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.

PSI NEWS
PSI researchers in Durban for informal settlements project fieldwork
Dr Isis Nunez Ferrera and Dr Pete Barbrook-Johnson arrived in Durban, South Africa last week with colleagues from Westminster and UCL, to start their third two-week fieldtrip for the ISULabaNtu project on informal settlement upgrading. ISULabaNtu seeks to support communities by strengthening their capacity to guide urban development themselves. With a focus on Durban Metropolitan Area, the project is undertaking research, capacity building and community mapping, in collaboration with residents, to feed into the creation of an integrated environmental and construction management toolkit.

PSI’s Kevin Burchell emphasises the social aspects of resilience
On Thursday 27 April, Dr Kevin Burchell, Senior Research Fellow at PSI, contributed to a panel discussion at an event called Built to Last: city resilience and climate change at the Palace of Westminster. Drawing upon work in the Urban Heat project, funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Dr Burchell highlighted two key issues. First, the extent to which resilience also depends upon investment in national, regional and local public institutions, as well as in the third or voluntary sector. Second, the importance of raising the profile of the hotter weather and more frequent heatwaves that are predicted in the context of climate change.

UK GENERAL ELECTION
Election 2017: What the manifestos say on energy and climate change
Carbon Brief, May 2017
As the party manifestos come out, Carbon Brief has produced a handy grid outlining what each has to say on environmental issues.

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT
Rethinking Transportation
RethinkX, May 2017
A new report argues that we are on the cusp of a revolution in transport, with the impact of electric and autonomous vehicles, alongside ‘ride-hailing’ services like Uber and Lyft, leading to the decimation of industries producing transport fuels and the merging of public and private transport.

CLIMATE CHANGE
How to fix climate change: put cities, not countries, in charge
Guardian, 7 May 2017
It can’t be left to dysfunctional nation states to tackle – but as Oslo and Seoul have shown, metropolitan centres can rise to the challenge of global warming.

Mapped: Climate change laws around the world
Carbon Brief, 11 May 2017
There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of global climate change laws since 1997, according to the most comprehensive database of relevant policy and legislation.

More errors identified in contrarian climate scientists’ temperature estimates
Guardian, 11 May 2017
A new study suggests there are remaining biases in the oft-corrected University of Alabama at Huntsville atmospheric temperature estimates.

ENERGY
Brexit energy negotiations an opportunity to secure future UK energy supplies and nuclear standards
UKERC, 10 May 2017
Energy policy negotiations post-Brexit offer the UK and EU an important opportunity to develop new models of partnership and common ground imperative to the UK’s future, according to a new Chatham House paper.

UK attractive for renewables investment but forecast still cloudy, EY says
Energy Voice, 16 May 2017
The UK is back among the top 10 most attractive countries for renewable energy investment but the outlook for the industry remains cloudy, according to the latest research.

HEALTH
New analysis reveals deadly scale of diesel emissions
Deutsche Welle, 15 May 2017
Illegal and unregulated diesel emissions are causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths worldwide, a new analysis shows. Europe is particularly affected due to Dieselgate. Governments must take action, experts say.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
UK criticised over Circular Economy package ‘transparency’
LetsRecycle, 16 May 2017
Pressure groups accuse UK of “failing to conduct negotiations in an open and transparent manner”.

Manifesto for Resources 2017
Resource Association, May 2017
Industry body calls on the UK’s political parties to make a long-term commitment to the development of a circular economy, encompassing much greater resource productivity and efficiency for UK industry.