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
Energy Security policy evaluation workshop at BEIS
PSI’s Pete Barbrook-Johnson and Anna Kaxira, along with Alex Penn from University of Surrey, ran a successful policy evaluation workshop last week with policy teams and analysts working on energy security and the wider energy ‘trilemma’ - decarbonisation, prices, and security.

SUSTAINABILITY POLICY
The UK needs a new independent body to protect the environment after Brexit
The Conversation, 7 November 2017
Even the very softest of Brexits may expose gaps in purely domestic environmental governance.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Trump administration releases report finding ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ for climate change
Washington Post, 3 November 2017
Report’s conclusion is at odds with White House decisions to withdraw from a key international climate accord, champion fossil fuels and reverse Obama-era climate policies.

Is the world prepared for climate refugees?
Deutsche Welle, 3 November 2017
Senior US military experts say the effects of climate change could cause a migration wave of 20 million climate refugees over the next 20 years. But climate risk insurance schemes could prevent it.

Emissions gap remains ‘alarmingly high’ says UN
BBC News, 31 October 2017
Pledges made so far cover only one-third of the cuts needed by 2030 to keep below that goal, the review warns.

ENERGY
Natural gas emissions will blow Europe’s carbon budget at current levels
Guardian, 7 November 2017
A new study argues that governments have been underestimating methane emissions from gas and all fossil fuels by 2035 to keep within Paris climate targets.

Gas companies spend €104m lobbying in Europe remains ‘locked in’ to fossil fuels
Independent, 31 October 2017
Gas industry representatives met with the two European commissioners in charge of climate and energy policy and their cabinets 460 times.

Reaction: Dieter Helm’s ‘least cost’ ideas for meeting the UK’s climate targets
Carbon Brief, 27 October 2017
A review of the government’s ‘cost of energy’ report, examining whether there are cheaper ways to reduce emissions than current policy.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Six Circular Economy case studies from Brazil
Circulate, 2 November 2017
From biodegradable packaging to a sustainable replacement for charcoal in steel production, Brazilian firms are embracing circular economy ideas.

China is no longer the EU’s plastic dumping ground: What’s next?
Euractiv, 2 November 2017
The Chinese ban on importing plastic waste may present us with an opportunity to kick our plastic export habit, and tackle our overconsumption in Europe.