Policies and Wider Impacts

Supporting environmental policies, measures and action

Businesses and local and national governments are responding to challenges to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants in the atmosphere. Aether’s policy review and analysis can provide customers with the evidence base for further action. This can be through qualitative and quantitative analysis, including potential co-benefits. We can support with the preparation of submissions for international reporting of policies and measures. This service is closely linked to Aether’s inventory and projections support services. 

For more infromation contact Katrina Young

Supporting decision making

Actions, policies and measures that focus on reducing greenhouse gases and air pollutants can be at the business, organisational, national, city or local level. They can be short term and/or long term. They may focus on a specific sector (such as policies to encourage a modal shift to cycling and public transport) or be more cross-cutting (such as a national energy efficiency plan).

Aether supports customers with high quality analysis on the impacts of possible actions and their wider co-benefits or possible dis-benefits. Aether provides tailored services ranging from review/assessment of data and systems through innovative training and capacity building solutions to complete hassle free data gathering, compilation and reporting services. Analysis of the GHG and wider impacts of mitigation actions can support decision making processes and business cases for action.

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Policy analysis and reporting

Air pollutant and greenhouse gas projections provide a baseline and possible future scenarios.  Aether’s expertise in data gathering, analysis and forecasting helps our customers to establish achievable targets for improved environmental performance.

We are increasingly working with local authorities in the UK on modelling pathways to net zero targets set by climate emergency declarations. These pathways can be used to support decision making on climate action and building back better from Covid-19.

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Co-benefits of policies and measures

Integrating effective environmental action into economic, social and sustainable development requires more than the simple presentation of actions, their costs and environmental benefits. It requires a broader consideration of the wider impacts (co-benefits and adverse impacts) of the action with respect to core economic, social and sustainable development goals. 

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Net zero

In efforts to mitigate climate change, governments and organisations are setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to "net zero" or carbon neutral. We work with local authorities to develop their routes to net zero through baselining their carbon footprint, reviewing local and national policies, stakeholder engagement, and then modelling pathways to net zero using our Carbon Scenario Model.

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Case studies

Developing a comprehensive approach to nitrogen in the UK

Aether, alongside project partners the Stockholm Environment Institute, the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and Plantlife International, undertook a study for WWF of the nitrogen cycles and pathways in the UK and reviewed existing strategies and policies that could affect the balance of nitrogen in the environment.

Support to the European Environment Agency

Aether has been providing support to the European Environment Agency through their European Topic Centres since 2014, focussing on air pollution, industrial pollution and climate change mitigation.

EU Forest Reference Levels

Aether provided support to the European Commission and the LULUCF Expert Group in the technical assessment of EU Member State's National Forestry Accounting Plans.

Lewisham Route to Neutral

Support to Lewisham Council to define the route to carbon neutral for the Borough

Antigua and Barbuda Biennial Update Report (BUR)

Aether has been supporting Antigua and Barbuda on their first Biennial Update Report (BUR) by writing the Mitigation chapter. This work will enable Antigua and Barbuda to report transparently on initiatives addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. Also the climate action database will enable the Department of Environment to take stock of climate related initiatives across the country, including the flow of climate finance, and relate this to national strategies and targets.

South Africa Climate Action Tracking and Evaluation System

Aether worked with Gondwana Environmental Solutions to support South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to develop an innovative online platform for gathering, analysing and reporting climate mitigation and adaptation actions. The system acts as a central registry for climate actions alongside associated climate challenges, targets, support needed, wider impacts and indicators.

Electric vehicles from life cycle and circular economy perspectives

A report written for the European Environment Agency that used an extensive literature review to analyse and synthesis the environmental impacts of electric vehicles though life cycle and circular economy perspectives.

Montenegro Climate Change Action MRV System

In cooperation with UNDP through the GEF funded project “Development of Montenegro’s Second BUR”, Aether has been supporting Montenegro in developing a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system for its climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.

Irish Environmental Protection Agency

Aether supports the Irish Environmental Protection Agency with the preparation and submission of Ireland's National Emissions Inventory of Greenhouse Gases under the EU Monitoring Mechanism and Air Quality Pollutants under the National Emissions Ceiling Directive.

Luxembourg Climate Action: Stakeholder engagement and reporting Portal

Aether developed an innovative online platform, or Portal, for gathering, analysing and reporting Luxembourg’s climate policies and measures. The Portal acts as a central point for stakeholder engagement and keeps a live master list of national climate actions, with associated impact and cost analysis.

Emission Inventory Support for Environment Agency of Iceland

Aether is supporting the Environment Agency of Iceland in the compilation of its greenhouse gas and air quality emissions inventories as well as projections and policies and measures. We are helping to ensure that Iceland’s inventory is robust and of high quality.

Oxford Sustainability Index

Aether was appointed to develop a Sustainability Index for Oxford, comparing the city’s performance with others.

North East Scotland sustainable energy action plan

Aether led the development of the North East Scotland Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, Angus and Moray.

Testimonials

Don't just take our word for it...

“Aether delivered training workshops and generated learning materials for our SSN members, providing technical content in a manageable and comprehendible format. We particularly benefitted from their extensive knowledge and ability to interpret the needs of our members into the training materials.”

Jennifer Anderson, Sustainable Scotland Network

“Chris was excellent to work with and always very pro active in making suggestions, taking work forward and applying his considerable technical knowledge in effective ways.”

Robert Vaughan, Defra Air Quality Team

“It is always an absolute pleasure working with Aether. I always know what is expected of me. Their work ethic is of a very high standard and projects are always handled in a very professional manner. I have learnt many skills in terms of project management, quality control and workshop training styles from Aether and I hope to carry these principles forward in my own work. I look forward to collaborating with Aether more in the future.”

Luanne Stevens, Gondwana

“The team at Aether works very professionally and communicates very well which makes working with them a pleasure. Outputs are delivered on time to high quality. The team brings the rigour of technical knowledge and expertise and finds innovative ways of communicating complex messages. I would be happy to recommend the Aether team to organisations working on analysing and presenting emissions information in the public domain.”

Fiona Glover, States of Jersey

“The support provided by Aether for this project was especially remarkable considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools and methods used in order to engage local stakeholders really added value to the capacity building of the national team.”

Shanna Emmanuel, Saint Lucia BUR Project Coordinator

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional. Where there were problems, they provided solutions. The team were working to very short time scales but were able to deliver a high quality piece of work within the specified time frame.”

Sefton Council - for the Merseyside Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

“Engaging Aether to support us to develop the first GHG Inventory System and first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the United Republic of Tanzania has been a rewarding experience due to their high level of professionalism, creativity, timeliness and value for money. We will definitely consider Aether in our future initiatives.”

Abbas Kitogo, Programme Specialist Energy and Climate Change, UNDP Tanzania

“Professional team and very collaborative communication. Effective result in terms of suggestions for improvement in the quality of the inventory and proposals on how to streamline specific topics.”

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

“If we have a need for any more reports in the future Aether will be first on my list.”

Alan Hardy, Kyson Design

“We have been collaborating with Aether for several years, and our projects have greatly benefited from it. Aether staff are very knowledgeable, professional and flexible - and last but not least, very friendly and a pleasure to work with.”

Umhverfisstofnun, Environment Agency of Iceland

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