UWE Air Quality expert wins prestigious fellowship

Issue date: 01 February 2010

Dr Tim Chatterton Dr Tim Chatterton, an air quality management expert from the University of the West of England, has been awarded a prestigious placement fellowship working with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)". The Fellowship is in partnership with the Research Councils Energy Programme (Economic and Social Research Council ESRC) and EPSRC)and DECC.

Dr Chatterton, said, “I'm delighted to be given this fantastic opportunity. The Fellowship represents a culmination of areas I have been working on throughout my career. My academic background spans social sciences, environmental improvement assessment and science and policy.

“I've spent the past 10 years working on DEFRA commissioned work on Air Quality Management with the team here at UWE. The insight into the workings at Whitehall will be an invaluable experience and will continue to feed into my work within the Institute for Sustainability, Health and the Environment at UWE.”

Nafees Meah, Head of Science at DECC said “I am very much looking forward to working with Tim Chatterton. He will be providing a valuable social science input into the Department's policies that are driving the transition to a low carbon society.”

Steve West, UWE Vice-Chancellor, said, “It's great news that Dr Chatterton has been selected for this Fellowship. His work with the Air Quality Management team at UWE is critical to the development of strategies amongst local authorities to improve their air quality management plans. His work supports activities within our multi-disciplinary Institute of Sustainability, Health and Environment which brings together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to address global and regional health and environmental issues.”

The aim of the Fellowship is to provide social science input regarding the energy behaviour of individuals and communities into the policy development process in DECC in order to help enable 'the public' to more readily take up 'low-carbon' patterns of behaviour.

Dr Chatterton explains, “Climate benefits of adopting low-carbon behaviour are not clearly experienced by individuals, families and other groups in the UK, as the majority of climate impacts will occur in other parts of the world, some time in the future.

“Evidence suggests that many elements of low-carbon lifestyles can be seen to have direct ancillary benefits to those adopting them, such as economic or health benefits.

“The successful development of policies to encourage climate orientated behaviour change is likely to have to rely on being able to 'sell' these policies to the public on the basis of these direct ancillary benefits, in addition or alternatively to making a moral case for altruistic behaviour change.”

The Air Quality Management Resource Centre has worked closely with Defra and the Devolved Administrations and with Local Authorities in order to shape air quality policy in the UK over the last decade. This, along with Tim's work as Chair of the UK Public Health Association's Special Interest Group on Health and Sustainable Environments, will help him to bring a wide range of policy experience into DECC to address the issue of behaviour change.


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