This page allows you to pick up on some important areas which can be described as part of current research, whether academic or otherwise and may help you to go and find out more about the particular area. It covers links to sites which may be of further use in your area of research.

Doughnut Economics

Kate Raworth has “invented” the concept of Doughnut economics. What on earth is the doughnut?

Humanity’s 21st-century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the planet’s means. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice) while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer. The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries is a playfully serious approach to framing that challenge, and it acts as a compass for human progress this century. This is the diagram she has developed:

Kate Raworth's doughnut diagram

Carbon Capture and Storage

There are many industries where it will be extremely difficult to reduce the emissions of CO2. For instance, the production of cement, which accounts for around 7% of the world’s emissions of harmful gases.

Also, we might want to use hydrogen as a fuel (another long-term research project), in which case there are options which will require that capture carbon as part of the process.

Hence there is a lot of research going on into how we can create the technology and equipment to support Carbon Capture and storage.

CCUS refers to a suite of technologies that enable the mitigation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from large point sources such as power plants, refineries and other industrial facilities, or the removal of existing CO2 from the atmosphere.

CCUS is expected to play a crucial role in meeting global climate targets. Leading organisations including the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) have all produced long-term energy outlooks that rely on rapid expansion of CCUS in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Simple Explanation of Carbon Capture

The following article is a useful explanation of the issues in relation to Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage.


Hydrogen is billed as the fuel of the future. But it is not necessarily that simple. There ar several ways of making it, summarised in the following four ways

There are four “primary” methods of hydrogen production:

  • Green hydrogen is produced via electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. It is produced with no harmful greenhouse gas emissions and currently makes up a small percentage of the overall hydrogen because production is expensive.
  • Blue hydrogen is produced mainly from natural gas, using a process called steam reforming, which brings together natural gas and heated water in the form of steam. The primary output is hydrogen but also carbon dioxide as a by-product. That means that CCUS is essential to trap and store carbon.
  • Grey hydrogen is the most common form of hydrogen production. It is created from natural gas, or methane, using steam methane reformation but without capturing the greenhouse gases made in the process. 
  • Brown hydrogen is produced by breaking down carbon-rich fossil fuel (typically coal) using a process called gasification. This process is the simplest and cheapest method using existing technology but is just as environmentally “unfriendly” as fossil fuels.

Issues surround it on the cost, safety, and true green methods of production.

The following video from the Economist is a good discussion on the pros and cons of Hydrogen

Only 7% of UK Public think climate change is the #1 issue!

Sam Crawley, Hilde Coffé and Ralph Chapman address the issue of how engaged the UK public is in an article on January 10th 2020 for the London School of Economics.

They say “The UK is often thought of as a world leader in addressing climate change, being among the first countries to pass legislation setting binding targets for emission reductions. However, concerns have been raised about how well the UK is living up to its commitments, with a June 2019  report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) finding that the UK “is lagging behind what is needed to meet legally binding emissions targets”.

Survey evidence has shown that a large majority of the UK public is concerned about climate change, and would like something to be done about it. Does this strong public support for action on climate change suggest that politicians are ignoring public preferences?”

A summary table shows that around 80 % of the population are aware – to different degrees – of climate change, but if you ask people how important that is compared to other things like health, education and crime only 7 % of people regard climate change as their most important issue. If you believe that the climate emergency poses an existential threat to humanity on this planet, then this is a very worrying finding.

Here is the summary table:

Table showing UK Public's relative knowledge and enthusiasm for doing something about climate change

You can get to read the full article by clicking on the following button