Jobs and Training
1. Call for papers - two-day NERC funded workshop on the (non) utilisation of ecosystem knowledge in decision making
The NERC-funded BRIDGE project welcomes applications for funded places on a small, research-driven workshop examining the utilization of ecosystem knowledge in decision-making. The workshop will take place in London on 3rd – 4th May. The overall aim of the workshop is to better understand the uptake and influence of ecosystems knowledge in public, private and third sector decision making. Reasonable costs will be provided by the organisers. The organisers welcome review papers which address a set of workshop themes, and especially encourage contributions from a range of disciplinary perspectives (e.g. political science, human geography, science studies, economics). They have an agreement in principle for a Special Issue of the journal Environment and Planning C, based on the best papers presented at the workshop (subject to the usual review process).
2. Call for Posters – Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability: ‘Water, For All, Forever: Managing Water Locally.’
In November 2011, a joint publication by Oxfam, WaterAid and the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) entitled ‘Managing Water Locally: An important dimension of community water management,’ was launched at the ICE in London. As a follow- up to the London Launch, Newcastle University have organised a workshop on local level solutions to water security – ‘Water, For All, Forever: Managing Water Locally.’ The event will be hosted by the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), with support from Oxfam, WaterAid, the British Hydrological Society and ICE. The aim of the workshop is to improve understanding of how global issues of demographic change, environment and climate change unfold at the local level, and the role that local water users can play in adapting to the impact on water resources. The deadline for posters is 15 June 2012.
3. Call for information – BIS Green Construction Board
The Green Construction Board was launched in November 2011, as a consultative forum for Government and the UK design, construction and property industry. It is currently calling for research information on how a low carbon built environment can be achieved. This could include information on public policy, abatement technologies, organisational and consumer attitudes towards and interactions therewith, supply chain implications, assessment of the current building stock, emissions measurement and standards/definitions. The call excludes work that predates 2007. Business Minister Mark Prisk has recently announced the creation of a low carbon ‘Routemap’ by the Green Construction Board illustrating the overall required emissions reductions for industry and the measures which will deliver them up to 2050.
4. Call for papers and posters – ‘The Governance of Eco-City Innovation’
The 4th ESRC ‘Governance of Eco-City Innovation’ research seminar will take place on 30 May 2012 at the University of Westminster, London. The seminar theme is ‘Bringing Eco-cities to Life: community engagement, local activism’. Among other topics, speakers will discuss stakeholder engagement and local activism in eco-city planning and implementation, transition town movements and other grassroots initiatives. There will be opportunities for early career researchers and practitioners to present papers or posters within the context of the theme. If you are interested in contributing with a presentation please send an abstract (up to 200 words) to email@example.com by Friday 4 May 2012.
1. Latest edition of Journalism Studies focuses on media reporting of climate change and environmental issues.
The journal Journalism Studies has a special edition on media reporting of climate change and environmental issues. While the one-page editorial note is freely available, the articles require institutional login. Articles cover media coverage from around the world, including ‘Climate change controversies in French mass media 1990-2010’, ‘Media representations of climate change in the Argentinean press’ and ‘Talking points ammo: the use of neoliberal think-tank fantasy themes to delegitimise scientific knowledge of climate change in Australian newspapers’.
1. Lecture - Shenzhen Sino-Dutch Low Carbon City: A participant observer's view of developing an eco-city in China
Friday 27 April 2012, 16.00 – 17.30 hrs, University of Westminster, London
A growing number of eco-cities in China involve foreign expertise, including investment, technology and knowledge transfer. Best known are the Sino-Singaporean Tiajin Eco-City and the Sino-Swedish Caofeidian Eco-City initiatives. This lecture explores the more recent Sino-Dutch Shenzhen Low Carbon City, located in South-East China close to Hong Kong. Since June 2010, a mixed group of Chinese and Dutch academics and architects has been actively involved in advising the Shenzhen government on how to turn Pingdi, a relatively underdeveloped community of 160,000 residents, into a world-class knowledge area. Professor Martin de Jong, initiator of this bilateral collaboration and co-author of the strategic spatial vision, will discuss the core ideas of the strategic plan and the planning and decision-making context.
2. Conference – ‘The route to resilience: Preparing the – transport sector in the South-West for climate change’
Wednesday 25 April 2012, University of Plymouth
This regional conference aims to build local knowledge on climate change and facilitate information sharing from both national and local perspectives to build resilience within the transport network in the South West region. Speakers include Michell Witton-Smith (Department of Transport), who is the author of the Department for Transport’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The conference will also provide delegates with the opportunity to contribute to the emerging National Adaptation Programme, following the launch of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment in January 2012. This event is organised by Climate SouthWest, the Institute for Sustainable Solutions Research, and the University of Plymouth, with support from TravelWatch SW. For more details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Conference – ‘Green Growth: New Shoots’
9-10 May 2012, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield
The UK’s cities and city regions are facing an urgent challenge to create jobs and economic growth - but how can this be balanced with the need to improve social cohesion and create sustainable communities? This conference will seek to address this question with various sessions covering ‘Policy & Planning’, ‘Valuation & Evaluation’, ‘Greenspaces & Places’ and ‘People & Partnerships’. Confirmed speakers include the leader of Sheffield City Council, representatives from UNESCO, LSE and the Town & Country Planning Association. The conference is hosted by South Yorkshire Forest Partnership. £150 for delegates for 2 days (half price for students) and £100 for one day.
4. Conference – ‘Low Carbon Road Transport: Moving to Maturity’
10 May 2012, Excel exhibition centre, London
This one-day Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership Conference will include half a day on general sessions about Britain’s low-carbon industries, with the other half focused specifically on low-carbon vehicles. Conference speakers include Michael Jacobs (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment & former adviser to Gordon Brown on climate change), Jos Dings (Director, Transport and Environment), Adam Vaughan (Editor, Environment Guardian) and Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for Transport (tbc). Delegates at the LowCVP Conference 2012 can also visit EcoVelocity 2012, which is taking place simultaneously in the Excel centre and will showcase the latest technology from leading car manufacturers. Test drives of the newest low carbon and electric vehicles are available.
5. Workshop – ‘Fair ideas: Solutions for a sustainable planet’
16-17 June 2012, Pontifíca Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Working closely with partners in Brazil and with international networks and alliances, IIED will host a major international information-sharing workshop on 16–17 June 2012, immediately before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is held in Brazil. ‘Fair ideas’ will aspire to provide equal space for practitioners, policymakers, activists, business representatives and researchers to discuss what it will take to achieve significant change. Entry is free and over 2,000 participants are expected to come along to some of the sessions. The two-day event will take place between the final preparatory negotiations and the summit itself. IIED and their partners will take the key conclusions of the two-day workshops into the summit itself, and will organise follow-up discussions there.
6. Public Debate – ‘Sustainable Intensification vs Low Input Farming’
5 July 2012 from 4.30pm, Lindisfarne Room, King’s Road Centre, Newcastle University
In this debate, two influential and high-profile speakers will attempt to persuade the public that their vision for food production is the most sustainable and realistic. Jonathon Porritt (Co-Founder of Forum for the Future) is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. John Atkin is Chief Operating Officer of Syngenta and was previously Chief Operating Officer (Crop Protection) from Syngenta’s foundation until February 2011. The background to this debate is that the 2011 report of the Government Office for Science on ‘Foresight: The Future of Food and Farming’ has recommended Sustainable Intensification as the way forward for food production in order to meet the challenges of global food demands and climate change. However, some, including the UN Conferences on Trade and Development, feel that sustainable intensification will propagate the type of farming that relies on costly, polluting and non-renewable external inputs.
7. Debate – ‘A Greener Shade of Blue? Communicating Climate Change on the Right’.
1 May 2012, Policy Exchange, 10 Storey’s Gate, Westminster, SW1P 3AY
This Policy Exchange debate will consider whether there is a genuine problem with climate action on the right of politics and how those who care about the environment might be better able to persuade doubters of the need for policy intervention. The debate will consider: To what extent are some parts of the right suspicious about climate change? How does climate change differ from other environmental problems which may be a more comfortable fit with a right of centre philosophy? And how can those who care about environmental issues better communicate their concerns? Speakers include the Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP (Former Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry), Tim Yeo MP (Energy and Climate Change Select Committee), Damian Carrington (Environment Editor, The Guardian) and Dr Adam Corner (School of Psychology, Cardiff University & Climate Outreach Information Network).
8. Conference – ‘Smart Energy Cities’ – lessons from Japan and the UK
17-18 April 2012, Sir Denis Rooke Building, Holywell Park, Loughborough University, LE11 3GR
This conference will seek to share knowledge and best practice of sustainable transport, green buildings and renewable energy between representatives from the UK and Japan. This event aims to share understanding of Japanese and UK perspectives on smart energy cities and establish research linkages. Sessions will focus on ‘Japan’s energy policy for the smart community’, ‘Plans and actions for a UK City (Nottingham)’, ‘Urban scale energy demand modelling for residential and commercial buildings in Japan’ and ‘Urban environments and sustainable societies - the Asian perspective’. Speakers include representatives Kyushu University, Waseda University, EON, University of Nottingham and Hitachi Europe.
1. Proceedings of Communicate2011 – a conference for environmental communicators - now available online
In November 2011, the Bristol Natural History Consortium organised ‘Communicate 2011’ – a conference for Environmental communicators. The conference had three general themes: Natural, People and Economics, but focused on communication techniques and strategies applicable across the board. There are Youtube videos, powerpoint presentations and transcripts available online. The conference included sessions from Defra, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Environment Agency, Forum for the Future, Avon Wildlife Trust, University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh and many others.
2. Proceedings of Sustainable Scotland Network’s ‘Local Action for a Sustainable Scotland’ conference now available online
In November 2011 the Sustainable Scotland Network organised a conference with the theme ‘Local Action for a Sustainable Scotland’, which brought together over 200 policy makers and practitioners from across the country. The conference explored the need to better align public, private and community action to deliver Scotland’s sustainable development and climate change ambitions, as well as the need to focus on delivery. The conference featured presentations from most of the key players in the Scottish sustainability scene, including Stewart Stevenson MSP (Minister for Environment and Climate Change); Cllr Alison Hay (COSLA Spokesperson for Regeneration and Sustainable Development); Sue Bruce (Chief Executive of City of Edinburgh Council); Andy Kerr (Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation); and David Wilson (Director of Energy and Climate Change, Scottish Government). Audio files, Youtube videos and powerpoint presentations are available online.
3. DECC launch National Heat Map online
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a National Heat Map online, which is a set of electronic maps showing heat demand from buildings across England. It provides a range of tools to help developers and planners identify priority areas for low carbon heat projects. DECC intend for Local authorities to use the map as the starting point to developing detailed Energy Master Plans to inform distributed energy policies in their Local Development Frameworks and climate change strategies. Developers may also be able use the map to help them meet local distributed energy needs. The Heat Map brings together several different datasets, and shows kilowatt hours per square metre and covers all 388 local authorities.
1. RICS report – ‘Hotting Up? An Analysis of Low Carbon Plans and Strategies for UK Cities’
This report (published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) examined how the largest cities in the UK are adopting and implementing low carbon plans. The rationale for this is simple; cities are responsible globally for about 80% of greenhouse gas emissions, and by 2050 some 84% of people will live in cities. As the author (Prof. Tim Dixon, Director of Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development) puts it ‘The battle to create a sustainable low carbon future will be won or lost in our cities, and the UK is no exception.’ The research involved detailed analysis of DECC carbon emissions data and energy consumption for the largest 20 cities; an online survey of senior climate change or sustainability officers in the largest 60 cities, and desk-based research into ‘best practice’ low carbon plans and strategies in the UK (Bristol, Coventry, Plymouth, Cardiff and Glasgow) and internationally (Vancouver, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Hamburg). The report outlines drivers and barriers for a low carbon agenda at the UK city level, and critical success factors for cities.
2. Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development - Final project report and discussion paper
The FDSD has published their final paper in their major project on ‘the future of democracy in the face of climate change’. The report draws on four earlier papers to find answers to the question: ‘how might democracy and participatory decision-making have evolved to cope with the challenges of climate change by the years 2050 and 2100?’ and details five scenarios ranging from ‘rationed democracy’ to ‘technocratic democracy’. Secondly, the Director of FDSD (Halina Ward) has just published a discussion paper outlining the case for one of the outcomes of the RIO+20 discussions (June 2012) to be the creation of a UN Commissioner for Future Generations and an associated office. The author hopes that this would address the problem of short-termism at individual, governmental and organisational levels and protect the interests of future generations.
3. IIED publication – ‘Green China: Chinese insights on Environment and Development’
The authors of this report acknowledge that China’s economic transformation over three decades has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But they argue that impressive economic growth rates in the world’s largest country have come with heavy environmental costs. The air in many of China’s major cities is the most polluted in the world. The water in many major Chinese rivers is unfit for irrigation. Scarce arable land and water resources and important biodiversity are being lost. The authors argue that China urgently needs to shift to a more sustainable economic model. This book brings together writings from some of China’s leading thinkers on sustainable development. The contributors reflect on experiences to date, such as experiments with Green GDP accounting, and implementation of Green for Grain - the world’s biggest reforestation programme, as well as China’s role in climate negotiations. Ideas are presented on what needs to change in China (and elsewhere), and on how to deliver economic development with better social and environmental outcomes.
4. Joseph Rowntree Foundation report – ‘Low carbon communities and social justice’
The authors argue that across a range of government, private and civil society actors the need to develop low carbon communities has gained increasing attention within the UK. More or less implicitly, this shift from an emphasis on individual action to community responses has been framed as one that will enable a more just response to climate change. By engaging communities, it seems, policy and actions will be more inclusive, responsibilities for action may be shared, and the risks and benefits of the low carbon transition more evenly distributed. However, the extent to which such community-based approaches to climate change mitigation can live up to these expectations has yet to be fully explored. This research, conducted by Durham University and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, explores how the notion of justice might be conceptualised in the context of climate mitigation and low carbon communities; how current UK low carbon community policies and programmes address issues of justice; and how two low carbon communities have encountered issues of justice in practice. The report can be downloaded from the JRF website.
5. DECC publication – ‘The Future of Heating: A strategic framework for low carbon heat in the UK’
The Government has set out its vision of how it can cut emissions from heating homes, businesses and industry in the decades ahead. Today the vast majority of our heat is produced by burning fossil fuels (around 80% from gas alone), and as a result heat is responsible for around a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions; heat is the single biggest reason we use energy in our society. The Heat Strategy sets out the long term challenges and opportunities on the pathway to decarbonisation and asks specific questions, including seeking views about future policy options, which the Government may need to consider. These include ‘Managing Heat Demand in Buildings’, ‘Transforming Building-Level Heating’ and ‘developing Heat Networks in the UK’.
6. Carbon Disclosure Project report – ‘Insights into Climate Change Adaptation by UK Companies’
The research, carried out on behalf of Defra by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), found that while 80 per cent of FTSE 100 companies surveyed identified substantial risks to their business from climate change, only 46 per cent said they have included adaptation plans in their business strategies. For those that do, the main focus is on assets, followed by logistics and finance. The report looks at voluntary disclosures from the largest listed UK companies across a range of sectors. In this report CDP used data disclosed to CDP by FTSE 100 companies in response to shareholder requests for insights into business attitudes and actions. There is marked diversity between attitudes and approaches to risk and adaptation needs in different business sectors; of most significance is the distinction between companies with high tech facilities which focus on direct risk, and those such as consumer staples that are reliant on international supply chains and focus on indirect supply chain risk. Interestingly, the metals and mining industry in particular perceives itself as particularly exposed to international physical climate risks.
7. RAC Foundation report – ‘The Green Charge’
This report is an analysis of the 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge, an eco-rally from Brighton to London organised by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in November 2011. The challenge was to use the least amount of energy as possible, and entries included many different types of low carbon transport including electric vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and conventional, highly-efficient combustion engine vehicles. 37 vehicles took part in 2011, compared to 19 in 2012.
1. 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.
The SDRN Mailing is a moderated information resource and dissemination service for SDRN members. You can make use of this service by sending any information for inclusion in the mailing to Ben Watson.
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SDRN Mailing, 10th April 2012