Jobs and Training
1. SDRN wants your views on topics for the annual conference
The ever-popular SDRN annual conference returns in November 2012, and the SDRN management group is starting to plan possible sessions within the conference, as well as an over-arching theme for the conference. The topic of ‘Mainstreaming Sustainable Development across Government’ has been suggested, with sessions covering topics like the Green Economy, Big Society, Natural Environment, Green Growth and Sustainable Food Production. A different starting point would be to consider the implications of outcomes of the Rio+20 conference (which will be held in June) for policy-making on sustainable development in the UK and any consequent research that may be required as a result. Are there any particular topics that you think should be covered within the conference? What is the best format to create engagement between researchers and policy-makers? And do you have any suggestions about the overall theme for the research? Please send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org – we look forward to hearing your views! You can see the themes and events in previous SDRN annual conferences here: http://www.sd-research.org.uk/events/annual-conference.php
1. Call for applications – London Leaders
The London Sustainable Development Commission is seeking applications from dynamic individuals who live or work within the Greater London area for its 2012 London Leaders programme. Fifteen people will be selected to deliver a unique project over the course of a year which demonstrates sustainability in action and will improve the quality of life of Londoners. They should exemplify delivery of sustainable development in one or more of the following areas: Climate change and resource use; Local quality of life; Sustainable economy; and, Equal life chances for all. The London Leaders programme has been running since 2007 and Leaders have come from all walks of life. Applications are welcomed from people from all backgrounds and sectors by the closing date of mid-day on 11th April.
2. Call for paper or poster abstracts – Future Connections 2012
Future Connections 2012 is a two-day workshop being held at the University of St Andrews on 7th-8th June, with the theme ‘The end of the world as we know it? Moving forward with postgraduate research in sustainable development’. It is aimed at PhD students in Scottish universities in the field of sustainable development and will be highly interactive, with two main approaches: 1) Learning from experience and 2) Finding solutions to problems of integration at the ‘Interdisciplinary Research Clinic’. The organisers are inviting abstracts for papers and also for posters, the latter from doctoral students in the earlier stages of their research. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 2nd April.
3. Call for papers – Expert meeting on social capital
Papers are invited for a workshop organised by Maastricht University on 25th-26th May which will bring together experts on social capital. Topics include: 1) issues around statistics on social capital – how they can be improved, both theoretically and methodologically; the role of national statistical institutes in measuring and disseminating information on social capital; as well as the latest information on data collection; 2) the associations between trust and participation at various levels (e.g. individual, neighbourhoods and countries); and 3) the main developments in social capital cross-nationally and longitudinally, the role of social media and the main effects (or lack thereof) on individual well-being and societal progress. The deadline for contributions is 15th April.
4. Call for papers – SEB’12 – International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings
Papers are invited on a broad range of renewable energy and sustainability-related topics for this international conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings, to be held on 3rd-5th September in Stockholm. Original full, short or work in progress (WIP) papers will be considered and where accepted, full and short papers will be presented orally and WIP papers will be presented as posters. Among the many topics are: Governance of Sustainability in energy and buildings; Policy perspectives on Sustainability in energy and buildings; Intelligent Buildings; Control and optimisation of renewable energy systems; People in Intelligent Buildings and cities; Energy and Environmental Assessment in buildings and cities; and, Intelligent Systems for sustainability. The deadline for the submission of papers is 1st May.
1. OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction
This online report asks ‘What will the next four decades bring?’ and focuses on four areas: climate change, biodiversity, freshwater and health impacts of pollution. The full book is available to browse online. It seeks to answer the following questions: can the planet’s resource base support ever-increasing demands for energy, food, water and other natural resources, and at the same time absorb our waste streams? Or will the growth process undermine itself? How can we balance environmental, economic and social objectives? How can we care for the environment and improve livelihoods and living conditions for the poor? It concludes that the implementation of effective green growth policy mixes will depend on political leadership and on widespread public acceptance that changes are both necessary and affordable.
1. Launch event – Low Carbon Energy for Development Network
4th-5th April: Holywell Park Conference Centre, Loughborough
Low Carbon Energy for Development: ‘Past Experiences and Future Challenges’ is a two-day international conference that will examine the interplay between low carbon energy issues (specifically solar and bio), climate change and international development in the light of past experiences. It is also the inaugural meeting of the DECC-funded Low Carbon Energy for Development Network. It will bring together academic expertise from within the energy and development fields with practitioners and policy-makers drawn from government, international institutions, NGOs and the private sector. Conference goals are: 1) to revitalise the discussion of low carbon energy issues within international development debates through re-visiting past projects and initiatives to understand what works and what doesn’t; 2) to enhance North-South understanding within and between the UK energy policy, energy technology and development communities; 3) to introduce the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network as an innovative conduit and meeting place serving different energy interest groups and disciplinary approaches working towards human development goals; and 4) to enrich UK and international policy-making regarding energy and development.
2. Conference – Smart Energy Cities – UK-Japanese Perspectives
17th-18th April: Holywell Park Conference Centre, Loughborough
This conference aims to share understanding of Japanese and UK perspectives on smart energy cities and establish research linkages. The first day will focus firstly on national and regional perspectives, with sessions on Japan’s energy policy for the ‘smart community’. This is followed by session on the theme of the Built Environment. On the second day the Transport theme will include sessions on Sustainable transport and cities; Urban environments and sustainable societies: the Asian perspective; Transport demand and shifting modes of transport; Smart technologies for low carbon transport planning; and Urban-scale energy modelling. Supply networks and infrastructure is the final theme in this conference, with presentations on Hitachi’s Smart City Solutions; Smart urban local distribution; Future energy networks for cities: smart grids and beyond; and District Heating in the UK.
3. UKERC project final report launch – Carbon capture and storage: realising the potential?
19th April 3.00-5.00 pm: UKERC, 58 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PG
This event, chaired by Tom Clark (Science Editor of Channel 4 News), will launch the final report of a two-year UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) research project on the key uncertainties facing carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK. The project has analysed these uncertainties through the use of historical case studies and applied the lessons from history to alternative pathways for CCS to 2030 – with options ranging from success to failure. Speakers include Jim Skea (Research Director at UKERC), Tony White (Co-founder, BW Energy) and Jim Watson (Director, Sussex Energy Group). The event is free to attend but registration is required. To register please contact Danielle King (email@example.com; 01273 678166).
4. Debate – Carbon Crossroads: Decision Time on Mandatory Reporting
19th April at 9.00 am (debate 9.30 am – 10.30 am): Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster, London
By law, the Government must introduce mandatory carbon reporting by the 6th April 2012 or lay a report to Parliament explaining why this has not happened. This event, organised by the Aldersgate Group, will outline the Government’s statement to Parliament and debate the implications for carbon budgets and business reporting. Speakers include Lord Taylor, Defra Minister; Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Environment Secretary; Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group and Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project. To register your interest in this free event, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Places will be confirmed by 10th April with priority given to Aldersgate Group members and supporters.
5. Launch event – UK Environmental Network for Standardisation
25th April: Waste Watch, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT
Waste Watch is holding a one-day workshop to launch the UK Environmental Network for Standardisation, the aim of which is to safeguard the representation of environmental interests in the development of British standards, a process which they consider currently lacks adequate representation of civil society stakeholders. The UK ENS will facilitate, with the participation of technical experts representing environmental and other civil society interests in the technical committees that develop standards across a wide range of sustainability issues. The programme includes an Open Space session to explore what standards stakeholders would like to be involved in; potential experts and other organisations to take part for the 2012/13 work programme and beyond; and, areas where stakeholders would like to see more environmental interest representation in standardisation and areas where standards could have a role in environmental protection.
6. Conference – Measures of Subjective Well-being for Public Policy
13th-15th July: Devonshire Hall, University of Leeds
The Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (IDEA-CETL) at the University of Leeds will be hosting this interdisciplinary international conference on Measures of Subjective Well-being for Public Policy. The conference aims to bring together philosophers and non-philosophers – from psychologists and sociologists to economists and public policy practitioners – to discuss the philosophical foundations of the use of measures of subjective well-being in public policy. Issues to be explored include 1) How do measures of subjective well-being relate to philosophical accounts of happiness and well-being? 2) How do measures of subjective well-being relate to other measures of well-being, such as GDP? Can we compare these different kinds of measures? 3) How can and should measures of subjective well-being be used to monitor progress, inform policy design and appraise policy? And 4) Do such measures lead towards a new kind of political utilitarianism?
7. Symposium – Valuing Sustainability in the Built Environment
25th-26th June: University of Cambridge
GreenBRIDGE is holding a symposium on Valuing Sustainability in the Built Environment. Its main objective is to explore how sustainability is valued in the built environment and gain a better understanding of how the values of different stakeholders, from developers and government bodies to everyday users, can affect the integration of the principles of sustainability into the built environment. There will be four main themes: 1) Measurement - environmental impact assessment methods, certification schemes, models, decision-support techniques and tools, key performance indicators etc.; 2) Perspectives – stakeholder engagement, conflicting interests, partnerships etc.; 3) Applied Research – case studies, participatory research, ‘real-life’ projects in any building typology or scale; and 4) Timescale – risk and uncertainty, lifecycle thinking etc. The symposium is aimed at graduate students, academics and industry and government representatives interested in sustainability in the built environment. A reduced delegate fee is available for students.
8. Conference – 12th IAEE European Energy Conference – Energy challenge and environmental sustainability
9th-12th September: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
The International Association for Energy economics is holding its 12th annual conference on Energy challenge and environmental sustainability, which will deal with the important changes underway in the global energy sector and its related environmental implications regarding the CO2 emissions, as well as the most topical issues ranging from the development of the renewable sources to the nuclear power and the area of fossil fuels. It will feature plenary sessions on Energy supply and security; Economic recovery and the evolution of energy demand; Climate change and the new GHG emission limitation regime; independent markets for energy commodities; Environmental threats and opportunities for energy systems; and Re-thinking nuclear. There will also be 50 concurrent sessions during the course of the conference. A reduced registration fee is available for student delegates.
1. New website – Climate-ADAPT
This new website has been developed by the European Commission to help respond to the challenges of climate change. It is a resource for information on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in Europe and will be managed by the Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). Climate-ADAPT is aimed at policy makers and practitioners – e.g. engineers, planners and administrators - and is a vehicle for pooling information and learning from others. It will include information sharing on 1) Expected climate change in Europe 2) Current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors 3) National and transnational adaptation strategies 4) Adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options 5) Tools that support adaptation planning.
2. Survey – Food Ethics Council ‘Beyond Business as Usual’
The Food Ethics Council’s project ‘Beyond Business as Usual’ is aimed at enabling progress by government and business towards a fair, healthy and sustainable farming system. In order to understand the main challenges, opportunities for progress, as well as what is working and what is not, the FEC is running an online survey of stakeholders – business, government, civil society, academia and the wider general public. The survey will take 20 minutes to complete.
1. Independent report for DECC – Getting the measure of fuel poverty: Final Report of the Fuel Poverty Review
Professor John Hills of the London School of Economics has produced the final report of an independent review of fuel poverty, commissioned by DECC in March 2011. He points out that in February 2012, ‘official statistics showed that in 2010 UK carbon emissions rose for the first time in seven years, driven primarily by increased use of gas for heating homes during especially cold winter months’ and although he acknowledges the necessity of improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock, he believes that this should not mean that that this leaves families on the lowest incomes living in our worst remaining homes. In addition, the report suggests that the continuing existence of fuel poverty, as well as being a source of health problems and compounding the problem of poverty, is an obstacle to delivery of the UK’s carbon objectives.
2. nef report for Defra – ‘Moments of change’ as opportunities for influencing behaviour
This final report by the new economics foundation on the Defra project ‘Moments of change as opportunities for influencing behaviour’, explores whether ‘moments of change’ – i.e. times in a person’s life where existing habits and behaviour patterns are disrupted – provide a significant opportunity to encourage the take-up of pro-environmental behaviours. Researchers focused on four particular life events – leaving home, having a first child, moving house and retiring – as well as macroenconomic events such as energy shocks (abrupt changes to energy prices caused by supply problems) and looked at both theoretical research and empirical evidence. The resulting emerging picture was rather mixed, with the hypothesis seeming plausible as far as theoretical studies were concerned, with it fitting well with some of the existing models of behaviour maintenance and change commonly used in health contexts and increasingly applied to pro-environmental behaviour. However, empirical evidence in academic literature was limited and largely related to transport behaviour and it appeared that stakeholders the researchers had contacted were unaware of data that could demonstrate changes in habitual behaviour actually occurring at moments of change.
3. The King’s Fund report – Sustainable Health and Social Care: Connecting environmental and financial performance
This new report by Chris Naylor and John Appleby provides an overview of current knowledge about the environmental impacts of health and social care and examines the evidence for a connection between sustainability, productivity improvement and other system objectives. They note that spending on health and social care accounts for £1 in every £10 of the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) and that this scale of activity is bound to have consequences for the natural environment and give as an example that carbon dioxide emissions attributable to the NHS in England are greater than the total emissions from all aircraft departing from Heathrow airport. The authors suggest that health and social care will increasingly need to be delivered in ways that are both environmentally and financially sustainable and that improving environmental sustainability could produce direct health benefits as well as helping to improve the quality of services. The report urges policy-makers to remove barriers that discourage organisations from developing more sustainable approaches and to explore the policy changes needed to create a more enabling environment. See http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/sustainable_health.html
A more detailed version of the report, published by the National Institute for Health Research, focuses specifically on the question of what research is needed to support the development of environmentally sustainable health and social care. This report examines the research priorities and provides a framework for coordinating future research.
4. Scottish Government guide – Better Business: How to go greener with staff to improve performance
This guide produced by the Scottish Government to help businesses and other employers who want to reduce their carbon footprint is based on real-life experiences with businesses, local authorities and support agencies. It explains why it is beneficial for businesses to get involved in low-carbon activity and the benefits of staff engagement. The guide provides a number of case studies and also a step-by-step approach which organisations can follow to develop low-carbon activities with their staff.
5. European Environment Agency report – Towards efficient use of water resources in Europe
This report, the first of a series of five that EEA will publish in 2012 to provide policy-relevant information to support the development of the European Commission’s ‘Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s waters’, focuses on resource efficiency, its role in promoting sustainable water management and the role of technical and economic tools in this context.
6. Green Alliance pamphlet – Green growth at a glance: how do Germany and the UK compare?
This snapshot comparison of Germany’s and the UK’s ‘green growth’ allows the reader to assess how well the UK is positioned against a competitor in the challenge of a transition to a low carbon and resource efficient future. It looks at the differing strengths and weaknesses of the countries’ renewable and also low-carbon and environmental goods and services and the factors which have driven these and concludes that ‘Without a clear strategy on green growth we cannot assume that the UK will maintain its strong position in areas of current advantage, or regain ground on renewable energy’. Graphics show renewable energy targets; emissions reduction targets to 2020 and progress so far; National Investment Bank green spending targets; wind, solar and other renewable and clean energy investment; total GDP 2010, value of low carbon and environmental goods and services as a proportion of GDP; and trade in low carbon and environmental goods and services between Germany and the UK in 2010.
1. SDRN Website: Jobs and Training
Jobs and Training opportunities around the Sustainable Development Research network are updated frequently on the ‘Jobs and Training’ page of the SDRN website.
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SDRN Mailing, 27th March 2012