Environment and energy

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Ideas for research using data on environment and energy

Key data

Whilst there is a wealth of data on environment and energy, a number of studies are regarded as 'key' – either through their subject/geographical coverage, their use of standard measures, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they are used to create 'official' figures.

The majority of the data described are known as 'raw', 'primary' or 'source' data in the sense that they represent information that has been collected 'first-hand'; they are original data sources which may then be used for 'secondary' analysis by researchers not involved in the data collection process. The majority of these data are anonymised because they describe the attitudes, behaviour, circumstances and personal details of the individuals being studied. These types of data are heavily used by the academic and government research communities.

The UK Data Service provides access to the following primary data sources:

Study name Coverage Topics

Assessing and Communicating Animal Disease Risks for Countryside Users

2007-2010 (qualitative); Great Britain; cross-sectional study Lyme disease

Attitudes to Genetically Modified Foods

2009 (qualitative); England, Scotland; cross-sectional (one-time) study risks and benefits
attitude formation and change
causes of indifference

1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)

1970-ongoing (longitudinal); Great Britain attitudes to environment (1999-2000 sweep)

British Social Attitudes Survey

Annual 1983-ongoing; adults in Great Britain; repeated cross-sectional survey

attitudes to environment
climate change

Collaborative Wildlife Management and Changing Social Contexts in Peru

2001-2003 (qualitative); residents of three communities in Tamshiyacu, in the Loreto district of Peru, cross-sectional study life history
family networks

Continuous Household Survey

Annual 1983-ongoing; families/households in Northern Ireland; repeated cross-sectional survey

climate change causes
environmental actions
energy efficiency

Energy Demand Research Project: Early Smart Meter Trials

2007-2010; families/households

electricity consumption
energy resources
gas consumption

Energy Follow Up Survey

2011; individuals, families/households

climate change
energy supply
energy prices
energy consumption

English Housing Survey, 2012: Fuel Poverty Dataset

2012; individuals, families/households

energy prices
energy consumption
gas consumption


1970-ongoing; c. 30 countries protecting environment
government role
environment vs economic growth

European Values Study (EVS)

1981-ongoing; c. 50 countries climate change
electromagnetic fields and health
nuclear energy
radioactive waste

Farm Business Survey

Annual 1982-2012/13; farms in England and Wales; repeated cross-sectional survey

farm characteristics
environmental impact and behaviour

Genetics, Genomics and Genetic Modification in Livestock Agriculture: Emerging Knowledge-Practices in Making and Managing Farm Livestock

2007-2010 (qualitative); livestock breed societies, cattle and sheep farmers, United Kingdom; cross-sectional study breeding techniques
breeder identities
human-animal relationships
institutional structures

International Energy Agency Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions from Fuel Combustion

1960-ongoing; 30 OECD member countries and over 100 non-OECD countries worldwide CO2 emissions
CO2-related indicators
fuel combustion

International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)

1985-ongoing; c. 50 countries pollution
economic growth
nuclear power
environmental behaviour
environmental knowledge

National Child Development Study (NCDS)

1958-ongoing (longitudinal); Great Britain attitudes to environment (sweeps 5, 6 and 8)

National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework 2014

2005-2012; families and households in England and Wales, sample of just over 4 million households which have had an Energy Performance Certificate; repeated cross-sectional survey annual gas and electricity consumption
energy efficiency measures
property attributes

National Travel Survey

1972-ongoing; families/households in Great Britain; repeated cross-sectional survey vehicles
season tickets

OECD Environment Statistics, 1980-2013

1980 onwards; OECD countries as well as BRIICS economies water, air and climate
green growth

Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (formerly ONS Opinions and ONS Omnibus)

1990-ongoing; individuals/families/households in Great Britain; repeated cross-sectional survey topics vary by month
climate change
donations to environmental causes

Sustainable Uplands: Learning to Manage Future Change

2006-2009 (qualitative); United Kingdom interdisciplinary research
rural futures

Sustainable Uplands: Management for Multiple Benefits

2004-2005 (qualitative); upland land managers working in the Peak District National Park, England; cross-sectional study social networks
participatory research

Understanding Society

2008-ongoing (longitudinal); UK attitudes to environment

World Bank Africa Development Indicators

1960-ongoing; 50+ countries agricultural production
land use
water pollution

World Bank World Development Indicators

1960-ongoing; 200+ countries agricultural production
land use
natural resources contribution to GDP
water pollution

World Values Survey (WVS)

1981-ongoing; 100+ countries climate change
electromagnetic fields health
nuclear energy
radioactive waste

Other key data publishers

National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

UK Statistics Authority

 Government and voluntary sector

Academic centres and services


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