Small solar panel on the floor in an African village, Madagascar

Forget about power lines, Pay-As-You-Go is transforming Africa’s energy landscape

Alvaro Lara and Sidney Wakaba, students on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, put the spotlight on electricity access for communities in rural Africa, and consider how off-grid solar systems are revolutionising Africa’s energy sector. For most people in Europe and North America, a life without electricity is difficult to imagine.  A day without charging our iPhones, grabbing something to eat from the fridge, or … Continue reading Forget about power lines, Pay-As-You-Go is transforming Africa’s energy landscape

Cordillera Blanca, Alpamayo plateau, Caraz, Peru

Tracing the white water: how vulnerable are water resources to melting glaciers?

On World Water Day 2018, a group of UK and Peruvian scientists will be visiting the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca in Peru to build research links that will help assess the vulnerability of water resources to melting glaciers, and design adequate adaptation strategies. In this blog, Grantham Affiliate Wouter Buytaert explains why this is such a complex task.    The Nazca lines are one of Peru’s … Continue reading Tracing the white water: how vulnerable are water resources to melting glaciers?

Canada shown on a cheap globe

Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute, heads to the “energy engine” of Canada to talk climate change, cleantech and collaboration. This week I am heading to Canada, where I grew up, for the first time in six years. I am very excited about returning to Canadian soil (er, or snow), and particularly interested to meet a range of people involved … Continue reading Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

Headshots of some leading ladies in climate change and environmental science at Imperial - Helen ApSimon, Ana Mijic, Jenny Nelson, Clementine Chambon, Joanna Haigh, Jess Wade

Leading ladies in climate and environmental science, and why their profile counts

To mark International Women’s Day, archivist Anne Barrett, author of “Women At Imperial College Past Present and Future”, and Alice White, Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Library, have organised a Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thon’ at Imperial College London to create and improve Wikipedia pages about women in science. In this blog, equality advocate Dr Jess Wade, Research Associate in Physics, explains the rationale behind the project, … Continue reading Leading ladies in climate and environmental science, and why their profile counts

Don’t blame plastic, blame poor waste management

Grantham Affiliate Chris Cheeseman, Professor of Materials Resources Engineering at Imperial College London, considers what’s behind the plastic pollution crisis, and why designers and engineers are fundamental to developing a long-term solution. Plastics are fantastic materials. Thanks to their amazing range of properties and inherent durability they have an enormous number of applications and we, as a society, have come to rely on them. They … Continue reading Don’t blame plastic, blame poor waste management

The future of the electricity utility – decision time for US stakeholders

Last month, Grantham Affiliates Dr Jeffrey Hardy and Dr Chris Mazur travelled to Chicago to run a ‘Decision Theatre’ workshop with participants from the US energy supply chain as part of the Utility 2050 project. Here, they consider the findings of the workshop, the differences across the pond, and the potential for collaboration. The Utility 2050 project, originally conceived by the Energy Research Partnership, offers … Continue reading The future of the electricity utility – decision time for US stakeholders

Graphic showing a thermometer rising, with a 2 written at the top to imply a 2 degree temperature rise

The lower the climate sensitivity the better – but what we need is zero carbon

Following the publication of a paper presenting a new narrower estimate of “equilibrium climate sensitivity” – a measure of how future greenhouse gas emissions could alter the climate – Professor Joanna Haigh, co-director of the Grantham Institute, explains the implications of climate sensitivity and why it should be interpreted carefully. What concerns me about a recent paper published in Nature is the interpretation of its … Continue reading The lower the climate sensitivity the better – but what we need is zero carbon

Van on Yellowknife Ice Road, Northwest Territories, Canada

Getting renewable electricity to Canada’s remote communities

Alvaro Lara, a student on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, considers the challenges faced by off-grid communities in Canada, why climate change threatens their status quo, and how renewables could hold the key to a reliable power supply. Colville Lake is about as remote as you can get in Canada. Located 50km north of the Arctic circle and with a population of only … Continue reading Getting renewable electricity to Canada’s remote communities

What to do with all the carbon dioxide?

Research Postgraduates Clara Heuberger and Clea Kolster, who recently attended the UNFCCC’s 23rd Conference of the Parties in Bonn, consider the significant potential of  carbon dioxide removal technologies, and the barriers they face.  A recent report published by the UN highlighted that, last year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed, hitting a level not seen for more than three … Continue reading What to do with all the carbon dioxide?

Creative, critical and charged – the young voices of COP23 

Earlier this month, just before the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) kicked off in Bonn, Research Postgraduate Luciana Miu attended the 13th Conference of Youth (COY). Organised by YOUNGO, the official youth-constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COY has taken place before every COP since 2005. Representing the Alumni Association of Climate-KIC, the EU’s largest climate innovation initiative, Luciana … Continue reading Creative, critical and charged – the young voices of COP23