Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 61-80 out of 219

Trends in the Environment
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0516
Human activities interact with natural systems in complex ways; they can cause long-term damage to systems humans are dependent on. This POSTnote summarises a range of such pressures on the environment. It also identifies a number of trends and their effects on the UK.
Green Belt
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN00934
Government's policy on the green belt protection is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and associated guidance. This note sets out further information on thes size of the green belt alongside recent and proposed policy changes in England.
Climate Change and Infectious Disease in Humans in the UK
Published Friday, December 18, 2015 | POSTbriefs POST-PB-0016
A short paper describing the impact of climate change on infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks in the UK.
Protecting ancient woodlands and trees
Published Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2015-0126
This pack has been produced ahead of the debate on protecting ancient woodland and trees to be held in Westminster Hall on Thursday 10 December 2015 at 1.30pm.
Lead shot ammunition
Published Monday, December 7, 2015 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2015-0120
This debate pack has been compiled ahead of the debate on lead shot ammunition to be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 8 December 2015 at 4.30-5.30pm. The Member in charge of the debate is Gerald Jones MP
Debate on an e-petition on neonicotinoids
Published Friday, December 4, 2015 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2015-0117
This pack has been compiled ahead of the debate on the use of neonicotinoids on crops: in Westminster Hall on Monday 7 November 2015 at 4.30pm. The subject of this debate has been chosen by the Petitions Committee and will consider e-Petition 104796: Don't kill our bees! Immediately halt the use of Neonicotinoids on crops
Water Framework Directive: achieving good status of water bodies
Published Friday, November 27, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7246
This Commons Library Briefing Paper examines the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, including the requirement that the UK achieves 'good' status of all water bodies by 2015. It sets out some facts and figures for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, explains how water quality is measured and discusses what happens if the requirements are not met. The actions being taken by the Government to manage and improve water quality are also explained and a brief explanation of the offence of water pollution is included.
Deep Sea Mining
Published Friday, September 25, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0508
In March 2013, the Prime Minister said that deep-sea mining could be worth £40bn to the UK over the next 30 years. This briefing summarises the framework governing activity in international waters. It also describes the mineral deposit types being considered and the proposed extraction methods, potential environmental effects and mitigation options.
Securing UK Soil Health
Published Monday, August 24, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0502
2015 is the United Nations International Year of Soils. Soils underpin the global food system and regulate water, carbon and nitrogen cycles but are subject to pressures from population growth and climate change. In England & Wales, soil degradation costs around £1bn per year. This POSTnote outlines the evidence for measures that sustain soils and existing policies affecting soil health.
Marine Conservation Zones in England
Published Friday, July 17, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06129
Marine Conservation Zones are being introduced to protect nationally important marine environments. 127 sites were put forward by regional stakeholder groups, and the Government designated 27 sites in 2013. The Government consulted on a second tranche of MCZs early in 2015. It is expected that the Government will announce a third tranche of candidate MCZ sites in 2016.
Amending The Hunting Act 2004
Published Monday, July 13, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06853
Hunting with dogs was banned in England in 2004 under The Hunting Act. In July 2015 the Government announced that it intended to amend the legislation to amend the legislation.
Biodiversity Auditing
Published Thursday, March 26, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-490
Biodiversity supports the ecosystem services humans rely on for well-being and economic resources. Areas that have had an audit can make more effective use of ecological data to meet planning and conservation objectives for biodiversity. This POSTnote summarises the data sources used and the advantages of the audit approach for addressing biodiversity loss.
Sources of Statistics
Published Tuesday, March 10, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers RP15-12
This briefing paper brings together sources of statistics on 27 subject areas covered by the Economic Policy & Statistics and Social & General Statistics sections of the House of Commons Library. In doing so it draws upon the knowledge of Library specialists, aiming to provide comprehensive topic-by-topic guides for use by anyone interested in the statistical series that underpin the United Kingdom.
Infrastructure Bill: Energy and Climate Change measures
Published Friday, January 23, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN07085
The Infrastrucutre Bill 2014-15 provides a number of new powers and regualtions that relate to energy and climate change. The note provides information on some of these for the Commons Report stage debate.
Infrastructure Bill: Invasive species
Published Friday, January 23, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN07086
The Infrasctructure Bill 2014-15 contains new measures to control invasive non-native species. This paper provides an overview of debate on these parts of the Bill for the Commons' Report Stage.
UK Fishing Quota Agreements for 2015
Published Monday, December 22, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN07071
This House of Commons Library Standrad Note summarises the negotiations and decisions taken over UK fishing quota agreements for 2015 made under the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.
Septic tanks: new regulations
Published Thursday, December 18, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06059
This note explains the legislation relating to septic tanks in England.
Catchment-Wide Flood Management
Published Thursday, December 11, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-484
Changing weather patterns have made structural defences less effective at managing flooding. An approach that employs a range of natural flood management measures across a river catchment is likely to reduce the probability of flooding and pressure on structural defences. This POSTnote describes the measures and the challenges of implementing them over large catchments.
The Forestry Commission and the sale of public forests in England
Published Monday, December 1, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN05734
This note sets out information on the sale of public forests managed by the Forestry Commission
GM Crops and Regulation
Published Thursday, October 30, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-482
This note summarises the evidence on environmental and health impacts of GM crops, describes recent technological developments and examines their likely consequences for proposed reforms of GM regulation

Displaying 61-80 out of 219

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House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.


The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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