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Coronavirus and climate change: “There is much uncertainty, and much to play for”

The Grantham Institute’s Dr Ajay Gambhir blogs on how learning from the coronavirus crisis could help place the world on a firmer footing to tackle the multiple challenges we will face this century – including climate change. Coronavirus is here. Its impact on our health systems, economies and behaviours cannot yet be understood, but analogies have already been drawn between this immediate challenge and the … Continue reading Coronavirus and climate change: “There is much uncertainty, and much to play for”

The graphic shows that a single journey from London to Paris by plane will cost £64, take 4 hours 40 minutes, and emit 59kg equivalent of carbon dioxide. By train, the same journey will cost £49, take 2 hours 55 minutes, and emit 2kg equivalent of carbon dioxide. Assumptions: the start and end location are the main train terminal in the centre of each city; travel costs are for the cheapest advance tickets bought in advance and include all connecting journeys; carbon emissions are calculated using UK government greenhouse gas emissions factors for short-haul flights, ferry and international rail travel. To find out more, visit www.imperial.ac.uk/stories/climate-action

Reducing demand for air travel starts at work

Laura Warwick, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership, says flying shouldn’t be the default option when it comes to international travel. Aviation is becoming an increasingly contentious issue in the UK. The government’s decision to step in to assist regional airline Flybe seems to be at odds with the UK Committee on Climate Change’s warning that continued … Continue reading Reducing demand for air travel starts at work

Extinction Rebellion protests at Oxford Circus. Lots of people with green XR flags.

Put your fate in your hands: Rebelling against extinction gave me hope for the future

Geraint Northwood, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, blogs on his experience with Extinction Rebellion, and how it has turned his frustration to optimism for the future. The first I knew of Extinction Rebellion was when a sort of business card was handed to me at a climate strike in Westminster, which I pretty much ignored. It had the … Continue reading Put your fate in your hands: Rebelling against extinction gave me hope for the future

Coal-fired Power station with steaming cooling tower and lonesome tree

Reducing carbon emissions: don’t wait until tomorrow  

Neil Grant, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, blogs on why avoiding a tonne of carbon dioxide today is not the same as removing a tonne of carbon dioxide tomorrow. In 2019, public concern about climate change increased dramatically, and pressure is growing on world leaders to take decisive action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Experts are warning that, with the world significantly off-track to … Continue reading Reducing carbon emissions: don’t wait until tomorrow  

Crossroad signpost saying this way, that way, another way concept for lost, confusion or decisions

Pragmatic optimism, rather than complacency or despondency, is the best way to tackle the climate emergency

Dr Ajay Gambhir, Advanced Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute, considers the best mindset with which to approach the climate emergency. In the last month there have been two eye-catching opinion pieces on climate change by famous, influential, though notably non-expert, commentators. The first, by celebrity historian Niall Ferguson, weighs in on Greta Thunberg. He asserts that Greta is taking climate change far too seriously. … Continue reading Pragmatic optimism, rather than complacency or despondency, is the best way to tackle the climate emergency

Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment, Chile and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC at the Host Country Agreement signing ceremony (c) UNclimatechange

Have I got the Bonn blues? Time to look forwards to COP25 in Chile

Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment, Chile and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC at the Host Country Agreement signing ceremony (c) UNclimatechange Trish O’Beirne, student on the MSc in Environmental Technology, reflects on her experience at the UNFCCC’s Climate Change Conference in Bonn, and looks ahead to the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP25), in Chile. Having spent most of my academic career in the happy … Continue reading Have I got the Bonn blues? Time to look forwards to COP25 in Chile

Graphic showing a green future city, with icons representing health, wealth, happiness and employment

What can the Brexit vote tell us about harnessing peoples’ enthusiasm to act on climate change?

Dr Neil Jennings, Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute, considers how we can frame action on climate change in terms of other public priorities. Each month, the polling organisation Ipsos MORI surveys members of the public in the United Kingdom about what they think are the main issues facing the country. Currently (July 2019), the ‘Common Market/Brexit/EU’ tops the list. However, in 2015 it … Continue reading What can the Brexit vote tell us about harnessing peoples’ enthusiasm to act on climate change?

close up of row of cows being milked

Saving the planet, one meal at a time

Dr Neil Jennings, Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute, and Lily Peck, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Programme, explain how eating a more plant-based, seasonal diet can help tackle climate change, support the local economy and help us to live healthier lives. For most of us, shifting to a more plant-based diet and reducing meat intake … Continue reading Saving the planet, one meal at a time

COP24 President Michal Kurtyka jumps in celebration of the approval of the Paris Agreement Work Programme at COP24 in 2018 (c) UNClimateChange

Why should the UK host the COP26 climate summit in 2020?

Grantham Institute lecturer Dr Joeri Rogelj, member of the United Nations’ Climate Science Advisory Group, blogs on why hosting the 26th Conference of the Parties in 2020 is an unrivaled opportunity for the UK to take the lead internationally on climate change action.  For the last 40 years, each consecutive decade has been warmer than the previous one. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere … Continue reading Why should the UK host the COP26 climate summit in 2020?

Online education as a catalyst for climate action

Can online education really drive change? For the last 15 months, the Grantham Institute has been testing this question.  Working alongside the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), online platform leaders EdX, and Imperial’s Digital Learning Hub, staff at the Grantham Institute have developed the Clean Power Programme, three online courses – Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – that aim to drive a shift to clean … Continue reading Online education as a catalyst for climate action