Edge Hill University committed to action on climate change

Edge Hill University has joined with Universities UK (UUK) and fellow universities from across the UK to showcase their climate change research as part of a major new campaign backed by actress and environmentalist Lily Cole.

The campaign follows a new poll carried out by Universities UK and Opiniom which has revealed that parents see universities as crucial to delivering on the Department for Education’s sustainability strategy published last week.

Results of the poll show that 64% of parents believe that going to university would equip their child with the skills and knowledge that can help make the world a better place, and 70% think a university degree is essential for those contemplating a career in tackling climate change. And given the opportunity, more than one in three UK adults (37%) would consider higher education as a route to upskilling to realign their career with efforts to combat the climate emergency.

Read further the commitment universities are making to climate action: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2022/04/edge-hill-university-committed-to-action-on-climate/

Ferns: the houseplants that reveal how tropical rainforests are responding to climate change

Photo by Nikita Tikhomirov on Unsplash

Ferns are at their most diverse and abundant in the world’s tropical rainforests. This warm and humid ecosystem is heaven for these plants, which unfurl their feather-like leaves in the damp and shaded understory. So how did they ever come to colonise British living rooms?

If you have a potted fern at home, your choice of household companion may have something to do with the Victorians. Pteridomania (pterido comes from pteris, the Greek word for fern) seized Britain in the 19th century, as people competed to cultivate ferns at home and in specialised greenhouses.

Only 70 species of fern can be found in the UK wild, but you can buy over 500 species as house or garden plants today. That’s if you fancy the challenge of growing these fussy flora at home, of course. Ferns are notoriously difficult to keep alive. Too much water and the plant’s roots rot. Too little water and the plant starts sucking up air, causing a blockage which kills it.

Their sensitivity to temperature and rain make ferns ideal indicators for environmental conditions. For example, if your fern’s tips go brown then it probably means the air in your house is too dry.

This property also makes ferns very useful for scientists trying to understand how ecosystems are coping with climate change. By studying how these ancient plants have responded to environmental changes in the past, botanists hope to open a window into the future of the world’s tropical forests.

Read further the fascinating world of Ferns: https://theconversation.com/ferns-the-houseplants-that-reveal-how-tropical-rainforests-are-responding-to-climate-change-175397

Sefton Coasts for Kids Shortlisted

Kids running together along the beach in front of words 'beach school' written in the sand

Sefton Coasts for Kids – an initiative to inspire the next generation of learners to protect the world’s coastlines – has been shortlisted for a Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Award.

If you remember back to the Sustainability Festival ‘Together Tuesday’, Irene Delgado-Fernandez did a talk ‘Coasts for Kids – where imagination meets science!‘ highlighting the importance and need to teach our children why coasts are important, how beaches and dunes work, how people affect them, and what can we do about it.

Due to the success of the project, it is in the running for an Impact Award for Environmental Sustainability. It was covered in Educate Today and The Champion. This important also work supports the University’s wider commitment to protecting the environment and becoming more sustainably driven.

Read further the exciting news: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2022/02/coasts-for-kids-in-the-running-for-lcr-culture-and-creativity-award/

Tread Lightly On The Planet

Tread Lightly on the Planet five performers outside a building in Liverpool
photo credit Luke Waddington

Monday 31st January 4pm
Dora Frankel Ensemble
Tread Lightly On The Planet

Performances will take place in The Hub

Tread Lightly on the Planet is a dance work about the climate emergency and how humans are caught up in it, inspired by some of the painter JMW Turner’s most iconic images. Dance and electronic music, mixed live during the performance, are fused in this work by international choreographer Dora Frankel. With choreography that is rich, raw and punchy, yet filled with lyricism, this is a provocative and beautiful work.

Tread Lightly on the Planet five performers outside
photo credit Luke Waddington
Tread Lightly on the Planet, black and white image of three performers outside

Each performance is 20 minutes long.

Free no booking required

Climate Change Expert Panel

Geoff Beattie staff profile photo

In the run up to COP26, Geoff was invited to join a ‘Climate Change Expert Panel’ hosted by the International Interdisciplinary Environmental Association and the Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias de la Sostenibilidad-IE at UNAM in Mexico, the largest university in Latin America. The Chair was Dr. Paola M. Garcia-Meneses, a member of the Climate Change and Sustainable Cities Working Committees of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

The panel also included Dr. Ana Cecilia Conde Álvarez, General Coordinator of Adaptation to Climate Change of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) and part of the Mexican delegation to negotiate the Paris Agreement. She is also the Lead Author of the Sixth IPCC Report on “Decision-making options for managing risk”. And Professor Iain Stewart, the El Hassan bin Talal Research Chair in Sustainability at the Royal Scientific Society (Amman, Jordan), Visiting Professor in Environmental Studies at Ashoka University, India, and Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth.

Trophy Hunt book cover

The panel came from a range of disciplines; it was a chance for Geoff to discuss the psychological barriers to climate change, and highlight the great gap between expressed values and actual sustainable behaviour in most people’s lives. We could all do more and demand more from our politicians. So why aren’t we? Geoff outlined the psychology behind this. The discussion, he reported, was excellent.

Book cover 'the psychology of climate change.

Geoff did an interview on the 29th October with Business Daily on the BBC World Service on the psychology of trophy hunting based on his book ‘Trophy Hunting: A Psychological Perspective’. The programme also involved interviews with the famous conservationist Richard Leakey and a representative of the Born Free Foundation.

Can Poetry Help us Articulate the Universal as Personal?

Sustainability Festival Logo with info graphic of white leaves on green background

As the spotlight lands firmly on the upcoming COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, I have reached into my poetry collection and dwelt a little on the poems that tell stories of my relationship with the world around me. John Clare’s All Nature Has A Feeling could not resonate more. We are grappling with the day-to-day questions of living – reaching that potential, negotiating relationships, dreams, disappointments, hope. We are, even as we react to issues of environmental crisis, going about our lives, striving, failing, succeeding, defining who we are, as if the fight is out there, apart from our identities.

But who are we?

Read further how poetry can help us answer some of these questions: https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/isr/can-poetry-help-us-articulate-the-universal-as-personal/

The Sustainability Festival is coming… be prepared to connect, engage and be inspired

Sustainability Festival Logo with info graphic of white leaves on green background

The University’s Sustainability Festival – taking place Monday 1st to Friday 5th November – is a chance for everyone at Edge Hill and beyond to come together to feel part of a collective of people that want to make our world a better, more sustainable place.

It coincides with the first week of the COP26 Climate Summit the UK is hosting in Glasgow, and the Sustainability Festival is organised over five Day Themes, such as ‘Move it Monday’ (special focus on transport and mobility).

Christopher Dent is a Professor of International Business and Economics in the Business School and Director: SustainNET. Please get in contact with him if you wish to be part of the Festival or become a SustainNET Member. Read the rest of the festival post: https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/isr/the-sustainability-festival-is-coming-be-prepared-to-connect-engage-and-be-inspired/

Excitement builds for Edge Hill’s major new Sustainability Festival

Excitement is building ahead of Edge Hill’s major new Sustainability Festival, which takes place next week. 

The University campus will be buzzing with activity between Monday 1 and Friday 5 November as students, staff, eco-friendly organisations and members of the public come together to share ideas on how to work and live more sustainably. 

The festival, organised to coincide with the first week of the COP26 climate summit being hosted by the UK in Glasgow, aims to celebrate Edge Hill’s dedication to advancing sustainability and encourage everyone to look at the world in new ways. 

Read further and find out the programme highlights including a talk by Joshua Styles: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2021/10/excitement-builds-for-edge-hills-major-new-sustainability-festival/

Renewables 2021 Global Status Report

Solar farm and a wind turbine
Photo by Nazrin B-va on Unsplash

A political economist at Edge Hill University is among some of the world’s leading experts in renewable energy to feature in a new report highlighting the serious challenges that lie ahead for global clean energy targets. 

Christopher Dent, a Professor of International Business, has featured in the latest REN21 Renewables report, which shows that despite a historic decline of 4% in primary energy demand, polluting G20 countries barely met and still missed their renewable energy targets. 

Prof Dent provided his expert opinion in a special feature chapter on the important role that businesses have to play in renewable energy deployment. 

While business demand for renewable energy produced by electricity has made great progress, Prof Dent warned of the uphill challenges that lie ahead for decarbonising the thermal energy and transportation energy sectors. 

Read further the importance of this report: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2021/06/academic-features-in-world-leading-report-on-renewable-energy/

Biden marks the United States’ symbolic return to Paris Climate Agreement

As President Biden sent a message to the world on his first day in office by signing an executive order for the United States to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, a political economist at Edge Hill highlights the importance of the symbolic move. 

Only hours after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden’s first actions in the Oval Office included re-affirming the nation’s commitment to the largest international effort to curb climate change. 

The US, the world’s second highest carbon emitter, officially withdrew from the Paris accord to limit climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions last year, after Donald Trump began the process in 2017. 

International political economist, Christopher Dent, is a Professor in Economics and International Business at Edge Hill University and leader of SustainNET. 

Read further the importance of this pivotal change: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2021/01/biden-marks-the-united-states-symbolic-return-to-paris-climate-agreement/