Unheard voices across the lifecycle of digital technologies and low-carbon transitions

Lived experiences of cobalt miners in the DRC and e-waste workers in Ghana

Blog by Nora Blascsok and Benjamin K. Sovacool

We are living in a society that relies heavily on digital technology, and these technologies have become so engrained in our everyday lives that we rarely question where they come from, whose labour contributes to their existence and what happens after we dispose of it. Some technologies, such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and heat pumps, also rely on both degrees of digitization and many of the same metals, minerals, and components as digital technologies.

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Posted in All Posts, Digital technologies

Optimism and doom in achieving net zero

Claire Copeland reports back from the Achieving Net Zero conference in Oxford

Anthropogenic activities have now emitted greenhouse gases to such an extent, that this has now contributed to an increase in average global temperatures of 1.1°C and rising at 0.2-0.25°C per decade. The havoc this is having on our weather systems and climate is already obvious for all to see, and further warming will make this worse. There is now an intent around the world to limit any further warming. The Paris Agreement, a landmark agreement between countries party to the UNFCCC to pursue best efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, came into force in November 2016. This has now been ratified by 185 out of the 197 parties. Earlier this year, the UK became the first major economy to set a “net zero” emissions target by 2050 in making the country’s contribution to the Paris Agreement goal. Many other countries have since either set net zero targets or are in the process of making them law.

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Climate emergency: the power of words

The University of Sussex’s recent declaration of a climate emergency will be welcomed by many. But what emergency action is the University taking to back up its declaration?

Climate emergency

First, the term emergency. We all know what it means. The fire alarm goes off. Leave the building immediately by the nearest available exit. Do not stop to pick up your possessions.  The new Oxford Dictionary defines the term emergency as: a serious, unexpected and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

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Posted in All Posts, News, Sussex and local

Clean Energy Innovation in the US: insights for the UK (part 1)

Written by Anna Watson

Innovation Narratives

I have spent the last few days representing UKERC at the ARPA-E Innovation Summit, a gathering of over 2000 people spanning the US energy innovation system.

ARPA-E is the Advanced Research Projects Agency- Energy, a publicly funded innovation organisation that supports risky energy projects, ranging from prototype to full scale deployment and commercialisation.

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Let’s talk about climate emergency

Sofia Kesidou shares her thoughts the University of Sussex’s declaration of climate emergency and asks what next

For someone like me, a sustainability advocate, an environmental practitioner and a doctoral researcher at the Sussex Energy Group (SEG), the fact that my University has declared a climate emergency is important and welcome news. In fact, it is such massive news that I have decided to take time out of my data analysis to write about it. 

The declaration is about doing things differently and faster, and in my mind the University of Sussex is progressive and innovative enough to drive change on this front.

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Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual authors and do not represent Sussex Energy Group.

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