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Showing posts from July, 2014

Pearls of wisdom: The importance of knowledge exchange when facing environmental uncertainty

On 17 July 2014, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of Saint Lucia, came to the University of Bristol to give a keynote talk on the challenges and strategies on environmental uncertainty from Saint Lucia and the Caribbean.  Her visit marked the start of a Cabot Institute funded conference at the university, Living at the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty, where members of Small Island States (SIS) came together with academics and stakeholders to thrash out the problems facing SIS in a world of global environmental uncertainty.  This blog post captures some of the key points from Dame Pearlette’s talk.
Defining environmental uncertainty
Defining ‘environmental uncertainty’ is a tricky prospect.  What does the term actually mean?  It’s embedded into the Cabot Institute’s strapline of ‘Living with environmental uncertainty’ but it can be hard to define.  Dame Pearlette felt there were two principle components to ‘environmental uncertainty’ - a lack of knowledge and a lack of know…

Tradable Energy Quotas: The future of energy use?

The idea of Tradable Energy Quotas or TEQs has been floating around political circles since it was proposed by Dr. David Fleming in 1996. It’s been called the most influential scheme of its type, and has attracted cautious interest from both Labour and the Conservatives within the UK, as well as from EU bodies concerned with climate change.
TEQs are, in effect, a rationing scheme designed to curb the use of carbon-intensive energy sources. Each TEQ certificate would be a licence to emit a certain quantity of CO2, and would have to be surrendered by energy generators to the TEQ registrar at the end of each year. The TEQ certificates would begin in the hands of the end consumers of energy, and would travel up the production chain as TEQs would be used alongside cash as a parallel payment system for energy.

At the heart of the TEQ system is the idea that a country should be held to an annual ‘carbon budget’, and that each adult citizen should be entitled to an equal proportion of the do…

Green Deal delivery: Investigating Local Authority delivery models and their implementation

During this summer and as a part of my dissertation thesis I have collaborated with Bristol CityCouncil in order to investigate local authority delivery models and their implementation towards the Green Deal governmental scheme.
Background The Green Deal is a recent UK government finance framework introduced by the Energy Act 2011. It was formally launched on 28 January 2013 in England & Wales and on 25 February 2013 in Scotland. The Green Deal scheme has a target of reducing CO2 emissions derived from British properties through energy efficiency improvements. It provides householders and businesses an up-front capital to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their properties (e.g. wall insulation, replace boilers etc.) with repayments made through energy bills. The Local Authorities get involved in the scheme by choosing one of the following Green Deal delivery models: Promoter. Promoting the Green Deal to their local residents through website pages, leaflets etc. Partner. C…

Beyond wildlife corridors: Investigating and evaluating other urban wildlife enhancement projects

Over the course of the summer, I shall be analysing various urban wildlife enhancement practices taking place in the 7 Core Cities of England. Determining if these projects have been successful overall will be based on a set list of quantitative and qualitative ecological performance indicators. To obtain qualitative data or information not readily available through public sources, I will interview personnel who have/had key roles in wildlife enhancement projects in their respective Core Cities. An additional qualitative survey will be sent out to various “green space” and nature organizations to find out what projects they have been involved in and which ones have been successful at functioning as they were intended to.  The research questions I will try to answer are:

Why are wildlife corridors often the default urban wildlife enhancement policy of choice?
There hasn’t been significant data collection, experiments or academic evaluations of urban wildlife corridors to justify why th…

Community Based Learning in higher education: Linking students to green projects in Bristol

My name is Hannah Tweddell and I am the Cabot Institute’s Community Based Learning Intern and also an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Coordinator at the University of Bristol.  I studied Bristol's MSc in Environmental Policy and Management part time between 2011 and 2013 as part of the first two cohorts of students whilst also working part time as an ESD Intern in the University’s Sustainability team.

While we were studying for the MSc we were keen to undertake some real world problem solving as part of the course.  The department of Geographical Sciences teamed up with the Cabot Institute to facilitate the opportunity for community based learning projects and I was employed as an intern.

My role with the Cabot Institute involves identifying community partners who have a research need that could be met by a student’s dissertation project on the MSC in Environmental Policy and Management, scoping the project and managing the relationship with the community partner.

The …