Reports

How EU membership has influenced UK climate policies

The group submitting this evidence are co-authors of an expert review funded by the ESRC’s UK in a Changing Europe initiative, published in April (Burns et al. 2016). This review provided a detailed analysis of the academic evidence on how EU membership has influenced UK climate policies, systems of decision making and environmental quality, and how the situation might change in the event of a vote to ‘leave’ the EU.

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A bottom-up analysis of including aviation within the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme

European nations agree they must tackle escalating greenhouse gas emissions arising from energy consumption. In response, the EU has set an emission reduction target for 2050 chosen to correspond with stabilising the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases at a level likely to avoid ‘dangerous climate change’ or to not exceed a 2ºC rise above pre-industrial levels. By selecting a target related to global greenhouse gas concentrations, governments have, perhaps inadvertently, accepted such targets must include all greenhouse gas-producing sectors.

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A nexus perspective on competing land demands: Wider lessons from a UK policy case study

As nations develop policies for low-carbon transitions, conflicts with existing policies and planning tools are leading to competing demands for land and other resources. This raises fundamental questions over how multiple demands can best be managed. Taking the UK as an empirical example, this paper critiques current policies and practices to explore the interdependencies at the water-energy-food nexus.

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Establishing research directions in sustainable building design

The purpose of this report is two-fold: first, to review in generic terms the views, publications and research related to building design and climate change, and second, to raise a number of questions and potential research avenues. This paper primarily addresses the roles of building design and its implications for occupant behaviour in the context of the environmental performance of buildings and climate change.

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A panel model for predicting the diversity of internal temperatures from English dwellings

Using panel methods, a model for predicting daily mean internal temperature demand across a heterogeneous domestic building stock is developed.

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Business and Climate Change: Measuring and Enhancing Adaptive Capacity

Most scientists believe that past and current greenhouse gas emissions make some climate change unavoidable. Much adaptation to these changes will be carried out by organisations, including businesses, households and government agencies. Understanding how organisations may adapt to a changing climate, and developing tools to help them tthrough adaptation processes, is therefore vital.

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Evaluating the options for carbon sequestration

The term carbon sequestration refers to any means of locking up CO2 over very long periods in order to mitigate against the effects of anthropogenic climate change. There are three broad types of carbon sequestration:

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Modelling technological change

This project (ETech; Tyndall code IT1.19) formed one of the initial exploratory projects (Round 1 of Tyndall project funding) looking at particular modelling issues for a next generation Integrated Assessment Model (IAM). At this stage, December 2000, it was considered necessary to build an economic model and that technological change should be a focus of the theoretical and modelling work.

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Towards a vulnerability assessment for the UK coastline

Coastal communities are more vulnerable to climate change than inland communities because, in addition to changes in meteorological parameters, they are also affected by changes in oceanic parameters, especially increases in sea level and wave heights.

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Mid-Term Review of Tyndall Research Strategy 2012-2017

The partners of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research continue to inform society on the risks, tradeoffs and opportunities arising from climate change with their research and dissemination.

During 2012, 2013 and 2014, we published 190 peer-reviewed papers, 14 reports and four books. We organised six one-day idea exploration workshops and a major conference on radical emissions reductions. The workshops covering topics of beyond two degrees, urban growth, modelling societal behaviour, trade, China’s carbon emissions, and technologies for low carbon power.

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Sustainable livelihoods and cultivation of Jatropha curcas for biodiesel in India: reflections on alternative agronomic models

Policy interest in biofuels in India has grown dramatically during the last few years, with substantial government planting targets for Jatropha curcas in particular. This working paper discusses the sustainable livelihoods aspects of alternative Jatropha cultivation systems identified during fieldwork in three Indian states in 2009, based on site visits and senior manager interviews in three Indian states.

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Sustainability Meta Labelling: A Discussion of Potential Implementation Issues

Changing consumption patterns is increasingly acknowledged as one of the key factors for sustainable development and to tackle urgent problems like climate change. To facilitate more sustainable consumption different actors have introduced various schemes over the past few decades informing about environmental, social or other product attributes. Even so, the current product information situation has been criticised for delivering insufficient information and being confusing.

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Adaptation to climate change in international river basins in Africa: a review

This paper reviews current knowledge of the potential impacts of climate change on water resour-ces in Africa and the possible limits, barriers or opportunities for adaptation to climate change in internationally-shared river basins.

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Rainfall and water resources variability in sub-Saharan Africa during the 20th century

River basin rainfall series and extensive river flow records are used to characterise and improve understanding of spatial and temporal variability in sub-Saharan African (SSA) water resources during the last century. Nine major international river basins (comprising ~32% of SSA’s area), chosen primarily for their long good quality flow records are examined.

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Why do people decide to renovate their homes to improve energy efficiency?

A large body of applied research on energy efficiency characterises drivers and barriers to cost-effective home renovations, and identifies personal and contextual influences on renovation decisions. Resulting policies to promote energy efficiency in homes aim to remove barriers or strengthen decision influences.

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South Africa's Renewable Energy Procurement: A New Frontier

In the last three years, carbon-intensive, coal-dependent South Africa has become one of the leading destinations for renewable energy investment. Investment has gone from a few hundred million dollars in 2011 to $5.7 billion in 2012 (UNEP/BNEF 2013:27) of which approximately $1.5 billion was for wind and $4.2 billion for solar.

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Appraising Geoengineering

Deliberate large-scale interventions in the Earth’s climate system – known collectively as ‘geoengineering’ – have been proposed in order to moderate anthropogenic climate change. Amidst a backdrop of many ways of framing the supposed normative rationales for or against their use, geoengineering proposals are undergoing serious consideration.

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Understanding the dominance of unilateral CDMs in China

This paper analyzes the development of unilateral Clean Development Mechanism projects (uCDMs) as the dominant project pattern in China’s CDM market. It intends to reveal the political and economic reasons of such dominance and argues that the uCDMs pattern is particularly favored by powerful actor groups, mainly business actors, involved in the CDM project circle. The corporate or business strategy, interests and day-to-day practices hence become an important governance element to develop and maintain the dominance of unilaterally financed CDM in the market.

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Biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS): a review

This is a review paper intended to provide an overview of debates relating to BECCS or bio-CCS, which are alternative terms for the coupling of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (CCS). The paper follows from a workshop held in December 2009, hosted by the Scottish Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Edinburgh, organised by Tyndall Manchester at the University of Manchester and funded by the Tyndall Centre.

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Tidal stream energy in the UK: Stakeholder perceptions study

This report presents the views of a range of stakeholders from the tidal stream energy sector on the barriers and opportunities that the sector faces and which organisations have the responsibility and ability to act on these. Approximately 20 individuals from a range of organisations were interviewed including: trade associations, academic research projects, testing facilities, regional and national government, utilities, funding bodies, regulators, and technology developers. The report identifies areas of consensus and disagreement within the industry.

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Argentinean soy based biodiesel: an introduction to production and impacts

This working paper explores the economic, social and environmental context, drivers and impacts of increased demand for Argentine soy-based biodiesel. It is based on extensive stakeholder interviews in Argentina, including those in government, academia and the third sector; participant observation with communities in soy cultivation areas; and review of relevant academic and grey literature.  

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Transition to sustainable development in the UK housing sector: from case study to model implementation

There is evidence that the housing and community sector in the UK is unsustainable, in CO2 emissions, overuse of land and other resources, social and economic indicators such as a lack of good quality housing, and institutional problems of a conservative building system and a planning and regulatory system that is slow to respond to changing needs and demands.

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Has US Shale Gas Reduced CO2 Emissions?

Since 2007, the production of shale gas in large volumes has substantially reduced the wholesale price of natural gas in the US. This report examines the emissions savings in the US power sector, influenced by shale gas, and the concurrent trends in coal exports that may increase emissions in Europe and Asia.

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in developing countries: Revisiting the assumptions

This paper provides a critical perspective to the debate on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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Institutional Investment in the EU ETS

This general review paper explores the role of institutional investment in EU ETS. We do so by addressing seven questions sequentially, namely: (1) How does the EU ETS work? (2) What drives the value of carbon? (3) What potential diversification benefits arise from investing in carbon? (4) How does investing in carbon sit with investors’ fiduciary responsibilities? (5) How can institutional investors gain exposure to carbon? (6) What unconventional risks does investing in carbon entail? (7) What will happen to the carbon markets post-2012, once the Kyoto protocol expires?

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Credibility in climate change research: a reflexive view

For research to have a positive impact on society, it is essential that it is scientifically credible. The researcher plays a key role in establishing and maintaining credibility, particularly in the field of climate change. This paper provides a structure for relating the credibility of researchers themselves to that of research outputs, analysing ‘researcher credibility’ with reference to three overlapping domains: personal, professional and public.

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Building Performance evaluation and certification in the UK: Is SAP fit for purpose? Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

    
Improving the efficiency and performance of the UK residential sector is now necessary for meeting future energy and climate change targets. Building Performance Evaluation and Certification (BPEC) tools are vital for estimating and recommending cost effective improvements to building energy efficiency and lowering overall emissions. In the UK, building performance is estimated using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for new dwellings and Reduced SAP (RdSAP) for existing dwellings.

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Global electricity technology substitution model with induced technological change

Future energy planning which aims to avoid excessive radiative forcing due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions leading to a global warming of more than 2 degrees C is likely to require drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, possibly an almost complete decarbonisation of the current global energy sector. Such a transformation is expected to involve drastic costs, and large uncertainties surround the concept of decarbonisation and as to whether it is feasible economically.

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