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February 2019

Policy planning in the anthropocene

February 2019: Researchers have developed a new 7 point-plan promoting cross-departmental and international collaboration to combat global challenges in the ‘Anthropocene’, such as climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. Earth’s systems will only be at a biophysical level favourable to human life if policy design moves from a short-term mind-set to long-term collaborative strategies.

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Germany to exit coal by 2038

February 2019: Germany announced its plans to phase out coal by 2038, to invest €40bn in structural aid over the next 20 years, and to compensate businesses for closing down coal plants. Transforming Germany’s energy system towards natural gas and renewable energies impacts north-western Europe’s ability to reach its Paris climate change goals.

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Offshore mariculture

February 2019: Offshore mariculture is a viable and emerging alternative to land-based coastal aquaculture. It uses submersible cages in high energy off-shore environments that allow producers to raise large numbers of fish in small spaces such as in the Caribbean. However, off-shore mariculture struggles from insufficient capital investments, regulatory issues, and environmental concerns.

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Desalination facilities alter oceans

February 2019: Desalination facilities extract fresh water from oceans and release effluents back into the sea. They produce 50% more brine than previously thought, increasing the ocean’s salinity and may cause hypoxia, which poisons marine organisms and creates dead zones. Researchers now suggest ‘mining’ the brine’s metals or using it as a feed supplement in aquaculture.

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Causal link between climate, conflict, migration

February 2019: A recent empirical assessment shows a causal connection between climate change, conflict, and migration in countries with poor governance and lower levels of democracy, such as Syria. The study underlines the complexity of migration but offers new perspectives on the potential consequences of climate change and fulfilling the UN’s SDGs.

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EAT-Lancet Commission

February 2019: The EAT-Lancet Commission’s report delivers scientific targets for a healthy, plant-based diet with a low amount of animal-based foods. It promotes investments into smallholder farms and systems that operate in harmony with nature. Further, the report advocates policy changes and an effective governance of ocean and land use.

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WEF global threats - Environment

February 2019: The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report lists five environmental threats in their list of top 10 global risks (according to their likelihood and impact). The report calls for international collaboration to combat climate change and mitigate economic and human health threats.

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Austerity and the Green City Initiative in Oldham

February 2019: Initiatives such as the Green City Region Initiative in Greater Manchester are demonstrating that sustainable development plans can support the transformation of deprived regions. They aim to develop an integrated approach that simultaneously combats economic, social, and environmental challenges at the local level.

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Succession for World Bank President

February 2019: Traditionally, the President of the United States nominates the president of the World bank. The president of the World Bank exerts considerable influence over the institution’s lending policies, project focus, level of transparency, and accountability. There are growing concerns about the new president potentially reverting the organisation’s focus on combatting climate change and introducing an inclusive lending policy for fossil fuel energy projects.

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Manulife Investment Management becomes newest member of CISL’s Investment Leaders Group

Oct 09, 2020

9 October 2020 – Manulife Investment Management is the latest organisation to join the Investment Leaders Group (ILG), a voluntary member initiative striving to create an investment chain that prioritises economic, social and environmental sustainability. The ILG is convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

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Adele Wiliams

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The views expressed in these external research papers are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL, the University of Cambridge, or any of its individual business partners or clients.