Analyses

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  • Recovering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic while achieving environmental goals requires creative policy measures. This study analyses the sustainability co-benefits of reducing sugar consumption through redirecting existing sugar cropland to alternative uses via sugar taxation.

    • Lewis C. King
    • Jeroen van den Bergh
    Analysis
  • Poor access to safe drinking water is a major global sustainability issue. Solar disinfection provides a feasible solution. Here the authors examine the potential of five most typical types of this technology, revealing their unique challenges and opportunities.

    • Inhyeong Jeon
    • Eric C. Ryberg
    • Jae-Hong Kim
    Analysis
  • The Sustainable Development Goals were launched as a worldwide governance framework, but little is known about their actual political impacts. This study shows evidence that the Sustainable Development Goals have had largely a discursive influence and only limited transformative political impact.

    • Frank Biermann
    • Thomas Hickmann
    • Birka Wicke
    Analysis Open Access
  • The increasing demand for technological products across the world pushes further the consumption of most metals, resulting in growing sustainability concerns. This study examines a yearly cohort of 61 extracted metals over time and estimates their lifetimes and losses throughout their life cycles.

    • Alexandre Charpentier Poncelet
    • Christoph Helbig
    • Guido Sonnemann
    Analysis
  • The sheer scale of global development aid projects and funding can be almost impenetrable for researchers and policymakers to derive broad trends, let alone specific topics. This machine learning analysis looks at 3.2 million separate aid activities over the past two decades to find clusters and categories for better targeting of development funds.

    • Malte Toetzke
    • Nicolas Banholzer
    • Stefan Feuerriegel
    Analysis
  • The environmental effectiveness of procurement incentives for electric vehicle (EV) sales depends on the behaviour of EV adopters. This study explores such a relationship and how procurement policies should be designed in order to achieve emissions reduction and be economically efficient.

    • Ashley Nunes
    • Lucas Woodley
    • Philip Rossetti
    Analysis Open Access
  • Controlled use of fire for subsistence and smallholder livelihoods has undoubtedly shaped ecosystems but we have limited research on the practices and extent. This analysis of nearly 600 case study locations finds fire use is changing in ways that could pose risks to smallholder livelihoods as well as wildlife and biodiversity.

    • Cathy Smith
    • Ol Perkins
    • Jayalaxshmi Mistry
    Analysis
  • Greater photovoltaic deployment is critical to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, but the associated aluminium (Al) demand could pose a substantial global warming threat. Decarbonizing the electricity used for Al production and using less primary Al are the best ways to mitigate emissions.

    • Alison Lennon
    • Marina Lunardi
    • Pablo R. Dias
    Analysis
  • The COVID-19 pandemic substantially altered consumption patterns, especially for health supplies such as personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves. This study of 11 countries examines both the rate and types of litter being discarded as a result of changing policies and recommendations during the first 14 months of the pandemic.

    • Keiron P. Roberts
    • Sui C. Phang
    • Anne M. Stringfellow
    Analysis
  • In-person conferences have typically resulted in a large carbon footprint while limiting inclusivity of those who can attend. This analysis uses the pandemic to gauge like-for-like environmental and demographic outcomes for virtual conference attendance.

    • Matthew Skiles
    • Euijin Yang
    • Manish Kumar
    Analysis
  • Analysis of data from a two-wave survey of households in Nepal before and after the 2015 earthquakes shows that higher human capital helped them recover faster than did social capital and that the two forms of capital are partially substitutable.

    • Wenman Liu
    • Elisabeth Gerber
    • Arun Agrawal
    Analysis
  • Despite concerns about plastics in the environment, not enough attention is paid to the impacts of the various stages of the plastics value chain globally. This study finds that most environmental and socioeconomic impacts from plastics are due to their growing production in coal-based economies.

    • Livia Cabernard
    • Stephan Pfister
    • Stefanie Hellweg
    Analysis Open Access
  • Carbon pricing can alter income distribution. With a focus on Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, this study compares four types of carbon pricing schemes and finds substantial variation in distributional effects across policy designs and countries.

    • Jan C. Steckel
    • Ira I. Dorband
    • Sebastian Renner
    Analysis