By Katherine Welch, on 17 April 2012
Welcome to the UCL ISR blog, a guest blog with informative and insightful commentary from invited stakeholders on a range of issues relating to the sustainable use of natural resources.
The opinions expressed in these posts are those of the individual authors.
If you have a question or issue you would like to see commented on, or would be interested in posting a comment yourself, please contact us at sustainable-resources [at] ucl.ac.uk
image credit: SXC/Joseph Hart
By Liza Griffin, on 23 May 2013
image (c) istockphoto
For more than a decade scholars and policymakers have argued that the most effective way to ameliorate environmental crisis is via institutional reform designed to bring about ‘good governance’. If only we can match the scales of policymaking to environmental problems and make our decisions more inclusive, transparent and accountable, then the holy grail of sustainability should follow. Read the rest of this entry »
By Matthew Winning, on 14 May 2013
image (c) istockphoto
Climate change policy is currently undergoing a sizeable paradigm shift in the way it is tackled on the world platform. Over the last 20 years, since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, we have seen a concerted effort to provide a top-down approach to tackling climate change through the United Nations.
A global agreement was required which had to overcome the many inherent problems, such as ‘free-riding’ and ‘the tragedy of the commons’ that are faced in tackling the global problem of climate change. The Kyoto Protocol was considered the main solution and it was ratified in 2005. However, Kyoto has appeared to have achieved little substantive change and when negotiations faltered for a legally binding extension beyond Kyoto, at the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in 2009, for many this was the beginning of the end. Read the rest of this entry »
By Paul Drummond, on 11 April 2013
It is widely agreed that the current EU-ETS price is inadequate to divert investment from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy, risking expensive, high-carbon technological lock-in and reducing our chance of meeting demanding emission reduction targets by mid-century. In response, the UK is introducing a ‘Carbon Price Floor’ (CPF) for the electricity sector from the 1st April 2013, to underpin the EU-ETS and the weak price signal it provides, as part of a raft of ‘Electricity Market Reform’ measures aimed at encouraging the deployment of renewable and nuclear electricity. Read the rest of this entry »
By Jabraan Ahmed, on 7 March 2013
gas supply (c) UCL Energy
Shale gas is often touted as the fuel for our salvation and independence from non-renewable energy sources. Furthermore, economists predict it will enable self-sufficiency and be the driving force behind the environmentally conscious Green economies of the world.
What is striking about statements such as these is the irony of how a fossil fuel, shrouded in controversy due to environmental mishaps, is proclaimed to be the saviour of the very thing we are trying to liberate ourselves from. Is this a paradox or are we missing something? The answer lies in looking at the issue holistically. Read the rest of this entry »
By Paul Drummond, on 15 January 2013
image (c) SXC
This Christmas saw widespread flooding across the UK, bringing to a close a year which the Met Office describes as the ‘second wettest’ since records began – despite a prolonged drought in South-East England over the summer.
Although these events appear extreme in the UK, all over the world the extreme lack, and equally the extreme over-abundance of water is causing untold suffering and strife – from prolonged drought in West Africa to widespread floods in Pakistan.
In response to this global issue, the UN has designated 2013 as the ‘International Year on Water Co-Operation’. The aim is to raise global awareness of the challenges faced in water management, along with the potential for co-operation to overcome these challenges. At first glance, ambition seems lacking – no revolutionary changes are promised. However, when the issues present are considered, there is ambition enough. Read the rest of this entry »
By Teresa Camarero Esparza, on 5 December 2012
Global exhaustion of fisheries, droughts threatening 9.5 million lives in East Africa in 2011, 44 million people driven into poverty by rising food prices in only half a year during 2010, ever soaring oil prices, depletion of natural resources, climate change, economic crisis…
It seems that the many environmental issues that have been increasing worldwide since the 1980s are more than just the paranoia of a couple of hippies worried about the colour of the fruit fly’s eyes. It is high time to face the fact that our current economic growth model will not be feasible within the next 90 years; perhaps we don’t even have that much time. Actually, many children today will live to see it. Read the rest of this entry »
By Emma Terama, on 10 October 2012
As demands for construction increase due to population pressure and urbanisation, countries across the world are seeking new sustainable and modifiable solutions for staying ‘on the ball’. Under current pressures from environment and legislation, is it time to revive this ‘culture for wood’? Read the rest of this entry »
By Paul Ekins, on 17 September 2012
Welcome to the first full year of academic operation of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (UCL ISR)!
In our first twelve months we recruited a Director (myself) and Deputy Director (Katherine Welch), and a Research Associate (Chiara Armeni) in the crucial area of the governance of the carbon-reducing technologies (especially CCS and geoengineering) and relatively scarce raw materials.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Muaaz Ahmed, on 25 July 2012
Muaaz Ahmed writes about his experience as a participant at the Byron Fellowship in Indiana, USA:
Arriving at the Turkey Run State Park in Indiana at the beginning of the course, we were asked to pick a single object that would reflect what we want to take away from the week…by the end of the week I realised I had learnt and taken far more from the experience than I could ever have anticipated. The week made me re-think what I wanted to achieve ,what I could achieve, and more importantly, how that should affect me here and now: ‘put yourself in the place of most potential’ is a piece of advice I heard during the week and one that, for me, puts everything in perspective.
Students at the Byron Fellowship credit: Muaaz Ahmed
Read the rest of this entry »
By Katherine Welch, on 10 July 2012
ICMM hosts a session at Rio +20
In this special guest blog, John Drexhage, Director of Climate Change at the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), reflects on ICMM’s contribution to the Rio +20 convention and the role of the mining sector in a low carbon economy: Read the rest of this entry »