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 research presented at Public Health England event
On Tuesday 14 March, PSI’s Kevin Burchell presented a paper at the Public Health England (PHE) 2017 Heat Plan Seminar. Kevin presented material from the Urban Heat project, funded by Joseph Rowntree Trust, which examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience. Kevin’s slides and links to the Urban Heat reports are available here.

EVALUATION RESEARCH
Learning Lessons From Past Interventions
CECAN, March 2017
Collingwood Environmental Planning has produced a meta-evaluation of lessons learned from 10 years of policy evaluations around the NEXUS. The report provides some suggestions on evaluation practice for researchers and practitioners.

Event: The Use and Usability of Evaluation
UKES Annual Evaluation Conference 2017, 10-11 May 2017, London
The aim of the conference is to explore the current uses of evaluation. How can we ensure that institutions and their staff who wish to ‘evaluate’ their policies, programmes, projects and institutions know what that really means and what they will gain from the exercise?

HEALTH
Food, climate, greenhouse gas emissions and health
Lancet Planetary Health, 5 April 2017
The first issue of this new publication includes studies on: how small dietary changes could improve health, reduce water use and cut emissions; how small and medium farms are essential to sustain quality of global food supply; and the link between drought and harms to human health.

ENERGY
Piping hot: The opportunity for heat networks in a new industrial strategy
IPPR, 31 March 2017
This report makes the case for why heat networks are essential to the UK’s new industrial strategy. The report argues that investing in heat networks could increase the UK’s energy security, help decarbonise the economy and the heat supply, create up to 81,000 jobs and generate up to £22 billion in private investment into the UK economy.

Renewables cut Europe’s carbon emissions by 10% in 2015, says EEA
Guardian, 3 April 2017
European Environment Agency reports solar and and wind is reducing fossil fuel dependency but clean energy capacity still not growing fast enough.

Westinghouse says it’s bankrupt, a blow to nuclear industry
Boston Globe, 29 March 2017
Falling prices for natural gas and renewables, alongside catastrophic business decisions, threaten one of the few remaining major players in nuclear industry.

CLIMATE CHANGE
The curious disappearance of climate change, from Brexit to Berlin
Guardian, 30 March 2017
The word climate does not appear once in the letter triggering the UK’s departure from Europe. But it’s not just in London that the issue seems to be slipping from the political stage.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Urban Biocycles
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 28 March 2017
The aim of this scoping paper is to highlight the opportunities to capture value, in the form of the energy, nutrients and materials embedded in these flows, through the application of circular economy principles.