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.
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.
This case study highlights the impact of LSE research on national and
international carbon pricing policy. This includes a fundamental change in
the way the UK government sets a carbon price for policy and project
appraisal, and its approach to carbon trading in Europe. LSE work has also
had impact beyond the UK, in particular on legislating — for the first
time — policies to price carbon in strategically important countries
across the world, including Australia, China, Mexico and South Korea.
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 conducted at the Business School's Centre for Business and
Climate Change since 2008 has:
This impact has been of international significance, reaching
international standard setters, investors, corporations and other
stakeholders. For example, 26 multinational companies paid to participate
in carbon benchmarks conducted by a spin-out company created by the Centre
and based on methods it developed. 90 global investors with US$7tr of
assets have launched a shareholder action initiative inspired by the
Centre's research. The world's leading carbon accounting standards body
has adopted a conceptual framework developed by the Centre.
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).
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.
Research undertaken by the LRC on `low carbon logistics' has informed UK
government policy on the environmental impact of freight transport,
altered the official method used in the UK to carbon audit road freight
transport operations, provided guidance to industry on the measurement and
management of freight-related CO2 emissions and resulted in the
establishment of the first industry and government-endorsed target for
cutting the carbon intensity of road freight transport.
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.