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 81-100 out of 151

Residential Heat Pumps
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-426
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.
Debate on 18 October: Scott Expedition to Antarctica and Scientific Legacy
Published Monday, October 15, 2012 | Lords Library notes LLN-2012-034
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday, 18 October: “the centenary of the Scott Expedition to Antarctica and of the United Kingdom’s enduring scientific legacy and ongoing presence there”.
Deepwater and Arctic oil drilling
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN05981
This note outlines several examples of how previously inaccessible sources of hydrocarbons are now starting to be exploited, the regulatory regimes that surround this and the increasing controversy over drilling in the Arctic.
Antarctica: the treaty system and territorial claims
Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN05040
The unique treaty system that protects the Antarctic is constantly updated and sometimes challenged. A current Private Member’s Bill would implement recent changes in the UK.
Assessing Energy Efficiency
Published Friday, May 25, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-409
This POSTnote examines definitions of energy efficiency, looks at methods to measure and verify achieved energy savings and summarises UK and EU polices to promote energy efficiency.
EU ETS and Aviation
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN05533
The aviation sector has been included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme from 1 January 2012 as part of EU efforts to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020.
The draft Energy Bill 2012
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06324
The 2012 Queen’s Speech announced that "My Government will propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity and ensure prices are fair”. This will be done through the latest in a line of Energy Bills, published in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny on 22 May 2012.
The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme
Published Monday, May 21, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06333
The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is a mandatory carbon emissions reporting and trading scheme for large public and private sector organisations. It is currently under review and if it cannot be simplified to produce “very significant administrative savings” for businesses, then it will be replaced by “an alternative environmental tax” on which the Government will consult in Autumn 2012.
Agriculture and Climate Change
Published Friday, May 18, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN03763
This note covers some predictions of the effect of climate change on UK agriculture and forestry
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-410
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.
The 'conservatory tax'
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06301
Changes to the building regulations are currently being consulted upon. These have led to press reports of a ‘conservatory tax’ of up to 10% on certain home improvements, through required associated energy efficiency measures. Reports have also said that people will be forced to take out green deal loans if they cannot afford to fund these improvements.
Feed-in Tariffs: Solar PV Review
Published Thursday, April 5, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06112
This note summarises details of Solar PV feed-in tariffs, including the various reviews of tariffs for solar, the latest consultation published in February 2012, and the Government's defeat in the courts.
Low Carbon Technologies for Energy-Intensive Industries
Published Thursday, February 16, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-403
Energy-intensive industries such as chemicals, paper, ceramics, cement, iron and steel are responsible for 45% of carbon emissions from businesses and the public sector in the UK. This briefing discusses carbon dioxide (CO2) abatement technologies for these industries and policies to support their adoption.
Climate Variability and Weather
Published Friday, February 3, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-400
Short-term differences from long-term climate, or "climate variability", can increase the risk of damaging extreme weather events. This POSTnote examines the causes of climate variability and the use of global climate models to understand, and predict, these variations.
Daylight Saving Bill: Committee Stage Report
Published Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers RP12-3
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Daylight Saving Bill.
Durban Climate Conference
Published Thursday, January 5, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06140
This note covers run up and outcome of the UN climate change conference that took place in Durban between 28 November and 11 December 2011.
Tar sands
Published Friday, November 25, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN06023
Tar sands (oil sands) have potential to provide a significant fraction of future global oil demand but there are concerns, acknowledged in an EC Fuel Quality Directive, about their environmental impact, not least on greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon Capture and Storage: additional background
Published Friday, November 25, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN06136
This note (March 2011) examines the policy and issues relating to carbon capture and storage and in particular, how it relates to coal-fired energy generation.
UK Fourth Carbon Budget
Published Monday, October 24, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05966
The Government has a deadline of 30 June 2011 to set the UK's fourth carbon budget covering 2023-2027.
Published Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN03691
This note introduces issues surrounding biofuel policy in the UK and EU.

Displaying 81-100 out of 151

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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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