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
Researching sustainable transport: funded PhD opportunity with Dr Rachel Aldred and PSI
The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster (which includes PSI) is currently offering three funded MPhil/PhD studentships, to start in September 2017. As a result, there is a potential opportunity for a candidate to research sustainable transport through joint supervision by Dr Rachel Aldred, reader in transport at the University of Westminster, and a PSI researcher.

PSI’s Kevin Burchell writes on preparing for heatwaves for i paper
In the run-up to the publication of the report of the Urban Heat project on 1 February, Dr Burchell explained how we can prepare for a situation where heatwaves become more common.

Could models act as ‘interested amateurs’?
Dr Pete Barbrook-Johnson argues that models are not ‘truth’ for policy makers to accept and take on board, but objects for everyone involved in making or advising or affected by the policy to consider and ‘wrestle’ with – even to attack.

CLIMATE CHANGE
UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017
Committee on Climate Change, 18 January 2017
The CCC identifies the potential for flooding, overheating in hospitals and homes, and to the UK’s food supplies as the three most important risks from climate change.

2016 hottest year ever recorded – and scientists say human activity to blame
Guardian, 18 January 2017
Final data from the UK Met Office, NASA and NOAA confirms record-breaking temperatures for third year in a row.

Government ‘missing opportunities’ to protect communities from flooding - MPs
FG Insight, 25 January 2017
The government has been criticised for failing to act on a report by MPs which laid bare failings in its strategy to protect areas of the UK from flooding.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
UK needs ambitious policy on resource efficiency as it prepares to leave EU
Aldersgate Group, 23 January 2017
A new report brings forward new business trials showing that greater resource efficiency could deliver significant economic benefits to the UK, but the government must outline the future of its resource efficiency policy, much of which currently comes from EU legislation.

Circular Economy package expected to apply to UK despite Brexit
Resource, 23 January 2017
Despite impending Brexit negotiations, Defra officials say the UK will continue to be involved in negotiations surrounding the package, which is trying to transform how resources are viewed across Europe and create a more sustainable economy.

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT
Four trends that could clean up road transport
EurActiv, 24 January 2017
The combination of four trends - electrification, connecting cars and transport infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and car sharing - could allow major opportunities to decarbonise road transport.

What if Uber kills off public transport rather than cars?
Guardian, 13 January 2017
Uber’s privatised transportation system may do more harm than good if cities allow public transport to deteriorate.

ENERGY
China scraps construction of 85 planned coal power plants
Independent, 17 January 2017
Move comes as Chinese government says it will invest 2.5 trillion yuan (£300 billion) into the renewable energy sector.

Independent Review of Tidal Lagoons
Hendry Review, 12 January 2017
Independent review finds that tidal lagoons would help deliver security of supply, assist in delivering our decarbonisation commitments and bring real and substantial opportunities for the UK supply chain.