March 26th, 2014

Defra’s ex WRATE-ed guide

SELCHP_incinerator_-_power_plant,_Rotherhithe_-_geograph.org.uk_-_333740

by Ann Ballinger

 

Incineration might be worse than landfill. Although not an unfamiliar conclusion for us at Eunomia – we suggested as much in a report written for Friends of the Earth eight years ago – it’s rather more surprising to hear Defra echoing it in a recent publication. Hitherto the department seems to have regarded the environmental benefits as incontrovertible.

Read more on Defra’s ex WRATE-ed guide…


November 12th, 2013

What’s wrong with WRATE

wrate map

by Ann Ballinger

 

Developed by contractors on behalf of the Environment Agency (EA), WRATE uses the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to evaluate the environmental impacts of waste management systems. Whether it’s recycling steel cans or treating residual waste through MBT, WRATE is the officially sanctioned system that will tell you the benefits.

Read more on What’s wrong with WRATE…


March 11th, 2013

Science and the environment: bridging the credibility gap

Eric Hobsbawm

by Ann Ballinger

 

At the core of my work for Eunomia is a belief in evidence-based decision making. Sometimes the evidence is stronger than others, and there is an element of art in selecting the assumptions that go into even the most rigorous lifecycle analysis or a cost benefit analysis. Taking a dispassionate approach to the evidence remains my aim – but there is no doubt that this has become increasingly difficult in the environmental sector as a whole, leading in extreme cases to some questioning the role of science in society.

Read more on Science and the environment: bridging the credibility gap…


January 3rd, 2012

There’s no accounting for consumption

Eunomia staff 2011

by Ann Ballinger

 

The excellent attendance at November’s conference hosted by Friends of the Earth entitled “Councils, Communities and Climate Change” confirmed the continued interest of local authorities in issues relating to climate change. At the event, Friends of the Earth once again made the case for local authority carbon budgets, arguing that councils are well placed to lead on action at the local level to reduce climate change impacts.

Read more on There’s no accounting for consumption…


August 18th, 2011

Lifecycle analysis needs solid foundations

Eunomia staff 2011

 

I’ve been struck recently by the way that many lifecycle analyses on products aren’t quite cutting the mustard.

Take, for example, the idea that each item of clothing reused means that primary production of an item has been avoided – something I’ve often seen assumed. But to claim a 1:1 relationship here is unwarranted by evidence, and intuitively it seems to be questionable economics and dodgy at the level of social psychology.

Read more on Lifecycle analysis needs solid foundations…