Concept image showing a row of glass bottles with increasing amounts of coins in them, and a bigger plant growing out of each

Pensions: Invest in our future, not the past

Dr Neil Jennings, Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute, takes a look at the USS pensions scheme and considers how you can take more control of your pension investments. [Updated 10/09/2018] If you could choose where your pension was invested what would you go for? Tobacco companies maybe? I suspect not. But, if you have a USS pension (or potentially any other pension), that … Continue reading Pensions: Invest in our future, not the past

Dam spans deep river valley, with water gushing out and green-sided hills to either side

The pitfalls of hydroelectric power in drought-prone Africa

Alvaro Lara, former student on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, considers Africa’s reliance on hydroelectric power, the impact of climate change on the water cycle and why current plans to invest in more hydroelectric projects may not be a route to energy security. For much of 2017, one of the world’s least-developed countries, Malawi in south-east Africa, experienced intermittent blackouts as a result of … Continue reading The pitfalls of hydroelectric power in drought-prone Africa

Women and boy standing in front of the carbon calculator table, which is laid with different cards.

8 ways to cut your carbon footprint

Liam Flanagan, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP (SSCP DTP), lists his top 8 ways to cut your carbon footprint. Which has a bigger carbon footprint – the United States or Australia[1]? Eggs or cheese[2]? Drying your hands using paper towels or a Dyson Airblade dryer[3]? These are just the sorts of questions that make up ‘The Carbon Calculator’, … Continue reading 8 ways to cut your carbon footprint

Picture of a flat roof in london, with a skylight, that has moss growing on top

Excessive heat, droughts and floods – how can ‘blue-green infrastructure’ help?

Kathryn Brown, Grantham Research Fellow and Head of Adaptation at the UK Committee on Climate Change, blogs on why we need to prepare for climate change impacts, and how bringing the natural world into our urban landscape can help us to do just this. The last few months have been fairly unprecedented in terms of weather across the UK. While some people have enjoyed basking … Continue reading Excessive heat, droughts and floods – how can ‘blue-green infrastructure’ help?

Hyde Park, with parched ground and people sunbathing

Summer temperatures 2018 – the ‘new normal’?

There can be no doubt that the summer of 2018 has been remarkable both in the UK and across the world. Following an appearance on BBC Newsnight, in which the presenter Emily Maitlis asked if current temperatures can be considered the ‘new normal’, Professor Stephen Belcher, Chief Scientist at the Met Office, and Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair of the Grantham Institute, give their perspective … Continue reading Summer temperatures 2018 – the ‘new normal’?

Labourer taking an afternoon nap

Feeling the heat? So is our economy!

Tarek Cheaib, former student on the Grantham Institute and Imperial College Business School MSc in Climate Change, Management and Finance, considers the impact of heatwaves on the workplace, and why they will have a big impact on the global economy.  It’s easy to see the economic impact of extreme weather events or natural disasters like wildfires or floods. In 2012, for example, Hurricane Sandy forced … Continue reading Feeling the heat? So is our economy!

Photo showing destroyed village - lots of debris, cables and collapsed houses

The future of power in Japan: Connecting life-saving disaster resilience with a low-carbon energy system

Hamish Beath, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, undertook a research placement at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. In this blog, he considers the future of Japan’s power sector, and why disaster resilience and low-carbon energy go hand in hand. At 2.46pm, on 11 March 2011, the biggest earthquake ever to hit Japan struck 80 miles off the … Continue reading The future of power in Japan: Connecting life-saving disaster resilience with a low-carbon energy system

Heindl’s Gravity Storage - graphic showing a huge mass of rock in a cylinder, held up by water

Gravity – the solution to energy storage?

Oliver Schmidt, research postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP who is funded by the Grantham Institute, recently authored a report analysing the costs of gravity-based energy storage options. In this blog, he considers why harnessing the power of gravity could revolutionise energy storage in the future. Lithium-ion batteries seem to be used everywhere – from tablets and smart phones, to electric … Continue reading Gravity – the solution to energy storage?

Cover of the CCC Progress to Parliament report 2018

How can the UK get back on track? 4 simple messages for the Government from the CCC

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair of the Grantham Institute and member of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), considers the 2018 Progress Report to Parliament, and why it’s the most hard-hitting yet. Last month, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) launched its 2018 Progress Report to Parliament. Under the 2008 Climate Change Act, the CCC produces annual reports that chart UK progress in reducing greenhouse … Continue reading How can the UK get back on track? 4 simple messages for the Government from the CCC

The energy conundrum: Bringing carbon under control and reversing rising emissions

Neil Hirst, Senior Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute and author of The Energy Conundrum, Climate Change, Global Prosperity, and the Tough Decisions We Have to Make, considers the outlook for global energy and how to bring rising carbon emissions under control. Twenty-five years ago, the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty was set up to tackle the causes of global … Continue reading The energy conundrum: Bringing carbon under control and reversing rising emissions