Can personal carbon trading policies work?

Would personal carbon trading help limit climate change – and would the public accept it?

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Aeroplane taking off from a runway with black smoke coming from the engines
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Romanticism, climate change and the anthropocene

What have Lord Byron and Mary Shelley got to contribute to attitudes towards climate change? David Higgins' book examines how Mount Tambora's eruption brings a historical perspective

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Aerial view of Mount Tambora surrounded by clouds
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Funding a low carbon energy system: a fairer approach?

A policy briefing for UKERC on why levies applied to household energy bills hit the poorest - and how this could be changed

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Priestley Centre e-newsletters

June 2020 Issue 30

Read the June 2020 e-newsletter

Highlights include:

  • A special birthday photograph from our community
  • Policy engagement opportunities

 

May 2020 Issue 29

Read the May 2020 e-newsletter

Highlights include:

  • Winners of Piers Sellers Prizes 2020 announced
  • Links to recent research about the UK’s carbon footprint

April 2020 Issue 28

Read the April 2020 e-newsletter

Highlights include:

  • Details of our new Net-Zero Research Forums
  • News of the University of Leeds joining the International Universities Climate Alliance

February 2020 Issue 27

Read the February 2020 e-newsletter

Highlights include:

  • Details of an exclusive event with Dr Katharine Hayhoe
  • Opportunities to get involved with public engagement activity

Resources for young people

Answers to questions we hear at our 'Ask a Climate Researcher' stand at the Leeds climate strikes
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Detailed posters showing impacts of different warming levels and actions that can be taken to reduce your carbon footprint
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Featured journal papers

Personal carbon trading policies combining transport and home energy emissions are more flexible and have greater potential to reduce emissions - but they're not universally liked, even by those that would benefit from financially from them. Research by Zia Wadud of Institute of Transport Studies is published in Ecological Economics
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Ice in the Himalayan Khumbu Glacier is vulnerable to climate change - with implications for water supply for the region. Measurements and analysis by Duncan Quincy (School of Geography) and team in Scientific Reports finds ice inside the glacier is warmer than expected
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A team of more than 100 scientists has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. This paper by Dr Adriane Esquivel Muelbert in Global Change Biology found the effects of climate change are altering the rainforest’s composition of tree species but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment.
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A recent study of more than 100 years of river level records from the Amazon shows a significant increase in frequency and severity of floods. Scientists’ analysis of the potential causes could contribute to more accurate flood prediction for the Amazon Basin. Study in Science Advances, led by Dr Jonathan Barichivich, a former Research Fellow at the University of Leeds; Manuel Gloor of School of Geography is a co-author.
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Featured reports

This report by researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of Calgary highlights both the opportunity presented to Calgary and the challenges that need to be overcome if the opportunity is to be taken. The analysis shows that the benefits of many actions far outweigh the costs; a low carbon future for Calgary will not just improve the global climate, but bring economic and social benefits to the lives of Calgarians.
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New research by C40 Cities, the University of Leeds, University of New South Wales, and Arup examines the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with goods and services consumed by residents of cities. The findings reveal a detailed picture of the supply chains and sphere of impact that mayors, businesses and citizens can potentially influence with their climate action.
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Wetter winters and coastal erosion linked to climate change are threatening the sport of golf, and other much loved UK sports, according to a new report that University of Leeds scientists have contributed to
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Priestley Chairs Lea Berrang Ford and James Ford are lead authors on the Adaptation Gap Report: Towards a Global Assessment, published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report was launched on 7 November 2017 at an event at the UNFCCC climate conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
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Featured policy briefings and responses to calls for evidence

Estimates suggest that low-carbon fuels could mitigate between 5% and 30% of carbon dioxide emissions from UK aviation by 2050. But in 2017, only 0.002% of all aircraft fuel was low-carbon. Professor Piers Forster contributed to this POSTnote which reviews the main types of low-carbon aviation fuels and their potential for use, as well as associated challenges and opportunities.
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Researchers at the Priestley Centre responded to the Committee on Climate Change’s call for evidence on the Sixth Carbon Budget. Required under the Climate Change Act, the Sixth Carbon Budget will provide ministers with the Committee’s recommendation on the level of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-2037. It will set out a pathway to meeting the UK’s new net-zero emissions target in 2050, and is the first carbon budget to be legislated following that commitment.
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To recover the cost of energy policies which support the transition towards a low carbon energy system, levies are applied to household and business energy bills. Published by UKERC, this policy briefing by Prof John Barrett, Dr Anne Owen and Prof Peter Taylor focuses on the levies applied to households and suggests alternative approaches
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Research led by the University of Leeds has found that about 80,000 deaths are prevented each year by European Union policies and new technologies to reduce air pollution. The curbs on soot pollution have also directly benefited climate. Maintaining and strengthening existing air quality policy and developing new technologies that further drive down emissions will avoid further premature deaths.
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Featured books

British Romanticism, Climate Change, and the Anthropocene: Writing Tambora by David Higgins (Palgrave Pivot; hardback and eBook) This book is the first major ecocritical study of the relationship between British Romanticism and climate change. It analyses a wide range of texts – by authors including Lord Byron, William Cobbett, Sir Stamford Raffles, Mary Shelley, and Percy Shelley – in relation to the global crisis produced by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. By connecting these texts to current debates in the environmental humanities, it reveals the value of a historicized approach to the Anthropocene.
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Meteorology of Tropical West Africa; the forecasters’ handbook. Douglas J. Parker, Mariane Diop-Kane, Editors. Wiley-Blackwell. Print ISBN: 9781118391303 Meteorology of tropical West Africa: the Forecasters’ Handbook presents the science and practice of weather forecasting for an important region of the tropics. Connecting basic theory with forecasting practice, the book provides a unique training volume for operational weather forecasters, and is also suitable for students of tropical meteorology.
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Postgrowth and Wellbeing: Challenges to Sustainable Welfare. Milena Buchs and Max Koch, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-59903-8) This book by Dr Milena Buchs (Sustainability Research Institute) and Max Koch presents a critical discussion about how human wellbeing can be maintained and improved in a postgrowth era. It highlights the close links between economic growth, market capitalism, and the welfare state demonstrating that, in many ways, wellbeing outcomes currently depend on the growth paradigm.
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A graphic novel edited by James Mckay and Benjamin Dickson, published by the University of Leeds. A sequel to the 2013 project with school children called Dreams of a Low Carbon Future, published as a free educational resource. This book explores in depth a positive, sustainable future for the UK in the year 2150, through art and stories.
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Research briefs

The Priestley Centre has published a collection of research briefs, bringing together a selection of solution-focused climate research across four main areas: improving prediction of future climate; understanding risk to develop a resilient world; enabling low-carbon transitions, and addressing the social, political and economic dimensions of climate change
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Infographics

A bespoke website for a new paper by Leeds researchers offers interactive charts to show the median level of resource use for 20 countries in a dataset that are closest to a range of social thresholds. Sliders below each of the social indicators can be used to raise or lower thresholds for a “good life”, and explore what choices would mean for sustainability
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