Urban Policies for Climate Variability and Climate Change Adaptation

Whilst the concept of climate change risk is generally acknowledged within current urban policy-making, there is little apparent distinction made between true (long term) climate change (CC) and the short term imperative of responding to climate variability (CV). Election-based governance systems tend to focus on relatively short-term responses, addressing CV. The risk is that the “quick-fix”, vote-earning, policy responses to CV make future adaptation to CC much harder, less likely, and perhaps even unlikely.

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The Problem with Green ~ the need for a new literacy

Co-authored with Neil Cousins of Five Oceans Environmental Services Limited.

The ubiquitous use of the word “green” as a proxy for sound environmental endeavour, for energy efficiency, for all sustainable ambition has devalued the proposition it was meant to reflect. Being “green” can apply equally, it seems, to a tree hugger (in itself a term of derision or condescension) or a government (recall a certain prime minister aspiring to lead the greenest government ever). Yet, because of its hijacking by all sorts of spurious groups and intentions, the word “green” has become a liability.

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Big Society ~ securing the future

The premise of the “Big Society” programme is to re-distribute “power” from a centralised, Big Government hub (Westminster) to “the people”. The intention is to deliver “government and its services” at a more local level. This paper will explore various dimensions to illustrate the opportunities for sustainable development and the risks if the shift of “power” is superficial. To do this, the paper will look briefly at the really big issues (climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone, biogeochemical nitrogen and phosphorus cycle, global freshwater use, land system change, biodiversity loss, […]

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Sustainability Indicator Application

Co-authored with Neil Cousins of Five Oceans Environmental Services Limited, the Sustainability Indicator is a software package that can be easily accessed and distributed for common use across sectors and geographical areas. The Indicator is being made available for free on a Windows platform where it can be stored on desktops for everyday use and should be used in conjunction with the guidance document. The use of the Sustainability Indicator allows for a structured and systematic approach to the determination of sustainability.

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