• POSTnote

    Urban Green Infrastructure

    Urban green infrastructure is a network of green spaces, water and other natural features within urban areas. A green infrastructure approach uses natural processes to deliver multiple functions, such as reducing the risk of flooding and cooling high urban temperatures. This POSTnote summarises research evidence of the effectiveness of green infrastructure, and challenges to its implementation.

  • POSTnote

    Negative Emissions Technologies

    If emissions of greenhouse gases are not sufficiently mitigated, it may become necessary to artificially accelerate the rate at which they are removed from the atmosphere in order to restrict global warming. This POSTnote provides an overview of some technologies that could remove atmospheric CO2 and summarises the environmental, social and economic issues they raise.

  • POSTnote

    Reversing Insect Pollinator Decline

    Pollination by insects enables the reproduction of flowering plants and is critical to UK agriculture. Insect pollinators have declined globally, with implications for food security and wild habitats. This POSTnote summarises the causes for the recent trends, gaps in knowledge and possible strategies for reversing pollinator decline.

  • POSTnote

    Invasive Alien Plant Species

    Some alien plant species can become invasive and have detrimental ecological, social and economic effects. This POSTnote summarises debate over the risks posed by such plant species and the policy frameworks and measures for addressing these risks.

  • POSTnote

    Selection of Marine Conservation Zones

    Marine Conservation Zones may contribute to the protection and recovery of the marine environment. This POSTnote examines the process and approach used to select and designate zones, and difficulties in identifying and managing suitable areas.

  • POSTnote

    Environmental Impact of Tidal Barrages

    A tidal energy barrage across the Severn Estuary could produce up to 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. It would help meet renewable energy targets but would have significant environmental impacts. This POSTnote summarises evidence on environmental impacts associated with the operation of tidal energy barrages and the effectiveness of compensatory measures.

  • POSTnote

    Biodiversity & Planning Decisions

    Built developments and mineral extraction can bring social benefits. However, if developments decrease biodiversity there could be a net loss of human well-being. Planning policy is devolved and this POSTnote sets out how the information on impacts of proposed developments on biodiversity is given to planners in England. It also summarises approaches to enhance biodiversity and avoid, mitigate and compensate for negative impacts.

  • POSTnote

    Biodiversity in UK Overseas Territories

    The UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) support a diverse variety of habitats ranging from ice fields and rocky islands to coral reef atolls and tropical forests. This POSTnote summarises the challenges to conservation management and halting biodiversity loss in UKOTs, as required under international agreements.

  • POSTnote

    Residential Heat Pumps

    Heat pumps capture ambient heat from the air or the ground and transfer it inside a building. They provide an efficient alternative to conventional methods of heating, such as boilers. This POSTnote summarises the use of heat pump technology for residential buildings and the constraints to their uptake in the UK.

  • POSTnote

    Plant-made Pharmaceuticals

    The use of genetically modified (GM) plants to produce pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines is an emerging technology that offers a low-cost, large-scale alternative to current methods. This POSTnote looks at recent advances in, and the benefits of, the technology, and analyses the associated biosafety and regulatory issues.

  • POSTnote

    Water Resource Resilience

    The availability of water resources is fundamental for society and economic activities. This POSTnote describes the reasons for uncertainties in water resource availability for future supply and demand and possible responses to managing these risks in the medium term.

  • POSTnote

    Balancing Nature and Agriculture

    This POSTnote explores two approaches to managing land for balancing nature conservation with sustainable food production. Land sharing integrates the objectives of agriculture and benefits to wildlife on the same land. Land sparing on the other hand separates intensive farming areas from protected natural habitats at larger scales.

  • POSTnote

    GM in Agricultural Development

    Almost 2 billion people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The UK funds research into genetic modification (GM) as one option for agricultural development. This POSTnote examines the potential benefits and challenges of using genetically modified crops to improve food security in developing countries.

  • POSTnote

    Bioenergy

    Bioenergy is the use of renewable natural material for power, heat and liquid fuels. Currently, the UK sources approximately 3% of its primary energy from bioenergy feedstocks. This POSTnote considers the opportunities and challenges of producing bioenergy sustainably to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.