The Big Issues
Air quality and climate change are two of the key environmental issues of our time. There are clear interactions between them and yet often science and policy are developed independently. Some interventions can have clear multiple benefits, for example improving urban spaces to encourage more walking and cycling improves the local environment, local air quality, health and reduces climate change. Other interventions may benefit one aspect of the environment whilst degrading another, such as the widespread use of diesel cars (with current technology).
Government departments, agencies and research funders have come together to explore the requirements and opportunity for cross disciplinary research to provide a stronger evidence base for analysing the co-benefits and trade-offs of policy and regulation. The Research and Innovation in a Dynamic Environment (RIDE) forum (formerly LWEC) has organised a workshop on 21 September, bringing together policymakers and scientists. The analysis already completed identified four crosscutting themes:
- The interaction between climate change and air quality - including modelling of the atmosphere processes, as well as the impacts on people and the environment
- Improved understanding of the impact of different emission control technologies and policies
- Better information and tools, integrated decision and policy-making
- Communication, knowledge exchange and effecting behavioural change
We have a wide range of experts coming together in Birmingham to find out more about policy requirements from key Whitehall departments and the devolved administrations. They will then define multidisciplinary problems from these requirements and come up with propositions to solve them. They will focus on six sectoral themes: transport, health, climate, energy and industry, land use and biofuels, urban including green infrastructure. Following the workshop a short report will be produced. The aim of this report is to provide a framework for researchers to identify possible research themes that have societal relevance and identify potential areas for RIDE forum partners to work together.