Ask not what you can do for climate change, but what climate change can do for you

  SSCP-DTP student Arnaud Koehl argues for a better way of selling the benefits of the global climate agreement signed at the COP21 climate conference in Paris Many pundits applauded the Paris Agreement as an unprecedented diplomatic achievement. But for all its successes, to me one key ingredient was missing: the incentive to participate in costly global action. Fighting anthropogenic climate change is a collective … Continue reading Ask not what you can do for climate change, but what climate change can do for you

Why clean tech innovation and selfish action go hand in hand

SSCP DTP student Oliver Schmidt argues that technological innovation is key to empowering individuals to act on climate change. Some people argue that we already have all the technologies we need to ‘solve’ climate change, but the technological innovation driven by new funding initiatives still has a vital role to play. And what use is new technology without the ultimate motive for personal action – … Continue reading Why clean tech innovation and selfish action go hand in hand

Peering into the emissions gap

Grantham Affiliate Dr Heather Graven gives us the lowdown on the emissions gap. What is the emissions gap? The international community agreed on a 2°C target for the upper limit on global average temperature rise at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun in 2010 (COP16). The emissions gap is the difference between pledges made this … Continue reading Peering into the emissions gap

How do we make renewable electricity cheap enough to leave coal in the ground?

Ajay Gambhir discusses the role of public funding on energy technology innovation The Global Apollo Programme proposal aims to get renewable electricity so cheap that we may as well give up on coal- and gas-fired generation by the mid-2020s – regardless of whether we care about climate change or not. This would be achieved by the world’s governments signing up to commit 0.02% of their annual GDP on … Continue reading How do we make renewable electricity cheap enough to leave coal in the ground?

Why a debate over who should take responsibility for climate change’s impending humanitarian disaster is proving hard to solve at COP21

Dr Gabriele Messori, Imperial physics alumnus and climate scientist writes about the contentious issue of the loss and damage caused by adverse effects of climate change. A key section in the draft agreement called ‘Loss and Damage’, has so far been one of the most debated elements of the negotiations at COP21 here in Paris, and is arguably holding up many other discussions. In the … Continue reading Why a debate over who should take responsibility for climate change’s impending humanitarian disaster is proving hard to solve at COP21

How climate-smart soil management increases resilience and helps mitigate climate change

As we mark World Soil Day, and with COP21 well into its first week, Dr Katrin Glatzel of Agriculture for Impact takes a look at how good soil and land management practices can help us achieve important climate and development goals.   Soil matters. The decision made at the Rio+20 conference to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the agreement ‘to strive … Continue reading How climate-smart soil management increases resilience and helps mitigate climate change

COP21: The last chance for Small Island Developing States

Grantham Lecturer Dr Erik van Sebille reports back from the second day of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. For a group of countries that represent such a tiny fraction of the world’s population, the Small Island Developing States have stirred up a lot of discussion at COP21 in Paris over the last few days. As some of the first countries to feel the full blown impacts … Continue reading COP21: The last chance for Small Island Developing States

Tackling peat fires in Indonesia: Haze events and a call to COP21

Grantham Affiliate Dr Guillermo Rein (Department of Mechanical Engineering) explains why Indonesia’s peat fires are a global problem, and what can be done to address these fires worldwide. Peat fires are raging in Indonesia and their extent is staggering. The dry season is not over and NASA satellites have already counted more than 12,000 active fires, which have emitted in excess of 1.6 Gton of … Continue reading Tackling peat fires in Indonesia: Haze events and a call to COP21

Reforming harmful fossil fuel subsidies

Jo Tyndall, New Zealand’s Climate Change Ambassador, argues that the time has come for fossil fuel subsidies to be removed. This year offers a significant opportunity to take a step towards the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, as part of global efforts against climate change. With the world’s attention focused on Paris later this month, a broad and growing coalition of governments, businesses and international organisations … Continue reading Reforming harmful fossil fuel subsidies

UK climate and energy policy at a crossroads

  Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced today that UK coal power stations will be phased out by 2025, favouring new gas-fired power stations to take their place in the country’s energy mix. The news has been seen by many as the latest in a string of controversial energy policy decisions taken by the Conservative government that have the potential to undermine climate targets. Alyssa Gilbert, … Continue reading UK climate and energy policy at a crossroads