The research at 4CMR explores the relationship between energy, economic and environmental policies in the sphere of climate change. This research is then summarised periodically in a series of Briefing Papers provided to decision-makers and other thought leaders globally to inform policies. They are freely available for download below.
1. The Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Brazil
According to current state-of-the-art climate science, under scenarios of high global emissions, Brazil will likely suffer particularly pronounced changes in temperature (average and variations), rainfall and extreme events. Meanwhile, Brazil currently plays a an important role in the global trade of food, with over 33% of its exports made of agricultural products and food. This suggests that under either or both global environmental or economic change, Brazil could be subject to strong pressures which could lead to adverse land-use change and/or environmental degradation. This paper raises important policy questions, following our current LINKS2015/BRIDGE collaborative RCUK-CONFAP project between UCAM and UNISUL (Florianopolis, Brazil).
2. China: Emissions and Regions
Economically strong regions of China transport in products responsible for large amounts of emissions from less developed regions within China. This paper by Sören Lindner discusses the findings that policies aimed at reducing carbon intensities should reflect a consumption-based emissions accounting approach for regional China, rather than one based solely on production.
It is often difficult to justify carbon reduction policies based solely on arguments of climate change - policies are better supported if there are clear secondary benefits. Professor Doug Crawford-Brown discusses how findings show that the secondary benefits of improved human health, such as health care savings and increased worker productivity, can be significant with minor transport policy changes, and that carbon reduction strategies able to emphasise such savings would be more attractive to politicians and the public alike.
4. Walkable, Bikeable, Communities
Planning authorities are considering multi-modal transport, with significant increases in walking and biking for short trips as part of a strategy for reducing transport-related emissions. Professor Crawford-Brown discusses findings that indicate that mode switch to walking and biking for trips of less than 5 km can reduce emissions but is unlikely to go beyond small reductions unless there are fundamental changes in the spatial design of communities and the separation of walking and biking paths from motorized vehicles.
5. Clean Development Mechanism
As part of the Kyoto response towards climate change mitigation, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was designed to create opportunities for synergies between cost-effective climate change mitigation and sustainable development. It has been argued that the CDM is not doing enough to reduce emission. Here, Dr. Yongfu Huang discusses findings that suggest, instead, that CDM projects have contributed to emission reductions, or decreases in the growth rate of emissions, in CDM host countries.
6. The Localisation of Energy Services
The UK government recognises the contribution that distributed generation can make towards reducing the nation’s carbon emissions, while central government realises the role of local government for driving policy and delivering climate change targets. This paper by Scott Kelly argues that consideration might be given to policies that drive the localisation of energy services.
7. Decarbonisation and Air Quality Improvement in Mexico
There are potentially important benefits from climate control through the reduction in air pollution. This paper presents the research findings of a project to assess the effects of a substantial reduction in emissions of CO2 unilaterally in Mexico as well as globally on some aspects of air quality in Mexico and North America.
As decarbonisation of the global economy occurs, it brings immediate benefits to human health through the reduction of co-pollutants such as particulate matter. This paper presents the results from the Human Health Module comparing the cost of reducing emissions with the improvement in health world-wide.