Reports

Our reports are a series of accessible and timely reports on key themes in sustainability. These are based on original research, literature reviews or ongoing discussions with our local, European or global research communities.

Carbon landscape a pre-COP21 perspective (Hannah Eskell)

Businesses operating in the UK are increasingly required to comply with a raft of environmental regulation and legislation relating to their carbon emissions as well as their broader energy efficiency.  In addition, companies must consider the changing cultural backdrop which is leaning towards green investment and polluter divestment.  In this report we consider the impact that current and future regulatory developments are likely to have on UK businesses and the environment in which they operate.  We also consider the extent to which the UK is on track to meet its carbon reduction targets and any factors that may influence its progress.

Pushing the Boundaries – The Earth System in the Anthropocene (Steven Harris)

This report uses the recently developed concept of planetary boundaries to frame an overview of the current status of the Earth system as revealed by a number of large-scale scientific studies carried out over the last decade. Findings from the studies converge on a common conclusion: that human activities are now the dominant force driving major planetary developments such as climate change, ocean acidification and biodiversity depletion – and that these changes offer serious challenges to further human development.

The Post-2015 Agenda – Lessons from the Millennium Development Goals (Alastair Roderick)

Reviewing the successes and failures of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this paper attempts to apply these lessons to Post-2015 frameworks, particularly the proposed Sustainable Development Goals that emerged from the Rio+20 process.

Beyond the Financial Crisis – Alastair Roderick

The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 to replace the Millennium Development Goals represents a victory for the environmental movement and an acknowledgement by the development community that sustainability is integral to achieving development goals. This paper uses this historical moment – of an international financial crisis not translating into a global economic downturn – to reflect on the wider political economy of development goal setting.