PSI sustainability news round-up

Our fortnightly primer on the latest environment and sustainability news. If you would like to receive this newsletter via email, sign up to our mailing list here.


Policy Studies Institute (PSI) is seeking a Research Associate with excellent research skills and a keen interest in environmental and sustainable development issues to contribute across our programme of policy-relevant research and related activities.

The role will involve conducting and disseminating policy-relevant, environment-related research on a range of projects. Twenty per cent of the post-holder’s time will involve working on the Urban Transformations in South Africa project (see here). The post-holder will be also be involved in at least one other project with a UK/European focus and contribute to the development of research proposals, teaching materials and organisation of PSI research workshops and events.

Candidates should have research experience, ideally in a range of qualitative and/or quantitative research methods and be knowledgeable about environmental policy issues and systems in the UK, Europe and ideally an international context. An ability to deal confidently with a wide range of stakeholders will be essential. Candidates will have a good first degree in a relevant discipline, while a post-graduate qualification and/or relevant work experience are also desirable.

The closing date for applications is 13 March 2016. For details of how to apply, visit the University of Westminster HR vacancies page.


Nicola Sturgeon announces £70m to help circular economy
Holyrood, 15 February 2016
The fund, announced by Scotland’s first minister, aims to boost the sustainability of Scotland’s manufacturing sector.

WRAP launches constituency circular economy job tool
Resource, 11 February 2016
The tool states the unemployment rate for each constituency, the current amount of circular economy jobs and the amount of jobs that could be created by 2030. The launch of the tool accompanies a one-week exhibition at the Palace of Westminster, designed to educate the public on the potential of circular employment.

Oil price collapse taking toll on US recyclers
Waste Management World, 15 February 2016
Falling energy prices have undermined markets for recycled products.


Liberals targeted by flurry of fossil fuel lobbying since coming to power
DeSmogBlog Canada, 3 February 2016
Only three-and-a-half months have passed since the federal election, but fossil fuel companies and lobby groups haven’t wasted any time in ramping up their lobbying efforts.


Forests are supposed to help stop climate change. These forests didn’t
Washington Post, 4 February 2016
A new study out in the journal Science makes the provocative claim that more than 250 years of forest management in Europe have actually contributed to climate change, rather than helped to stop it.

Australia to sack hundreds of climate change scientists
Independent, 9 February 2016
The country’s climate research arm is losing hundreds of staff after it has been decided that it the basic parts of global warming have been proven.

Dense, more compact cities help combat climate change, inequality
Urban Land, 8 February 2016
Dense, compact cities are “the way forward in the development of man” and are critical in combating climate change and inequality, renowned architect Lord Richard Rogers told delegates at the recent ULI Europe conference in Paris.

Scrapping carbon capture support ‘threatens UK climate targets’
Guardian, 10 February 2016
MPs warn that without CCS technology, it will be much more expensive to meet national and internationally agreed targets on reducing emissions.


There are now more than 1,000 public bike hire schemes. Why are they so popular?
CityMetric, 15 February 2016
Bike sharing provides transport flexibility, reductions to vehicle emissions, health benefits, reduced congestion and fuel consumption, and financial savings for individuals.

DfT invites local authorities to bid for Sustainable Travel cash
BikeBiz, 15 February 2016
Between the now-defunct Local Sustainable Transport Fund, and CWIS – the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, or Cee-whizz – the government has offered £20m in bridging funding via a new vehicle, the Sustainable Travel Transition Year Revenue Competition.


Tidal lagoon energy review to give ‘clarity’
BBC News, 10 February 2016
An independent review of tidal lagoon energy will examine its feasibility, the UK government has said, amid delays to a £1bn project in Swansea.

Have we reached the tipping point for investing in renewable energy?
Guardian, 13 February 2016
As oil prices bottom out and fossil fuels no longer offer strong returns, investment dollars are starting to move to renewable energy

Why wind power is finally taking off in America
Gizmodo, 16 February 2016
In 2015, the wind industry installed more electricity-generating capacity than any other energy source in America, propelled by cost reductions of two-thirds over the past six years.