gum, which is made from petrochemicals that damage not just the environment but also people’s health, the gum the chicleros produce is […]

October 25th, 2019|Environment|2 Comments|
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    Current economic theory can’t deal with our socio-ecological predicament

Current economic theory can’t deal with our socio-ecological predicament

The UN Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019, out in September, is the latest significant international science-based synthesis report to call for an urgent transformation of current socio-environmental-economic systems. The report draws on recent advances in the natural sciences and maintains that the negative trends in climate change and biodiversity loss presage the crossing of ecosystem tipping points, which […]

September 30th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Insurers need to extend climate risk disclosure to customers

Insurers need to extend climate risk disclosure to customers

Climate risk disclosure has advanced rapidly over the last four years, since governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney highlighted the risks of climate change to the finance and insurance industries in his Tragedy of the Horizon speech. The focus on climate risk disclosure has driven demand for physical climate risk analytics in a range of sectors, spurred on largely […]

The road to zero emissions

War-games are old hat. Destroying a tank, a battalion, even an army, pales to insignificance compared to laying waste to an entire planet in the global heating game. Let us say, the dial to climate catastrophe is measured in parts of atmospheric carbon per million (ppm). Before the industrial era, the dial stayed at 280 ppm for millions of […]

September 17th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Floods of money may not be the most effective tool against fires in the Amazon

Floods of money may not be the most effective tool against fires in the Amazon

The Brazilian Amazon is in flames again. At the meeting of the G-7 in late August, France’s President Emmanuel Macron led the way in pledging millions of euros to help put out the fires. Canada, the United Kingdom, and others have followed suit. But what can this unusually generous impulse achieve? Can the floods of international money put out […]

September 14th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Compact cities have many advantages – clean air isn’t one of them

Compact cities have many advantages – clean air isn’t one of them

Air pollution is bad for us. We all know that polluted air is detrimental to our health and recent research shows that it can also affect our performance in education, productivity at work and even our safety. This has important implications for our cities. Why? Because air pollution is primarily an urban problem. It is in large cities and their urban cores where we typically experience the worst air quality. As a result, the economist’s textbook description of urbanisation lists air pollution as one of […]

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    War rhetoric is rarely the best way to communicate about climate change

War rhetoric is rarely the best way to communicate about climate change

Wartime rhetoric, especially harking back to World War II, pervades public discourse in many fields. In the UK, this is currently a device associated particularly with the Brexit ‘debate’. But here and around the world such emotive framing now extends to the climate emergency. Esteemed economist Joseph Stiglitz has referred to the climate crisis as humanity’s Third World War, […]

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    How do you clean up Brazil’s worst environmental disaster?

How do you clean up Brazil’s worst environmental disaster?

Brazil suffered its worst environmental disaster in November 2015. A dam containing waste from an iron ore mine collapsed, killing 19 people and distributing an estimated 39.2 million cubic metres of brown, toxic mud along the Doce river in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The village of Bento Rodrigues was completely destroyed. The polluted material travelled through to […]

July 22nd, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|

There’s real momentum for renewable energy in Europe

Green parties were among the main winners in May’s European elections. Indeed, they have become a political force in the new European Parliament, and their success should add significant momentum to the push toward renewable energy transition in an otherwise unsympathetic environment. Yet for this to lead to a real tipping point for renewable energy in the EU, the […]

July 20th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Carbon pricing is finally enjoying some momentum, despite setbacks

Carbon pricing is finally enjoying some momentum, despite setbacks

Carbon pricing has been implemented by more than 50 jurisdictions worldwide, and currently covers more than 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the most recent World Bank report on the subject. The jurisdictions pricing carbon include both developed and developing countries. South Africa approved a carbon tax earlier this year. The most recent addition to […]

July 12th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Circular economy: reducing symptoms or fostering radical change?

Circular economy: reducing symptoms or fostering radical change?

Our civilisation is experiencing significant challenges on many fronts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that we have a little over a decade to turn around our economic system to avoid catastrophic changes to the global climate system (IPCC 2018). The Stockholm Resilience Center published a report stating that we have exceeded the ‘safe operating space’ in three […]

July 4th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    How development banks can adapt to climate risk: the case of Mexico’s NAFIN

How development banks can adapt to climate risk: the case of Mexico’s NAFIN

Policymakers the world over are exploring a range of strategies to mitigate and adapt to greenhouse-gas emissions and manage the unavoidable effects of climate change.

At the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21), representatives agreed to keep any increase in global average temperature within 2°C of pre-industrial levels and also […]

‘Climate Spring’ reaches the financial sector

Spring is traditionally the season of regrowth and new hope. And this is certainly the case with the resurgence in efforts this year in Europe to confront the climate crisis. Over a few short weeks in April and May – what I like to call the ‘Climate Spring’ of 2019 – an extraordinary pattern of events converged to swing […]

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    UK business plays a crucial role in meeting the 2050 net-zero target

UK business plays a crucial role in meeting the 2050 net-zero target

The UK set its first climate change target back in 1997 under the Kyoto Protocol. With a commitment to reduce emissions by 12.5 per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012, the target allowed for incremental decarbonisation efforts as opposed to an economy-wide transition. Nonetheless, the UK managed to reduce its carbon intensity (tonnes of carbon emitted per […]