To date, international agreements on trade and climate change have tended to be negotiated in isolation. Yet rules in trade agreements have huge implications for governments’ ability to meet their climate change commitments. The Energy Charter Treaty, a deal which specifically covers investment in the energy sector – covering both fossil fuels and renewables – is perhaps the most obvious example. However, rules agreed at the World Trade Organisation and between countries are also impacting on government policy space to tackle climate change.
Since the EU referendum result was announced, focus within the sector has been on how Brexit may affect the environment in terms of legislation and regulation. There has been less focus on a vital area for environmental scientists; what happens to science funding? Lots of environmental research is collaborative, involving research groups based across both the UK and other EU countries.
Circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear model in which products are made, used and disposed of. In contrast, the circular economy model aims to recognise value and eliminate waste by maintaining products, using them for longer, and using waste from one product to maintain another. Such a system has multiple benefits: as well as sustainability improvements, a more circular system reduces the risk of supply and price changes, lowering the cost of products, and can create new jobs in areas like reverse logistics.
In this video by Science for Environment Policy, for the European Commission's Directorate General for the Environment, Dr Mark Everard, IES Vice President and Associate Professor of Ecosystem Services at UWE, explains what Ecosystem Services are, how they're valued and applied, and why an ecosystem approach to decision and policy making is important.
Are you thinking about innovation in your work as a business or member of a research group? Do you have a good idea for an innovative product or service? Innovate UK, formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board, is a major funder of applied research and development by UK industry and universities. Some £0.5 Billion is allocated as grants every year, to stimulate innovation in UK science and technology, and to assist in growing the UK economy.