Blog posts

The Closed-Loop or Circular Economy

By Geraldine Brennan

Geraldine Brennan is a Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for Environmental Policy. She is funded by the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing for Industrial Sustainability, a collaboration between Cambridge University, Cranfield University, Imperial College London, Loughborough University and Climate-KIC, one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Geraldine’s research explores systems-based business model innovation within the case study of a closed-loop or circular economy and is supervised by Dr. Mike Tennant.

So what is the Circular or Closed-Loop Economy? My PhD explores how concepts like closing-the-loop, ‘cradle to cradle’, ‘waste=food’, biomimicry, ‘the blue economy’ and whole-systems thinking are being used to apply the metaphor of natural systems to the production of goods and services in the industrial economy.  

Locally based monitoring in Guyana: keeping an eye on wellbeing with the Makushi Amerindians

By Ben Palmer Fry

Environmental management, and more specifically conservation work, has historically been led by natural scientists. As a result, despite the best intentions, the people who populate conservation areas are not always entirely content with the conservation projects taking place around them; these interventions, though environmentally beneficial, don’t always have a subtle understanding of local communities and so can’t effectively monitor the social impact. It is, however, essential that this social monitoring takes place, as the longevity of any project depends inherently on the support of local people.

The policymakers who are compiling the REDD+ papers for the UNFCCC have an understanding of these linkages and so have included language that defines and preserves ‘social safeguards’, which simply means that the local people should never be disadvantaged by the implementation of a REDD+ project.

UN Climate Talks in Doha reflect on Loss and Damage

By Helena Wright

Helena Wright is a PhD Researcher at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, researching climate finance and food security in Bangladesh.

Along with a delegation from Imperial College, I attended the UN talks on Climate Change last week in Doha. This was the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP-18) to the UNFCCC, which means there have been 18 years of talks. Although the negotiations were slow and fraught with political wrangling, there was some ‘modest progress’ as countries agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol, covering around 15% of global emissions, and discussed the loss and damage due to climate change.