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Coronavirus: How we emerge from this terrible crisis could push us into a better future

The Grantham Institute’s Dr Alex Koberle blogs on how the response to COVID-19 could help shape a sustainable, resilient future. The COVID-19 global pandemic is pushing institutions and governments to their limits. People are worried about their health, their families, losing their jobs and the uncertainty the future holds. The economic fallout of this crisis is still uncertain too, and we may well wake up … Continue reading Coronavirus: How we emerge from this terrible crisis could push us into a better future

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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

Road leading to the horizon in the desert or similar with the word future and an arrow

Climate change: Teaching our unknowable future

Grantham Institute Lecturer Dr Joeri Rogelj says when it comes to climate change education, ‘stories about the future’ help people to come to terms with uncertain outcomes, and consistently receive great feedback from students. The impacts of climate change are happening now and our daily news is inundated with stories of record-breaking weather events and their destructive effects on people’s lives around the globe. Understanding … Continue reading Climate change: Teaching our unknowable future

Anti-fracking protesters with yellow signs saying "frack free Lancashire"

Fracking Q&A: The background, the ban and what’s coming next

Last weekend, the United Kingdom Government announced a moratorium on fracking, based on evidence from a report by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA). In this Q&A, Imperial’s Karen Makuch, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law, and Miriam Aczel, President’s Scholar at the Centre for Environmental Policy, consider what led to the ban, and what it might mean for the UK energy sector going forwards.   What … Continue reading Fracking Q&A: The background, the ban and what’s coming next

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

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?

Direct air capture: could this new technology save us from climate change?

FEATURE: A promising technology that sucks carbon dioxide from the air could help, but not replace, climate action, say experts. Simon Levey explores what is Direct Air Capture and what are the chances of it taking off in time to help avert the climate crisis. Continue reading Direct air capture: could this new technology save us from climate change?