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Sustainability Horizons: what’s coming into view?

Sustainability Horizons is CISL’s monthly scan of issues and evidence coming into view, but which may not yet feature in the mainstream sustainability debate. This is not a prediction of the future, but a way of helping practitioners and policymakers to get early notice of new ideas, trends or evidence, to inform their own view of what might or should happen as a result.

Find out more about our own work in developing new ideas and approaches that have the potential to deliver transformational change and rewire the economy.


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IPCC special report on the ocean and cryosphere

November 2019: special report on oceans and the cryosphere emphasises calls to accelerate a transition to a zero carbon economy and place at least 30% of the world’s oceans under protection. Rising temperatures, acidification, and lower oxygen levels in the oceans are severely impacting human and marine life.

IPCC special report on the ocean and cryosphere - Read More…

Tidal barrages

November 2019: Designs for a mooted tidal energy barrage on the Mersey Estuary include social and economic opportunities beyond energy generation. However, concerns about high initial capital costs and adverse impacts on local wildlife habitats remain and challenge the project’s realisation.

Tidal barrages - Read More…

Urban agriculture

November 2019: Community gardens and urban farms under the umbrella of urban agriculture can contribute to combatting inner city ‘food deserts’, improve air quality, provide green spaces, and reduce CO2 emissions. A new paper calls for holistic and strategic interventions to expand such networks and adopt urban planning mechanisms.

Urban agriculture - Read More…

Economy of Borneo’s rainforest

November 2019: Infrastructure plans for creating a Pan-Borneo Highway are placing the region’s biodiversity at risk. Recent findings suggest that there are greater economic benefits in maintaining biodiversity and supporting emerging bio-economies than in depletion of natural resources.

Economy of Borneo’s rainforest - Read More…

Soil management

October 2019: Climate change changing rainfall patterns may show negative effects on soil’s ability to retain water. Reduced soil resilience increases risks of groundwater depletion, flash floods, and release of carbon stored in soil.

Soil management - Read More…

Sustainable Palm Oil

October 2019: Connecting isolated high conservation value forest fragments using forest corridors across palm oil plantations could contribute to a more sustainable production of palm oil. The paper calls for the RSPO to include clearer guidelines and criteria on the connectivity of set–aside forests.

Sustainable Palm Oil - Read More…


October 2019: Reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) may not be efficient in improving or re-designing mechanisms to address climate change, land use, and biodiversity loss. Scientists are calling for a stronger focus on sustainability, an increased number of scientists partaking in negotiations, and a reduced influence of agri-business representatives.

EU’s CAP - Read More…

Vehicle Ownership

October 2019: Exchanging existing vehicles with cleaner versions may not deliver sufficient environmental benefits. The report recommends a shift towards car ‘usership’ instead of ownership and encourages the government to improve public transport and to diversify investments into future transport technologies.

Vehicle Ownership - Read More…

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Pomeroy Academy Scholarship launched for Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment

Feb 26, 2020

February 2020 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Professor Jason Pomeroy are delighted to announce the launch of a new scholarship for prospective Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) Master's students.

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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.