Our "commute to work". A 7.5km hike across mudflats, wetland, ice and rivers

Ring of Fire: how biofilms will help us understand the impacts of climate change

‘Ring of Fire’ is a NERC-funded research project that, over the course of four years and five geothermal sites in the Arctic Circle, investigates the impact of rising temperatures of global warming on freshwater ecosystems. Danielle Harris has just returned from an eight-day fieldwork trip in Svalbard, where she scrubbed nearly 300 rocks to see how temperature affects the community composition of biofilms, and the … Continue reading Ring of Fire: how biofilms will help us understand the impacts of climate change

Plastic waste floating in a canal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When it rains it pours: How can cities save the ocean from plastic pollution during heavy rainfall?

Charles Axelsson, a PhD researcher at Italy’s Ca ‘Foscari University, studied his Master’s at Imperial College London, where he worked closely oceanographer and climate scientist Dr Erik Van Sebille. In this blog, he considers the impact of urban plastic pollution on marine environments, and how policy and local action can help coastal cities save the ocean from plastic. We are a planet of urban, coastal … Continue reading When it rains it pours: How can cities save the ocean from plastic pollution during heavy rainfall?

Graphic showing a plane flying with a "Business as usual" banner

What does business-as-usual mean today?

Energy models are a vital tool to help predict what the future energy system could look like. Conventionally, such models are based on business-as-usual scenarios – points of reference informed by historical norms. However, the energy transition is already underway: basing future energy models on such scenarios could be highly risky. Following an energy modelling workshop with academics, industry leaders and policymakers, research postgraduates Jonathan … Continue reading What does business-as-usual mean today?

China is entering a new era of climate change mitigation and environmental protection

Professor Yufeng Yang from the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, joined the Grantham Institute as a Research Fellow in June 2017. For the next few months, he will be working here on global energy governance and energy storage, in close collaboration with Neil Hirst, Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Mitigation. In this blog, he considers the … Continue reading China is entering a new era of climate change mitigation and environmental protection

Eco-resolutions 2017 – have you kept yours?

It can be easy to wait for governments and businesses to face up to the challenges of climate change and other environmental issues. However, individual action has a big part to play in protecting the planet. Small changes to our daily habits can make a big difference. At the end of last year, Grantham Institute staff and students made a climate or environment related resolution … Continue reading Eco-resolutions 2017 – have you kept yours?

Solar heat water heater and chimney

Could solar-thermal be the solution for low-carbon heating?

Well-established solar heat technologies could be playing a key role in creating a sustainable future energy system and meeting an increasing global demand for energy, according to our latest briefing paper. “Solar-thermal and hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems for renewable heating” looks at the continuing potential of this technology and what stands in the way. Dr Alexander Mellor, Research Associate in the Department of Physics and co-author of … Continue reading Could solar-thermal be the solution for low-carbon heating?

Flames of gas stove

5 ways to green the gas grid

The Sustainable Gas Institute, an international research hub based at Imperial College London, recently launched a new white paper entitled ‘A Greener Gas Grid: What Are The Options?’. The paper examines the gas grid and explores the ‘low-carbon’ alternatives for these extensive networks. Erin Johnson, a research postgraduate in the Department of Chemical Engineering and an expert in ‘green gas’, discusses the paper’s findings and … Continue reading 5 ways to green the gas grid

Skyscrapers in Shanghai, China, with solar panels in the foreground

Why we need global leadership on pressing energy challenges, and why China has such an important role to play

Neil Hirst is a Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Mitigation at the Grantham Institute. Over the next few months, he will be working with Professor Yufeng Yang, from the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of  National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, who recently joined the institute funded by a Grantham Research Fellowship. Here, Neil explains two of the topics they will be working on: reforming energy governance, … Continue reading Why we need global leadership on pressing energy challenges, and why China has such an important role to play

Energy Utopia: What stands in the way of smart, clean, affordable, customer-led energy?

Last year, Dr Jeffrey Hardy took a career break from his role as Head of Sustainable Energy Futures at Ofgem and joined the Grantham Institute as a Senior Research Fellow. He has been imagining a future where your relationship with your energy company is different to the present, and why new business models must put customers in the driving seat of the low-carbon transformation. Here he … Continue reading Energy Utopia: What stands in the way of smart, clean, affordable, customer-led energy?

Four ways to future-proof your finances

Following our Investment opportunities in a low-carbon economy event earlier this year, we invited Ian Simm, Founder and Chief Executive of Impax Asset Management Group and guest speaker at Imperial College London Business School, to answer your questions about taking responsibility for your investments to help create a sustainable future. Your personal finances may seem remote from the problems facing the planet, particularly the state … Continue reading Four ways to future-proof your finances