Impacts: I) Development of carbon credit certification schemes,
including the expansion by the Gold Standard Foundation into land-use and
forestry and the creation of the Natural Forest Standard by Ecometrica Ltd
(both in 2012). II) Enhanced cross-sector collaboration for the
quantification of forest-loss risks and implications for financing risks,
through the 2011 creation of a Forest Finance Risk Network (FFRN).
Significance and reach: The Gold Standard Foundation represents
nine forestry projects worldwide (benefiting >8,500 people) and over
1.8million ha. of Brazilian land is managed through two Natural Forest
Standard projects. The FFRN connects 80 member organizations globally.
Underpinned by: Research into carbon emissions associated with
forest-loss, undertaken at the University of Edinburgh (2005 onwards).
Impact: Improved awareness and development of professional
practice related to the financial accounting of carbon, including: its
addition to the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) work programme
and its designation by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
as a priority research project (both during 2012).
Significance and reach: The CDSB is a consortium of eight
business/environmental organisations (including the World Economic Forum
and the World Resources Institute). The IASB is the independent
standard-setting body of the International Financial Reporting Standards
Underpinned by: Research into corporate carbon accounting
practices, undertaken at the University of Edinburgh (2008 onwards).
The Scottish Government is aiming to generate all of its electricity
through renewable energy sources by 2020. Research by the University of
Aberdeen has produced a freely available tool - the Windfarm Carbon
Calculator - that has overhauled the planning process for windfarm
developments in Scotland. In changing public policy and planning
regulations, and informing the public debate, Aberdeen's calculator is
helping the Government fulfil its pledge to become "the green energy
powerhouse of Europe" while protecting some of the country's most
environmentally fragile areas. It continues to guide the actions of
politicians, planners, the wind industry, NGOs and community groups.
The claimed impact therefore is on: the environment, economy and
commerce, public policies and services, practitioners and services.
Our research on the economics of low carbon cities has impacted on energy
and low carbon
strategies and on investment decision-making in major UK cities including
Leeds, Sheffield and
Birmingham. It has also influenced guidance issued to local authorities by
the Committee on
Climate Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government,
and has helped to
embed strategies and targets for green growth in the next five-year plan
for China. The research
was voted one of the most transformative ideas to be presented at the UN
climate negotiations in
Durban in December 2011, and the approach is now being replicated in
cities in India, Peru,
Malaysia and Indonesia.
International and national political negotiations and public debates
about climate change mitigation policies can only progress with accurate
and timely updates about the global carbon budget. Annual carbon updates
have been supplied over many years, as a result of our work. The "Global
Carbon Project" (GCP) has become the definitive source on carbon budgets
for political and policy processes dealing with climate change mitigation
and the GCP draws heavily on the School's work on the ocean carbon cycle,
including ocean iron fertilisation, and its relevance to the contemporary
global carbon budget. This is evidenced by its citation and influence on
national (e.g. UK, Germany, Australia, USA, Sweden and Canada) and
international (e.g. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)
Research in the UoA developed a methodology for Carbon Calculations over
the Life Cycle of
Industrial Activities (CCaLC), providing `cradle to grave' carbon
footprint estimates for commercial
products. The methodology was embedded in a set of software tools designed
to be used by non-
experts, allowing companies to perform carbon footprinting in-house. The
software is free to
download, currently with 3300 users in more than 70 countries. The
methodology and software
tools have been endorsed by BERR (now BIS), DEFRA and the World Bank, and
used widely by
industry, across a range of sectors, to reduce carbon footprints of their
products. This has resulted
in significant environmental and socio-economic benefits, including
estimated climate change
mitigation gains in excess of £450m.
Carbon dioxide sequestration is the process by which pressured CO2
is injected into a storage space within the Earth rather than released
into the atmosphere. It is one of the major ways that carbon dioxide
emissions can be controlled.
Research since 2004 by applied mathematicians at the University of
Cambridge into the many different effects that might be encountered during
this process has had considerable impact on government and industry groups
in determining how the field is viewed and how it should and might be
industrially developed. The work played a major role in the CO2CRC
conferences and was subsequently reported to the Australian Government by
the CO2CRC chair and organisers.
Impact: Public and private sector investment in technologies for
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), including a major UK Government CCS
Significance and reach: In the 2010 Spending Review the UK
government re-affirmed a £1billion commitment to CCS funding, which since
2012 has been referred to as a CCS Commercialisation Programme. [text
removed for publication]. The European Commission have placed CCS
pipelines into 2012 infrastructure package negotiations, with allocated
funds of ~ €2.5billion.
Underpinned by: Research into the sub-surface storage of carbon,
undertaken at the University of Edinburgh (1999 onwards).
The research reported in this case study demonstrates that in order to
achieve a carbon neutral
future whole life building carbon footprinting should be undertaken by
using Life Cycle
Assessments (LCA) at all stages of design, construction and throughout the
lifespan of buildings.
Practical tools in this area are few, and the award winning research
projects reported here address
this need and have had impacts in the following areas; firstly, through
their direct applications in
building procurement and management, secondly through changes to national
specifications and thus professional practice, and thirdly through
enhanced public awareness at
local, national and international levels.
Since 2005 the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit has undertaken
an extensive programme of research related to mitigating the climate
change impacts arising from agricultural land management policies and
practices. The research findings that identified the impact on climate
change of various policies, schemes and farming initiatives have been
instrumental since 2008 in providing UK policy makers, farmers and their
advisors with data and tools that helped to formulate improved climate
change mitigation policies. They also contributed to the development of
key guidance materials that supported the implementation of these policies
on the farm.