InSIS Research Fellow Jessica Omukuti has been appointed to the United Nations High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres this past March. Here, Jessica reflects on the mission of the Group, and on strategies to make justice and equity central to our understanding of net zero.
Sara Nawaz gave a talk at the Organic Seed Grower’s Conference titled “(Re)articulating ‘organic plant breeding’ in the age of gene editing?” New technologies are rapidly entering agriculture —particularly gene editing—representing multifaceted shifts beyond “genetic modification” (GM), and are outpacing both public understanding and the capacity of regulatory regimes. Nawaz discusses the case of the organic sectors in Canada and the United States, strongholds of GM resistance, to examine conversations about gene-editing technologies unfolding within the organic community, and elucidate their implications for the sector. https://online.ucpress.edu/elementa/article/doi/10.1525/elementa.429/114....
InSIS' Jose Maria Valenzuela participated as an expert to the Germanwatch Climate Change Policy Index report regarding the case of Mexico. The index components for Mexico included a relatively good position in emissions per capita and efficiency measures, but still a very low position regarding renewable energy. A key takeaway on new policies in the country was that the new policies to cap oil production were still not yet sufficient, since the country should move towards planning the phase out of production. If you would like to read the full report on the case of Mexico and others it can be downloaded here.
The latest research bulletin for the Perspectivas Energética was coordinated by InSIS' Jose Maria Valenzuela. The bulletin is dedicated to industry and policy makers from the Mexico-based Energy Programme at El Colegio de Mexico. This required selecting and editing three articles and interviewing scholars in Mexico, UK and the United States to contribute to debates about high climate ambition and the governance of net-zero for Mexico, the only country in the G20 that has decided not to take a net-zero target.
The bulletin can be downloaded Perspectivas Energéticas.
InSIS has submitted evidence, BEIS Treasury Evidence, on the governance of greenhouse gas removals (GGR), in response to the call from the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and HM Treasury. The text includes views on the viability of different forms of GGR in the UK, policy instruments for the responsible governance of these options, and the development of robust frameworks for monitoring, reporting and evidence.
The evidence originates in research conducted at InSIS under our previous GRIP (Greenhouse Gas Removal Instruments and Policies) and current GASCON (GGR: Governance and Standards for Carbon Neutrality) projects, funded by ClimateWorks.
Bellamy, R., & Healey, P. (2018). ‘Slippery slope’or ‘uphill struggle’? Broadening out expert scenarios of climate engineering research and development. Environmental Science & Policy, 83, 1-10.
Bellamy, R. (2018). Incentivize negative emissions responsibly. Nature Energy, 3(7), 532-534.
Bellamy, R., Lezaun, J., & Palmer, J. (2019). Perceptions of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage in different policy scenarios. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1-9.
Bellamy, R., Fridahl, M., Lezaun, J., Palmer, J., Rodriguez, E., Lefvert, A., ... & Haikola, S. (2021). Incentivising bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) responsibly: Comparing stakeholder policy preferences in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Environmental Science & Policy, 116, 47-55.
Together with hydrologists at the University of Reading, InSIS' Sara de Wit, has developed a “systematic framework for post event trigger evaluation for humanitarian action”, which aims to combine a review of anticipatory actions and the supporting forecasts.
The rationale for this framework is that humanitarian anticipatory action provides an opportunity to take action in advance of extreme events to reduce impacts. But by definition extreme events are rare and difficult to predict. Every time an event is forecast (or missed) and anticipatory action is taken, it provides a valuable opportunity to learn about the links between forecast skill and the decision-making process. So far, humanitarian decision making, and the supporting forecast have not been evaluated together. This systematic review seeks to bridge this gap and improve the overall confidence in the system.
Testing has been undertaken in the recent cyclones in Mozambique and in Peru after a flooding event. The product is currently used by the Red Cross National Societies and in the future it is hoped it will be used across the humanitarian sector. FATHUM - Forecasts for AnTicipatory HUManitarian action
Weather Matters – a virtual hub for the environmental humanities that explores the human dimensions of climate change has a new editor in InSIS Affiliate Sara de Wit; together with DPhil students Karl Dudman (InSIS), Julio Rodriguez Stimson (ISCA) and MA student Sacha Mouzin. The perspective “Dystopian Worlds: the end or beginning of time”? has been launched. See: www.weathermatters.net
Pint of Ethics discussion group is hosted by InSIS' Louise Beziuidenhout. The voluntary online meet-up runs three times a term and is an uncritical space in which to discuss “ethical instances”, raise queries and seek advice from peers. Discussion is intended to crowdsource experiences and expertise to learn from. Interested? https://socsci.web.ox.ac.uk/event/pint-of-ethics
Sara de Wit has participated in the Brigstow project (Brigstow Institute, University of Bristol) to develop a flood survey: “How to make flood forecast data more useful for humanitarian intervention”? This survey is currently being tested before it will be scaled up to different flood forecast users to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of floods. https://brigstowinstitute.blogs.bristol.ac.uk/project/how-can-flood-data-be-more-useful/