In the days and weeks following the global lockdowns due to COVID-19, reports emerged on plunging carbon emissions and better air quality. The hashtag #BuildBackBetter quickly emerged as communities and governments started thinking about how to reconfigure essential travel infrastructure in a rapidly changing world. But as lockdown restrictions have eased, to varying levels, emissions […]
Can shipping emissions be kept in check in a post-COVID future?
The shipping sector is playing a vital role in the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping Britain supplied with everything from pasta to PPE. But what role does it need to play in another great crisis – preventing catastrophic climate change? Here, Simon Bullock from the Tyndall Centre, Manchester, looks at what needs to be done in order […]
Are Biofuels the Answer to Kick-Start Decarbonisation in the Shipping Sector?
In this blog, Dr Andrew Welfle, based in Tyndall Manchester and part of the national Supergen Bioenergy Hub, looks at the current state of the global shipping sector and how it can look towards decarbonisation through a commitment to the use of biofuels. The trade and movement of goods and resources is the engine that […]
Setting climate targets: when is net zero really net zero?
‘Net zero’ and ‘carbon neutral’ have quickly become the go-to phrases for ambitious declarations on climate change action. But what do ‘net zero’, ‘zero carbon’ or ‘carbon neutral’ actually mean in practice? As climate action targets are increasingly announced both locally and nationally, it’s even more important that the assumptions involved are properly understood to […]
How policy instrument choice will shape attitudes to negative emissions
The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change has set out commitments to limit the increase in global average temperature to “well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C”. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that this is still possible, but nearly all of their scenarios assume that it will require […]
Response to the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report
The University of Manchester’s Professor Kevin Anderson responds to today’s report from the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC report meticulously lays out how the serious climate impacts of 1.5°C of warming are still far less destructive than those for 2°C. Sadly, the IPCC then fails, again, to address the profound implications of reducing […]
Zero-carbon UK? Let’s make zero mean something
The UK’s minister for energy and clean growth wants to set the UK on a path to a ‘zero-carbon economy’. Marc Hudson and Joe Blakey from The University of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute ask whether ‘zero-carbon’ will give zero-thought to the emissions from the international supply chains that underpin our economy. What does a ‘zero-carbon […]
The road map to renewable energy
Patricia Thornley, Director of The University of Manchester’s SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub, comments on the UKs desperate need for a road map to renewable energy implementation. In the UK around a third of our energy consumption is used for heating – the next government should mandate energy efficient building design in all new housing developments. Low […]
The Life and Death of Zero Carbon Housing Policy
Last month the UK government announced that it was abandoning its 2016 commitment to require all new housing in England and Wales to be zero carbon. Here Andrew Karvonen looks at the possible impact of that decision. In ‘Fixing the Foundations: Creating a More Prosperous Nation’, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne cited the zero carbon […]
Shipping industry on course for uncertainty in low carbon future
Shipping contributes about 3 per cent of global carbon emissions. The lack of a single regulatory environment makes it difficult to bring this down, explains Dr Sarah Mander. Shipping sits at the heart of international trade and has been the primary means by which globalisation has been facilitated. So it is not surprising that carbon […]