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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.

 

Latest review


Inequality and poverty in Britain

December 2018: A UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty visited the UK. His preliminary report points to extreme levels of child poverty in the UK and that a fifth of the British population is living in poverty despite rising employment levels, economic growth, and pockets of high wealth levels. His findings identify poor skill levels amongst workers, weak infrastructures, lack of affordable housing, and the centralisation of political and commercial power in London as main impact factors on poverty in Britain.

Inequality and poverty in Britain - Read More…

Decline of vertebrate populations

December 2018: WWF published its Living Planet 2018 report. It states that between 1970 and 2014 the global vertebrate population declined by 60 per cent. The figure represents the average population decline among 4,000 species. It calls for converging the environmental and human development agenda. and estimates that nature currently provides services worth $125 trillion a year.

Decline of vertebrate populations - Read More…

Starch levels in algae biomass

December 2018: Scientists found a new way of controlling the level of starch content in algae. Producing higher levels of algae-derived starch represents a valuable resource for biofuels and the production of other renewable materials such as fuel additives, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and bioplastics.

Starch levels in algae biomass - Read More…

Dams and sustainable hydropower

December 2018: A recent study found that dams might cause more ecological and social harm than energy benefits from hydropower. Less intrusive technologies such as in-stream turbines could offer more sustainable options and respond faster to changing river flows due to climate change.

Dams and sustainable hydropower - Read More…

Maritime renewable energy

December 2018: New devices for ocean energy allow extraction of kinetic energy from tidal and wave movements. Its predictability offers particular value to grid-balancing operators looking for a stable energy supply for remote areas and coastal communities.

Maritime renewable energy - Read More…

Disease and malnutrition

December 2018: Research identifies malnutrition as the primary factor in the global burden of disease. Policies such as sugar taxes, awareness campaigns, and new data generation technologies offer a large potential to understand people’s eating habits and to design target interventions.

Disease and malnutrition - Read More…

Food systems and environmental limits

November 2018: The IPCC report highlights that a shift to a plant-based diet could reduce the environmental impact of our food systems. However, this shift requires rethinking of current systems such as food distribution.

Food systems and environmental limits - Read More…

Decline of invertebrate population

November 2018: A small but growing number of studies show drastic declines in insects such as centipedes and beetles. Declines up to 76 per cent in flying insect populations have knock-on effects such as decreased pollination which jeopardizes food supplies and forest structures.

Decline of invertebrate population - Read More…

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Disclaimer

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.