Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

Communicating flood risks in a changing climate

By Editor on 16th December 2015

In the aftermath of storm Desmond, this report by Climate Outreach (formerly COIN) can be seen as being of particular relevance.

A new evidence review by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, supported by four case studies, explores community resilience to climate change in the UK.

This collection of papers by early-career researchers draws on in-depth field research in Latin America, Asia and Africa to explore the challenges of delivering access to modern energy services. The chapters document the ongoing inequities of energy landscapes across a range of geographies, scales and political economic contexts. The authors draw attention to the need to take local people's needs and livelihood aspirations into account in efforts to address the ‘energy trilemma’.

Climate Just website launch

By Bridget Elliott on 24th February 2015

A new website has been launched which helps local authorities and other organisations working on climate change, or working with vulnerable communities, to respond to this challenge. The site was developed in partnership by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Climate UK, the Environment Agency and the University of Manchester. It highlights which people and places are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, including flooding and extreme heat, and actions that can be taken to respond.

The World Future Council has released a handbook which shows how forward-looking communities around the world are already moving away from reliance on fossil fuels and providing their energy needs from renewables. The report uses case studies from cities and communities, regions and states, national governments and island governments to illustrate key conclusions about the transition to 100% Renewable Energy. It concludes that the first step towards achieving 100% Renewable Energy is to set a formal political target that is long-term and ambitious.

This report provides recommendations for the development of proposals for future policies at EU, national and local level regarding energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in buildings, urban development and sustainable communities in general. It is designed as a reference manual on key findings from CONCERTO, an EU-funding programme supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at neighbourhood level within 58 sites in 23 countries. The projects have been analysed regarding their CO2-reduction, energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a report and illustrated guide demonstrating how tackling climate change can also help address some of the economic and social challenges facing the UK. The report’s authors argue that, while addressing climate change is important in its own right, taking action can also help to address some of the greatest challenges facing the UK.

Over recent years, there has been a growing acknowledgement of the importance of nature for human health and wellbeing. Research has shown that separation from nature is implicated in declining physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. A special issue on ‘Health Benefits of Nature’ has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

One of the greatest challenges facing environmental policy-makers is encouraging people to behave more sustainably. A recent study highlighted by Science for Environment Policy argues that there is little evidence to suggest that information campaigns alone can actually persuade people to make long-term behavioural changes. A better strategy may be to combine good information with knowledge of how people make decisions, nudging them towards sustainable choices.

Kingston University ‘Smart Communities’ report

By Bridget Elliott on 24th June 2014

The final report of the Kingston University Smart Communities project was launched at a one day event at the British Academy on Wednesday 11th June, 2014. In broad terms, the project findings support the contemporary policy focus on demand-side action, community energy and energy consumption feedback. At the same time, the project highlights the long term and challenging nature of these strategies, and the implications of this for funding.