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Strategies and pathways that can make Indian agriculture resilient and sustainable in a changing climate By Arabinda K Padhee , Anthony Whitbread Shared with the permission of Arabinda K Padhee: " Though the article is India specific, the suggested pathways to make agriculture resilient and sustainable, applies to other countries, mainly in the global south" India’s pledge of Panchamrit (five-fold strategy) to fight climate change, announced during the 26th Conference of the Parties (CoP26) at Glasgow, Scotland, has caught global attention. The country’s new commitments include reaching 500 giga-watt (GW) of non-fossil fuel energy capacity by 2030; ...
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“The impact on road transportation systems can be particularly stark, leading to delay, disruption, damage and potentially failure.” In the wake of COP26 , attention has once again focused on how best to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is widely accepted that Climate Change poses a critical threat to future development, particularly in areas where poverty is widespread and infrastructure either underdeveloped or vulnerable to extreme weather events. The body of scientific evidence indicates that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of a range of extreme ...
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The Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES) is set to scale-up its work and develop a pan-continental network of outreach centres – thanks to a further $3.3 million (£2.5 million) funding boost from the UK Government. ACES is a partnership between the Rwandan Government, the University of Birmingham and UN Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (UNEP U4E) which unites international and localized energy, technology, finance, capacity building and policy expertise. The new funding from Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will enhance the centre’s research and development capacity through a network ...
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This blog was originally posted on the University of Birmingham website COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, concluded on 13 November with an intergovernmental pact and a series of supplementary intergovernmental agreements – most prominently to reduce methane emissions and deforestation. But responsible capitalism must be built around four sectoral pillars – household, business and financial, as well as government – all operating within scientifically-determined planetary boundaries that help maintain resilient natural ecosystems. So it was good to also see pledges from major corporations to develop paths to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions ...
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This blog was originally posted on the University of Birmingham website Government targets to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050 could be worthless if current carbon accounting systems aren’t radically reformed. New research shows a worrying mismatch between the most commonly used measures of carbon and their true impacts, risking bogus net-zero claims, missed opportunities and false positives when it comes to identifying truly effective ways of decarbonising the country. Under the current international carbon accounting standards used to calculate carbon neutrality, emissions from supply chains, after-sale product use and waste aren’t included ...
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In this event, we attempt to envisage what the Green Industrial Revolution will look like, both at the regional and international level. Chaired by Professor Ian Thompson, Director of the Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business, the first panel brings together four UK and regional perspectives and the second two international perspectives. Watch the webinar recording of the hybrid event, held at the Exchange in Birmingham, here. First panel - UK and regional . Ed Cox, director for public reform for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) answers “What does the West Midlands as the home of the Green Industrial Revolution look like?”, whilst ...
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This blog was written by Dr Louise Reardon, Associate Professor of Governance and Public Policy in the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, and originally posted on the INLOGOV blog. With the COP26 climate change conference only days away, the media is awash with pieces on the challenge we face and the policy options available (or not) for us to meet our net-zero commitments . One of the areas needing significant attention is transport. Transport contributed 28% of total domestic Green House Gas emissions in 2018, making it the UK’s largest emitting sector . To date the sector is proving a tough nut to crack, ...
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We are currently witnessing shifts in the energy sector, as we divest away from fossil fuels and non-renewable energy into forms of Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE). That is, energy generated off-grid at a local level. But can local forms of energy meet the ever-increasing global energy demanded by households and businesses? Can we facilitate a smooth transition to DRE, that doesn’t affect the economy? And can we do so in a way that tackles both climate change and inequalities surrounding access to energy? In this event, we attempt to work out how renewable energy is unfolding, and look at the opportunities and constraints that come with local DRE. ...
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The current pandemic has created an emergency that has closed borders and limited global and local mobility. The Forum of Global Challenges brought together experts in the field of mobility and migration to discuss the impact of Covid-19 and the future of migration and travel. The panel was chaired by Professor Nando Sigona, director of IRIS at the University of Birmingham, and Dr Heather Steele, Research Fellow within BCRRE. Participants were Claire Kumar, Senior Research Fellow at the ODI, Maria Machancoses, CEO of Midlands Connect, Professor Amair Saleem, Director of Knowledge and Innovation, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai and Helen Brunt, IFRC ...
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Recent research is pointing to the fact that our fears of a sixth mass extinction event are not theoretical – it is already underway . It is clear that the approaches we have been taking to protect and conserve nature have been insufficient to avoid widespread biodiversity loss . Meanwhile, awareness of the social and cultural costs of mainstream approaches to conservation – such as the creation and policing of protected areas that separate people from their ancestral territories – is increasing. Late last year, for example, the long-awaited independent review into WWF’s human rights abuses concluded that the organisation demonstrated a lack of accountability ...
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The UK’s commitment to a net zero emissions target by 2050 brings to question the role that nuclear energy could play in achieving this outcome. Recent work out of The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute , led by Professor Livens, pinpoints a number of policy recommendations for the UK’s nuclear energy sector. Their research outlines the role that hydrogen production can play, as well as the steps necessary to make the UK a major player in the coming generation of nuclear reactors. To sum the key points, the research attests that; The efficacy of the UK nuclear sector is contingent on policy makers’ efficiently implementing it ...
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The following Blog was written by students studying for a degree in Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham, who conducted a project looking at how to reduce period poverty amongst asylum-seekers in the West Midlands. The Blog below summarises the findings of their investigation. Please follow this link to read their full report . Period poverty disproportionately affects people in poverty and facilitates social inequality. Our multidisciplinary report discussed the causes and implications of period poverty amongst asylum seekers who menstruate in the West Midlands. We recognised that period poverty is not only a financial ...
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Dr Jade Phillips, Dr Shelagh Kell, Professor Nigel Maxted School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham In current times of global transformation—including increased consumption, development and climate change—we need greater diversity of crops and varieties to sustain our food supplies than ever before. As the environmental conditions in which crops are cultivated become increasingly modified, changeable and uncertain, diversity is the key to production resilience. In the face of these challenges, our food, nutrition and economic security depend on the conservation and continual availability of a wide range of plant genetic resources for use by ...
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The influence of social media on health and wellbeing has received significant attention in the media and within policy . Much of the discussion has centred around risks and the potential for negative impacts, calling for better regulation and monitoring. At the same, leading professional health organisations, such as the World Health Organisation and Public Health England , have advocated for the use of social media to engage populations and support health-related behaviour change. It is hardly radical to suggest that social media can be used to positively influence health and wellbeing. Over a third of the world’s population use social media, and ...
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According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Sustainable Gastronomy refers to ‘cuisine that takes into account where the ingredients are from, how the food is grown and how it gets to our markets and eventually to our plates.’ This concept was designated a day of recognition in 2016 by the UN General Assembly , acknowledging gastronomy as a cultural expression that can contribute to sustainable development. Every year, observance of Sustainable Gastronomy Day is facilitated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), FAO and UN General Assembly. In today’s world, our relationship with food is highly ...
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On Clean Air Day, we share this blog by @William Bloss @Suzanne Bartington and John Bryson originally published in the Birmingham Brief. Thursday 17 th June is Clean Air Day for 2021, and comes as the Birmingham Clean Air Zone begins to tackle road-transport related air pollution in the city centre. It is maybe ironic that this was once seen as an environmental solution: Around 125 years ago, one environmental challenge facing major cities was horse manure in the streets – with up to 100,000 horses working in the largest cities, this was a highly visible issue. The West Midlands is known for its contributions to the development of the ...
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Birmingham environmental scientists are supporting schoolchildren in Kenya – helping them to understand more about air pollution. Working with Kenyan partners AfriSTEM Connection , the team is combining theory and practical teaching in emerging technologies and STEM to stir primary school pupils’ interest in our environment and shared world. The team on the ground has been meeting many young enthusiasts who now have a better understanding of the key areas they can aim at in STEM - helping to develop the engineers and technology experts of the future. Tree planting expert Francis Kavisu talks to Kenyan school children in Makindu Primary school ...
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Fiona Nunan, Professor of Environment and Development at the University of Birmingham talks to Kumi Kitamori, Head of Green Growth & Global Relations Division at the OECD Environment Directorate; Camilla Roman, policy specialist working on the Green Jobs Programme at the International Labour Organisation; and Joel Jaeger, Research Associate at the World Resources Institute. Two solar engineering trainees using a solar cooker. Image by ILO Asia-Pacific via https://cutt.ly/BnPrDX9. The previous webinar on the Green Economy (read the blog here ) established that in order to get politicians on board, jobs were essential. This event focused ...
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The Resilient Cities theme of the Institute for Global Innovation (IGI) organized a series of online webinars in March 2021 to explore the links between climate change and other UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . These webinars were categorized into three sustainable areas: 1 . Human and social (SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10), 2. Environment and Resources (SDGs 2, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15), and 3. Governance (SDGs 8, 9, 11, 16, 17). The initiative brought together academic experts from various disciplines within the University of Birmingham to examine sustainable goals in the light of climate change. We hope by linking climate actions to other SDGs we ...
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Reflections on the panel discussion hosted by Dr Beverley Essue, Dr Stephen John, Professor Lydia Kapiriri, Dr Wanrudee Isaranuwatchai, and Dr Iestyn Williams. In the global response to COVID-19, the vaccine rollout has come under heavy scrutiny. With news of the first vaccines developed in the latter months of 2020, the world’s eyes were on manufacturers as well as state governments to see who would be successful first in approving and administering vaccine rollout. Now halfway through 2021, the reality of the global rollout has raised questions over inequities on both the national and global scale and was the key focus of discussion during this ...
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