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 220

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
Diffuse Pollution of Water by Agriculture
Published Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-478
Water pollution regulation is devolved in the UK. Surface, coastal and ground waters in England suffer from significant pollution problems: 78% of surface and groundwater bodies fail to meet the ‘good’ ecological status prescribed by the EU Water Frameworks Directive. Pollution increases water treatment costs and adversely affects wildlife. Compared to treatment, preventing water pollution at source can have a cost-benefit ratio as high as 1:65. This POSTnote describes the contribution of agriculture to water pollution, and measures that can be taken to reduce it.
Short Lived Climate Pollutants
Published Wednesday, October 8, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-480
Short lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) include black carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and ground level ozone. Although they have a shorter residence time in the atmosphere than CO2, from a few days to a few decades, they contribute to near term climate change. This POSTnote summarises options for mitigating SLCP concentrations and the benefits and challenges of doing so.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
Published Friday, August 15, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-466
The UNFCCC REDD+ scheme aims to promote sustainable forest management in developing countries in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Developed countries are expected to provide finance of approximately $20bn per year from 2020. This POSTnote summarises the extent to which REDD+ could contribute to meeting international climate targets, challenges to its implementation and technologies for tracking its performance
Environmental Citizen Science
Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-476
Environmental citizen science traditionally involves members of the public submitting sightings of wildlife to NGOs or records centres, but emerging technologies have recently broadened its use to all kinds of environmental data. This POSTnote summarises different types of citizen science projects, policy-relevant applications and the benefits and challenges of volunteer collected data.
Ancient Woodland
Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-465
Ancient woodlands are irreplaceable features of our landscapes that can be high in biodiversity or cultural value. This POSTnote summarises the challenges of conserving the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these sites to provide social and economic benefits, while still meeting the development needs of society.
Infrastructure Bill [HL] (HL Bill 2 of 2014–15)
Published Friday, June 13, 2014 | Lords Library notes LLN-2014-018
The Infrastructure Bill makes provision for the Government’s proposals to fund, plan, manage and maintain the UK’s national infrastructure.
Badger Culling : Alternatives
Published Wednesday, June 11, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06447
TB vaccination of badgers and cattle: Policy in England and Wales and progress in developing useable vaccines
Badger Cullling: TB Control Policy
Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN05873
TB badger control policy in England and Wales.
Badger Culling: Krebs Trials and Policy to 2008
Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN03751
Randomised badger culling trials (RBCT) carried out by the previous Government and policy to 2008 summarised.
Ambient Air Quality
Published Friday, February 14, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-458
National and European regulations have improved UK ambient air quality. However, current air pollution levels continue to harm human health and the environment. This POSTnote summarises the evidence for effects of air pollutants and policies to address them
Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill: Lords Amendments
Published Monday, February 3, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06810
This note gives background on Lords Amendments to the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill, which are due to be considered by the Commons on 4 February 2014.
CAP reform 2014-2020: EU Agreement and Implementation in the UK and in Ireland
Published Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers RP13-64
A new CAP refrorm package has been agreed for 2014-2020. This paper sets out the reactions and emerging implementation decisions of the four countries of the UK, and also of Ireland.
Urban Green Infrastructure
Published Friday, November 15, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-448
Urban green infrastructure is a network of green spaces, water and other natural features within urban areas. A green infrastructure approach uses natural processes to deliver multiple functions, such as reducing the risk of flooding and cooling high urban temperatures. This POSTnote summarises research evidence of the effectiveness of green infrastructure, and challenges to its implementation.
Negative Emissions Technologies
Published Friday, October 25, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-447
If emissions of greenhouse gases are not sufficiently mitigated, it may become necessary to artificially accelerate the rate at which they are removed from the atmosphere in order to restrict global warming. This POSTnote provides an overview of some technologies that could remove atmospheric CO2 and summarises the environmental, social and economic issues they raise.
Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment
Published Monday, October 14, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-446
Disease causing bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic drug treatment. Diseases once controlled by antibiotics are re-emerging as serious risks to human health. This POSTnote outlines the hazards posed by resistant bacteria, the sources of resistance in the environment and measures that may reduce these risks globally.
Reversing Insect Pollinator Decline
Published Thursday, September 12, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-442
Pollination by insects enables the reproduction of flowering plants and is critical to UK agriculture. Insect pollinators have declined globally, with implications for food security and wild habitats. This POSTnote summarises the causes for the recent trends, gaps in knowledge and possible strategies for reversing pollinator decline.
CAP Reform 2014-2020: Reaching Agreement
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers SN06693
Political agreement was reached on the major elements of the reform of the Common Agriculural Policy for 2014-2020 on 26 June 2013. This note sets out the main elements of the agreement with stakeholder comment. Some issues are still being discussed at European level following overall EU budget agreements and the flexibility of the reform deal means that key implmenentation decisions are to follow in the UK.
Invasive Alien Plant Species
Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-439
Some alien plant species can become invasive and have detrimental ecological, social and economic effects. This POSTnote summarises debate over the risks posed by such plant species and the policy frameworks and measures for addressing these risks.
Selection of Marine Conservation Zones
Published Thursday, June 6, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-437
Marine Conservation Zones may contribute to the protection and recovery of the marine environment. This POSTnote examines the process and approach used to select and designate zones, and difficulties in identifying and managing suitable areas.

Displaying 81-100 out of 220

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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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