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The Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival is a new virtual event brought to you by Cambridge Zero and Cambridge University Press. This week-long festival offers a range of FREE events and sessions for all ages - from stories and games through to panel discussions and papers presenting the latest scientific research. Over this week, we want to give you a taste of the exciting research and new initiatives underway across Cambridge and beyond to show how we all can make a difference and live more sustainably. You can register to join as many of our live sessions as you want or access our on demand content which will go live each day throughout the festival week. For more information please see our programme pages.
Climate Change Festival
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Our festival programme offers something for everyone. Click the buttons below to explore the programme. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content at any time during the festival. Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
Let's work together for a zero-carbon world
To give us your feedback on the festival please visit our stickerbook: https://camfest2020.obliquitygroup.com/
Emergency on Planet Earth
Opening Ceremony with Dr Emily Grossman
What's really happening on our planet and why? What's going to happen next? And what can we do about it?
With so much confusing and conflicting information out there, it can be hard to get to the bottom of what’s really going on on our planet today. In this interactive talk and discussion, Dr. Emily Grossman, co-founder of Scientists for Extinction Rebellion and lead author of their new free online book Emergency on Planet Earth, provides an overview of the science surrounding the climate and ecological emergency and explores what we can do about it. She also shares her journey to finding out the truth about the planet, how it has impacted her, and why she has now dedicated her life to raising awareness about the crisis.
Please see below for details of the events available on 6th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content at any time.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
Investigating the effect of the COVID19 pandemic on climate
As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented lockdown measures have been imposed worldwide to reduce the spread of the disease, causing huge reductions in economic activity and corresponding reductions in transport, industrial and aircraft emissions. As well as lowering emissions of carbon dioxide, this has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the emissions of pollutants that also affect climate. We have used state-of-the-art computer simulations to quantify how changes in these components are likely to impact the chemical make-up of the atmosphere and the likely short-term impacts on climate.
Friday 6th November
A planet in crisis
Cambridge Zero Policy Forum report launch: A Blueprint for a Green Future
You are warmly invited to the launch of the Cambridge Zero Policy Forum's green recovery report, A Blueprint for a Green Future.Join us to hear from Dr Emily Shuckburgh and some of the report's authors about how we can ensure a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Panellists will also be taking questions from the audience.
Chair: Dr Robert Doubleday (Executive Director, Centre for Science and Policy)
Dr Emily Shuckburgh (Director, Cambridge Zero), Dr Anna Barford (Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow in Pathways to a Circular Economy, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership), Professor Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger (Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor, University of Cambridge), Cordula Epple (Senior Programme Officer, Climate Change and Biodiversity, UN WCMC), Professor Sir Richard Friend (Cavendish Professor of Physics), Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville (Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies, Cambridge Judge Business School), Dr Jennifer Schooling (Director, Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction), Dimitri Zenghelis (Special Advisor: The Wealth Economy, Bennett Institute for Public Policy)
The Cambridge Zero Policy Forum is run by Cambridge Zero and the Centre for Science and Policy, and brings together around 80 senior academics from across the University to help tackle the policy challenges posed by the transition to a net zero society.
Please see below for details of the events available on 7th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
Climate change is a big challenge, how can you make a difference?
Global Shapers Cambridge Hub
Do you need ideas on how to start your climate change actions? Do you have ideas already but aren’t sure if someone else is working on them? Do you want to know which organisations you could volunteer for or check out for inspiration? Are young people around you keen to make a difference, but you don’t know how to help?
Dr Emily Grossman
How do you block a tickle? Which strange creature can breathe through its bottom? And did you know that we make better decisions when we need a wee?! Join TV science superstar and STEM Ambassador Dr Emily Grossman for this fun and interactive science quiz show based on her new bestselling book Brain-Fizzing Facts: Awesome Science Questions Answered, touching on themes surrounding climate breakdown, sustainability and protecting the natural world. Guaranteed to amuse and amaze, whether you’re 7 or 70!
With no need to to register, just click the link below to join us on the day.
Cooking with biofuels masterclass
The fight against climate change hits very close to home. The most effective methods require climate friendly lifestyle choices. This masterclass is designed as a family friendly way to highlight the importance of such choices. Chef Fadzly would be cooking with green ingredients and biofuels such as charcoal from sustainably sourced wood and biogas produced by microbes from palm oil mill effluent.
Michela will present “Climate change – the board game”, a free educational resource that, while playing a game, shows the effects of natural or anthropic climatic changes on animal species. It is inspired by the research of the Evolutionary Ecology group at the University of Cambridge (http://www.eeg.zoo.cam.ac.uk/).
Climate change is not a game... what if it was?
The link between the ocean and climate change
Clare Brook, Sophie Locke
The ocean and the climate are inextricably linked, and although the ocean is a victim of climate change, it can also provide a huge part of the solution. BLUE is restoring ocean health to promote a stable climate by curbing the destruction of ocean biodiversity and protecting critical marine habitats. During this session, watch how BLUE is working to protect the High Seas and to secure a ‘Paris Agreement for the Oceans’. Learn about how BLUE is supporting the recovery of kelp off the Sussex coast, where Sir David Attenborough explains why these underwater forests are vital not just for sea life but for climate change. Finally, tune in for a family friendly introduction to blue carbon ecosystems that can absorb more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests.
Saturday 7th November
How can we make a difference?
Virtual Gardening Club: Plastic Not So Fantastic (but there is another way!)
Jenna Watson, Katie Glenister
Virtual Gardening Club has provided versatile, educational activities to the children of the University of Cambridge Primary School over the past few months. Now, we invite you to experience the joy of gardening with us as we learn how to reduce waste by reusing plastics in the garden. This session is perfect for people of all ages who care about the environment and want to make a difference, no matter how small – with or without a garden of your own!
Meet Drop in the Ocean
Gail, Katia and Megan
Drop in The Ocean (DITO) is a student-driven and -led environmental group that strives to establish sustainability as a CIS school value through systematic change, community dialogue and education. Based in Hong Kong, DITO is the umbrella term for its three sub-strands of CIS Footprint, Urban Farming, and Beach Cleanup. From footprint to blueprint, we are committed to promote tangible reforms and develop sustainable, active, permanent change towards our school’s strategic plan, Vision ‘33.
The University’s Virtual Winter Festival of Learning
Restrictions on travel and gatherings brought about by COVID-19 necessitated a rapid re-think of the University’s 96-year-old face-to-face International Summer Programmes. Traditionally attended by 1000+ adult students from around the globe, and bringing income to the Colleges and the University, the programmes were speedily converted for Summer 2021 into a very successful Virtual Festival of Learning. A Winter Festival is now planned for January 2021: Sarah Ormrod introduces the offering, flagging courses and talks relevant to the Zero Climate Change agenda, and addressing the implications of this current change in provision.
Elizabeth Tennyson, Stuart Macpherson
Have you ever wondered why solar panels are put on tilted roofs? Do you think placing these sun collectors at an angle is the best solution? It turns out there is a very good reason for having panels angled! In this at home activity families can investigate the sun’s path along the sky throughout the day to help understand why this helps us extract the most energy from the sun.
Download this at-home activity where participants will take measurements of the sun’s position using readily available household items (we demo this on the info sheets – warning: never look directly at the sun!). It is preferred to start measurements in the morning, until the late afternoon (measuring once per hour). After, there is a worksheet to help calculate the angle of the sun based on your location! This activity can be repeated throughout the year to see how the sun evolves.
Download the activity
In conversation with… Elishifa Wangeshi
In this session, we speak to Elishifa Wangeshi from Ghetto Radio 89.5 FM in Nairobi, Kenya. Her role as a producer/presenter was to produce radio drama skits and radio interviews dealing with issues pertaining to weather and climate change.
Please see below for details of the events available on 8th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
The impact of climate change on Cambridgeshire chalk streams and river networks
The continued existence of the chalk streams of Cambridgeshire is severely threatened by a number of factors, including climate change. This talk will give an overview of the environmental significance of chalk streams concentrating on their biodiversity. The reasons for the current significant deterioration, culminating in complete drying up of some streams in 2019, will be explored with a focus on the contribution of climate change. It will conclude with some suggestions for amelioration of the situation assuming that the affects of climate change will get worse unless there is a significant change in societal behaviour.
Personal reflections on allotment gardening in a period of climate change
Allotments are an important leisure activity for many, including children and could potentially assist in carbon management. However cultivation is increasingly being affected by variable weather patterns. Drawing from my experience of 40 years of allotment gardening, and discussions with fellow plot holders, I will describe my impression of changes to seasonal patterns affecting sowing, growing and harvesting based on sowing and harvesting records. I will conclude with some thoughts on how allotments can assist with carbon management
Sunday 8th November
Climate in your community
This live event will feature community pioneers talking about the power of collective local action:
The event will be hosted by Ric Casale, Co-Founder of Carbon Copy. His guests include:
Victoria Wells - Founding Member, Grow Batheaston
Neil Grant - Director, North Kensington Community Energy
Rob Greenland - Co-Director, Zero Waste Leeds
Kanahaya Alam – Food Connect
They will talk community energy, food security, circular economy and more. What do they all have in common? Thinking Big Locally!
There will be time for Q&A.
Carbon Copy and Community Pioneers, in conversation
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate: What is it all about?
Dame Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Ben Szreter, Rhiannon Osborne
The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate was established this year by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, with Mayor James Palmer, to provide authoritative recommendations to help the region engage with the impacts of climate change. Its findings will be a shot in the arm for the debate on how best to reduce carbon emissions and enhance our natural environment.
Join us to find out more about the Commission and our ambitions and learn more about the vital survey we’re asking local people and businesses to complete to inform our work.
Join us on the link below, with no need to register.
Join the session
How can communities take action for safer, greener streets
Annie Pickering, Afsana Salik , Munish Datta (moderator)
Annie Pickering is the Regional Campaign Organiser for Friends of the Earth.
Afsana Salik is the Organiser for Tower Hamlets.
Munish Datta is Director of Membership & Operations, UK Green Building Council & Senior Associate, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
Hear from the panel about how local communities can make change happen locally, campaigning against harmful air pollution, for warmer homes and more green spaces for everyone to share.
There's no need to register in advance, click the link below to join the session.
Friends of Logan’s Meadow
Logan’s Meadow Nature Reserve was established in 2005 and extended in 2009. The Friends group are now working closely with the City Council to manage the enlargement of the Logan’s Meadow Nature Reserve.
Why are our Local Nature Reserves so important? What is so special about Logan’s Meadow Nature Reserve? What will an enlarged Logan’s Meadow look like? How does this help address the Climate Crisis and the Biodiversity Emergency? What special plants and animals live in Logan’s Meadow and what might we attract in the future?
Your Carbon Footprint - Question Time
Cambridge Carbon Footprint (CCF)
A recent global study found that although 74% of people want to reduce their impact on the environment, many don’t know where to start. The new Cambridge Carbon Footprint calculator measures how you’re currently doing and suggests both big and small practical steps to take.
At this event you'll hear from an inspiring panel of local people who’ve made great progress around food, travel, home energy and shopping. They’ll share the quick wins and expertise on say making your home more energy efficient, joining a local electric car club, living well with less stuff and shifting towards a more plant based diet. There will be plenty of time for questions.
Tree, Woodland and Food Growing Projects with Schools in Urban Environments
Trees for Cities is a charity with over 25 years of experience delivering tree planting and environmental projects to urban communities. This session aims to share some of the learnings and findings that their work has uncovered, as well as discuss some of the challenges and the current context facing schools and their communities undertaking outdoor learning projects across the UK.
Climate Justice and Cambridge University
In October 2020, Cambridge University announced it would divest following a five-year campaign led by Cambridge Zero Carbon Society. Over the past five years Cambridge Zero Carbon has advanced a climate-justice centred vision of divestment in solidarity with those facing the worst effects of the climate crisis. In this session, they will detail the history of the campaign, explore the politics of climate-justice and suggest future directions of climate-campaigning on campus.
Short on time? Want clear explanations of key climate crisis concepts? Want to feel empowered to talk about it to anyone? Want to be inspired and know how to make a difference?
It doesn’t matter what level of understanding you start with; whether you’re a teacher, a farmer, a lawyer or a student. AimHi is running a live, interactive course supported by the Eden Project that will give you the confidence to talk about the climate crisis to anyone.
Rather than overwhelming you with data and charts, AimHi’s course empowers and inspires, covering key concepts of climate, nature, behavioural psychology and creative approaches to communication. Join lesson 1 as part of the festival!
How to talk about the climate crisis to anyone
(in a way that makes a difference)
Matthew Shribman, Steph Lau, Henry Waite, Paul Turner
Cambridge Cohousing Community: A Sustainability Perspective
Tahawar Hussain, Frances Wright
K-1 at Marmalade Lane is Cambridge’s first cohousing community. Putting the concept of cohousing into practice can be an effective method to address the all-important social aspect of the sustainability principle, which is often ignored and overshadowed by environment/climate change discussion in the sustainability dialogue. The session will introduce the Marmalade Lane Cohousing Community, its sustainability features, innovative approach to its establishment, and would offer perspectives by its residents Frances Wright and Tahawar Hussain (a new Marmalade Lane resident experiencing Cohousing living for the first time).
Join the sesssion without registering with Meeting ID: 748 3002 9871 and Passcode: yuVae9 or by clicking the link.
Fens Biosphere: Community Resilience in Action
Mark Nokkert and Rachael Brown
Inspiring people and empowering communities: a key ambition of the developing UNESCO Fens Biosphere is to act as a central hub to enable knowledge exchange and inspire community action to tackle climate, biodiversity and resource issues at a local level, leading to greater community resilience. This talk will set out the big vision of the growing partnership behind nominating the Fens and surrounding areas as the next UNESCO Biosphere in the UK, and will give examples of how we aim to bring communities together and inspire people to take action.
7 Spheres – The Living Earth
Earth system science divides the Earth into 7 Spheres, almost as layers of an onion. All the spheres have a critical role for life on Earth and all must be taken care of for life to thrive. Come and join us as we explore the 7 Spheres in a fun and interesting way, learn about our work in schools and how you can use our card games. If you understand how the world works, you can be passionate about taking care of it, fully understanding the impact your actions have on the planet and how you can change to have a more sustainable lifestyle.
Please see below for details of the events available on 9th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
US Science and Technology Perspectives on Energy
Paul M. Dabbar
Imagine a world with cheap, abundant solar power; where we roll off spools of inexpensive and even coloured, high-performance solar panels like newsprint. Such prospects would drive expansive carbon-free electrification, which is ultimately necessary for achieving critical emission targets. High-performance, lightweight and flexible solar panels will also enable new solutions to power electric vehicles, aerial communication vehicles and satellites. Moreover, these innovations would enable electricity to reach the 1.3 billion people around the world who currently cannot access such resources.
A recently discovered semiconducting material, metal halide perovskites, has the potential to realize this exciting future. In this talk, I will show the remarkable potential for these materials for solar power. I will highlight recent breakthroughs as well as key challenges still to be overcome to enable commercialisation of these promising technologies.
Monday 9th November
Focus on energy transitions
Why does the environment matter to us?
Dame Fiona Reynolds, Lord Chris Smith, Dr Mike Rands
Paul M. Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science, serves as the Department’s principal advisor on fundamental energy research, energy technologies, and science. Science and tech development continue to drive US innovation in many energy sectors- including fusion, next- gen battery development, solar energy, CCUS, and more. This talk will highlight the work among the US National Labs, US universities, other US agencies, and private industry.
An emerging solar photovoltaic technology poised to revolutionise energy generation
Join Dame Fiona Reynolds, the Master of Emmanuel College, Lord Chris Smith, the Master of Pembroke College, and Dr Mike Rands, the Master of Darwin College, as they discuss why the environment matters.
2050: A New World
Elizabeth Tennyson, Savia Palate, Laura Bentley, and Pamela Ribone
We present 2050 - A New World: a policy-making boardgame where players develop strategies to move towards a future where climate change is mitigated. They must make tough decisions with limited resources. We ask: what would you be willing to change for a sustainable, resilient life? Players will enact policies to guide their assigned city towards its 2050 sustainability goals, by reallocating local resources across five general categories (energy, food, nature, shelter, and water) to make each more sustainable.
We will play the game online using multiple digital interfaces concurrently to create an interactive environment. Only internet access is required (i.e. no signups necessary). We will begin all in one Zoom call and then break out into separate Zoom rooms (~6-10 people/room), each controlling one city. One of the organisers will moderate the game within the room to answer any questions raised during game play. This is a highly collaborative game which will require input from all members in order to reach the 2050 goals. Onc.e finished, all rooms will reconvene and there will be a brief discussion period
Delivering a resilient, net zero economy: How
do we transition infrastructure at pace in
the race to zero?
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG)
This webinar is the first of the series: Delivering a resilient, net zero economy, providing a call to action and supporting enhanced collaboration between policymakers and business leaders that feeds into UK business climate leadership, policy, the green recovery and the Government’s COP26 campaign. The webinar’s aim is to examine the challenges of how we transition national infrastructure towards a resilient net zero vision. It will take a place-based approach to look at the role of business in accelerating the transition, opportunities for innovation, where new approaches may be required and the policy levers required to release private investment. This webinar is targeted at business, policy and NGO audiences.
Link coming soon
Sustainable Energy Transition of Local Government Units in Palestine
Yasser M. Khaldi
The “Sustainable Energy Transition of Local Government Units in Palestine” investigates the significance of local planning and actions, which is is often overlooked by most MENA countries because of dependence on central authorities to steer the sustainable energy transition. The research joins the new research agenda that managing transitions are essential, but not enough because it needs to explicitly include the concept of energy justice in transition practice. Hence, the objective of this research is to conceptualize the occurring energy injustice towards the local level in Palestinian renewable energy sector using the lens of transition management levels (strategic, tactical and operational). Moreover, the research seeks to assess the technical and financial potential of LGUs in developing utility-scale solar power plant to contribute to the sustainable energy transition and as means of restoring energy justice.
To join this session, please click the link below and enter the password: freepali21
Finding out how to actually solve climate change. + Q&A
Eric Steinberger, Climate Science
Climate change is complex and the communication around solutions to it often misguided. Many incorrectly see plastic is as the greatest evil and consider natural gas a clean source of electricity. This talk will cover ClimateScience’s perspective on real solutions to climate change and how to communicate them to the public.
Turning Carbon Dioxide to Alcohol: Prepare for a Wild Ride!
I will show you how to convert greenhouse gas – CO2 – to alcohol using electricity.
Rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) lead to global warming and consequential environmental and societal changes. Plants convert CO2 using sunlight to sugars and fruits for eons – something we mammals cannot do. Using newly developed materials and processes, we humans can mimic the nature and convert CO2 – using cheap electricity – to alcohols and fuels. We can power the cars with them. Why should we do it? It is simple - one liter of gasoline contains about 100x more energy than equivalent size of the lithium battery. Prepare for a wild ride!
Climate Action Video Competition
UCSI University/Centre of Excellence for Research, Value Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and it is happening at an accelerated pace, presenting an urgent threat. Despite the urgency, we are far from powerless in the face of this global threat. Climate action involves taking urgent action to combat climate change and this forms the central theme of Goal 13 of the UN-SDG. Such actions include adoption of new technologies as well as making climate friendly lifestyle choices. University students were invited to create video presentations showcasing their climate action ideas for this competition. The Climate Action Video Competition was open to 20 Public and 47 Private Malaysian Universities and 13 GAUC Universities.
Watch the competition entries
Transition metal oxides as catalysts for oxygen electrocatalysis
Zhichuan J. Xu
Exploring efficient and low-cost oxygen electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions (ORR and OER) is critical for developing renewable energy technologies like fuel cells and water electrolyzers. This presentation will present a systematic study on oxygen electrocatalysis (ORR and OER) of transition metal spinel oxides. The potential of transition metal oxides as low cost catalyst materials for ORR and OER will be given.
Next Generation pH Sensors
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution the ocean has become increasingly more acidic due to uptake of atmospheric CO2. It is evident there is an urgent need for in situ pH measurements to provide a high spatial and temporal resolution. However, todays ship-based measurements cannot achieve this, and whilst the introduction of intelligent and low-cost autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) provide the platform to obtain the data, the development of small, fast, low power, and reliable pH sensors for deployment on these smaller AUV’s is lagging behind.
ANB Sensors Ltd, a UK micro-SME, was formed based on its success in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X-Prize Competition. ANB have identified and filed patents for a disruptive, enabling technology which allows for the measurement of pH in demanding aqueous media, such as drinking water and seawater. ANBs pH sensor is ideally suited for today’s AUVs as, coupled with the fact that the technology provides accurate measurements without the need to re-calibrate, it is also packaged into a small form factor.
ANB is currently running an INNOVATE UK government grant funded project to translate its sensing technology into a system suitable for AUV deployment. This presentation will highlight the solid state chemistry behind the concept, detail results from recent field trials, and show how the sensing technology is being adapted to AUV systems for full integration trials in 2020.
What really makes a difference? The role of resource efficiency in mitigating climate change
Dr Jonathan Cullen
Resources is the name given to the energy and materials extracted from nature to satisfy the demands of modern society. By mapping resource flows, we can understand how efficient we are at transforming resources into useful things and identify what actions really make a difference for mitigating climate change.
Challenges and opportunities from increasing renewable generation in the Indian Power System
About 70% of India’s current energy mix comprises of coal, and the increase in generation from renewable (RE) sources is affecting the health of the power system. We investigated this effect through the lens of asset utilisation, cost and the social disruption caused by accelerating RE into the Indian Power System. Our analysis revealed that increasing RE generation is pushing the coal plants to operate in low-loading conditions, causing heightened wear and tear of the plant as they are not suitable for flexible operation. The novel analysis of social disruption due to market parity between RES and coal-based generation presented a holistic view of the political economy of Indian Power System. We found that transition from coal to RE may have extended socio-political ramifications that can potentially disrupt the national economy at an unprecedented scale. Policy implications outlined by our study for the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 include scoping a socio-technical framework which supports just energy transition through better financial support mechanisms for flexible operation of coal plants. Focusing on clean-up over shut-down of coal plants and facilitating investments in battery storage technologies and cross-border electricity trade as RE and conventional fuel reach market parity.
Please see below for details of the events available on 10th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
Sustainable transport is not just something that comes from top down – it needs a commitment from businesses, communities and individuals. Come and hear how flourishing start-ups in Cambridge have based their model on climate-positive solutions and how actions from local communities can make a great impact on your air quality and road traffic. Do we have the infrastructure and public will to welcome more e-bikes and other low carbon vehicles in Cambridge? Join the discussion!
Tuesday 10th November
Focus on zero-carbon transport
Cleantech Solutions for Sustainable Living in Cambridge
The air we breathe: practices of care
Marina Velez, Douglas Crawford-Brown,
Paul Linden, Sarah Strachan
Focusing on practices of care, this conversational event brings together four disciplines in the context of environmental issues and air quality. Curator Marina Velez, environmental scientist Douglas Crawford-Brown, mathematician Paul Linden and artist Sarah Strachan will be discussing Sarah’s work 'The Air We Breathe’. Involving families around the world, this collaborative art work reflects on personal experience of air quality and intergenerational environmental justice, touching upon the idea that our childhood experiences of the environment are hard wired into our ecological thinking and establishes awareness for the rest of our life. Our conversation will explore artistic and scientific ways of addressing the same subject and will investigate commonalities in art and science practices of care. Event presented by Anglia Ruskin University
Sustainable Futures Academy Showcase
Naomi Clements-Brod, David Cain
In an era of increased uncertainty, pandemics, climate change and habitat loss, of unmitigated exploitation of natural resources amid conflict and poverty – how can we think about, plan and implement sustainable futures? These complex problems require interdisciplinary responses.
Researchers, creative professionals and young people from Cambridge and Berlin have worked together to explore creative responses to a sustainable future. Tune in at 6pm on 10 November to explore their responses across a mix of multimedia including (but not limited to) sound, poetry and visual art, ask them questions about their ideas.
The Sustainable Futures Academy (SFA) is a joint project between the University of Cambridge, the Berlin School of Public Engagement and Open Science, the Museum für Naturkunde and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.
Environmental storytime - Paula Helps Prevent Air Pollution
A reading of “Paula Helps Prevent Air Pollution” by author Claire Culliford followed by fun, educational activities based around the story’s main themes.
Making the invisible visible: understanding and mapping air pollution
Lorena Gordillo Dagallier, Raphaël Jacquat
This will be an interactive workshop for the whole family to learn and think about the very small particles that are polluting our air and the impact they have on us.
The session will start with a short presentation to learn about air pollution in general, and how we can detect small particles in air. An interactive quiz session will follow, focused on thinking about common sources of particulate pollution. In the last part of the session, the participants will have the opportunity to remotely test an air quality sensor, which will be streamed live, and make ‘invisible’ particles visible.
Registration isn't required for this session. Join the session by clicking the link below and then enter the password CZfestival
How to de-carbonise transport?
Transport accounts for 40% of the UK’s total energy consumption. De-carbonising transport will therefore make a huge impact. It can also be achieved more rapidly than in other sectors (e.g. domestic heating). That makes it a high priority to set us on a carbon reduction trajectory that complies with the Paris Agreement. In this talk, Edward Leigh will address four key questions: How long have we got? Why is electrification not the answer? What lifestyle changes do we need to make? How can we build consensus around making those changes?
Please see below for details of the events available on 11th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
Discover the power of creative writing through this workshop in which you are invited to make up songs, stories, poems or prose, individually and together. All levels of experience welcome, from novice to professional - all that is needed is a desire to respond to the world and express yourself through creativity. We’ll draw inspiration from what you have learned throughout this festival, including your reactions to how climate change could affect people, wildlife or landscapes. Then we’ll begin imagining solutions for a better future, because our sustainable world can only start in the imagination.
Wednesday 11th November
Focus on nature
Let’s Put The World To Writes: Sustainable Future Writing Workshop
Angus Forbes, Cindy Forde (Moderator), Christine McDougall, Tyson Yunkaporta
We can’t solve our problems with the same thinking that created them. This panel invites you to get acquainted with the work of three pioneers drawing new maps for a world with a future. Tyson Yunkaporta ask us to consider a new paradigm of being and thinking, grounded in wisdom that enabled successful stewardship of Earth for over 50,000 years. Christine McDougall explores how the design of our enterprises and organisations can set us on a path to regeneration. Angus Forbes outlines how global governance of our biosphere is our vital next step, and how we’re going to achieve it.
Bringing together computer and forest science for a better world
David Coomes and Srinivasan Keshav
Forest conservation and restoration are critical not just for preserving biodiversity but also for bulk carbon sequestration. In this talk, Professor David Coomes and Professor Srinivasan Keshav will touch upon some examples where recent advances in computer science, including IoT, AI, big data, and blockchains can be used to solve real problems in the area of forest conservation and restoration.
The Earth Fights Back: spooky stories from the natural world
Settle in for an evening of spooky stories for a dark winter evening: traditional tales of what nature can do to those who don’t respect her. For brave 8-year-olds upwards
Our urban forest and a future-proof city
Climate change is upon us. Combatting the climate crisis poses one of the biggest challenges of our time. The global scale of this problem makes it feel that there is little we can do to help in the fight. But that is far from the case.
To create change globally, each of us has a role to play. By greening our homes and gardens, for example by planting more trees, can make a difference.
The Cambridge Canopy Project will discuss how you can get involved to help manage our trees, and how our collective efforts can help combat climate change.
Saving the oaks - a community response to (another) ecocide
‘Save The Oaks’ is a UK-wide campaign to rescue oak saplings, scheduled to be destroyed, and get individuals, families, community groups and more planting them this coming winter season. During lockdown we have raised nearly £10,000 and will be planting 30,000 oaks across this land shortly.
Busy Bee Communication
Ever wondered how bees communicate with each other to work as a team? This activity will teach you all about how bees can ‘smell’ each other when visiting flowers and the important job these pollinating insects carry out. You will also find details on how we can help give these insects a helping hand, including how to build your very own bee-friendly winter refuge.
The Museum of Zoology is one of Cambridge's major attractions, displaying thousands of specimens spanning the entire animal kingdom, from elephants, giant ground sloths and giraffes, to birds, reptiles, insects and molluscs. It is part of the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology and as well as being open for the public to enjoy, our collections are used for academic study by researchers and students worldwide.
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How protected areas contribute to reducing impacts of climate change
This session will describe how protecting and conserving nature can offer solutions to climate change. We need to recognise that we live in an age where we need new stories to reshape the direction in which our world is heading – whether the stories are about the restoration and protection of forests and wetlands by absorbing and storing carbon or creating green roofs and walls and planting trees in cities to moderate the impacts of heatwaves, nature can provide an affordable solution.
On the verge Cambridge
Ben Greig and Claire Wallace
Why are wildflowers and pollinating insects so important? Well, much of the food we grow depends upon pollinators many of which are in serious decline. The huge drop in insect numbers is also a major factor in once-common species like hedgehogs and starlings becoming endangered. But there are simple ways that we can address this and make our road verges, city parks and gardens more wildflower and pollinator-friendly. For instance, we started in autumn 2019 reseeding the city park wildflower meadows. This autumn we will sow more but also we are thinking bigger. We want our whole road verge network managed better for flowers and insects. This can be done simply by changing the mowing regime.
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Antarctica - Mysteries of the ice
Antarctica, the world’s most southerly continent, contains 90% of the world’s ice. It’s of great interest to scientists as the edges are melting as our planet warms. Giant rivers of ice have formed enormous floating ice shelves, hundreds of metres thick. But how is climate change affecting these tongues of ice – and why do we care? In this talk with British Antarctic Survey scientist Dr Ella Gilbert, you can find out:
- Why an ice shelf is like a sandwich
- The unexpected ways that ice shelves affect sea-level rise
- What it’s like to fly along the edge of an ice shelf
Emperor Penguin - Super Bird
A public talk, giving an incredible insight into Antarctica's most iconic bird, by British Antarctic Survey Scientist Peter Fretwell. Peter teaches us about the six ‘superpowers’ unique to emperor penguins that allow them to survive the harshest environment on earth.
Peter is Principal Investigator for the 'Wildlife from Space' project, using satellite technology to identify, count and monitor different species in Antarctica and elsewhere (including emperor penguins!) Learn more: https://www.bas.ac.uk/project/wildlife-from-space/
Plants and Climate Change trail virtual tour
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Take a virtual tour of the plants and climate change trail at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Discover some of the plants in the garden that are likely to respond to climate change, some plantings that have been designed to cope with the changing climate and plants that could be used in the battle against climate change and its impacts.
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Please see below for details of the events available on 12th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
We have been polluting our planet with greenhouse gases for decades, and we need to a) stop continuing to put more gases into the atmosphere and b) undo the damage we have caused. It is like a bathtub filling with dirty water; we need to turn the taps off but we also need to drain it. Greenhouse gas removal hasn’t even started in earnest – we don’t even have a strategy for which options should be used.
We will have an ‘In Conversation’ session with Shaun Fitzgerald, who has recently joined the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge working with Sir David King, and Claire Barlow from the Engineering Department, bringing some manufacturing industry focus, to hear about the various options which have been devised thus far and the plans to compare their strengths and weaknesses. If we are to get serious with greenhouse gas removal, we need a strategy soon so that we can start scaling up the right options.
Session full - recording coming soon
Thursday 12th November
Focus on adaptation and resilience
Claire Barlow and Shaun Fitzgerald in conversation: greenhouse gas removal choices
Claire Barlow and Shaun Fitzgerald
Intelligent cities forum
Kurunathan A/L Ratnavelu, Eric Chan Wei Chiang
This forum brings together experts from various disciplines to speak about intelligent cities. Intelligent cities are key enablers to drive smart, sustainable growth and boost job creation while tackling economic, environmental and social challenges. Advanced technologies, such as new sensing and communication technologies, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and blockchain, offer substantial opportunities to cities to test and scale up climate-neutral traffic systems, clean mobility, digital twins, local renewable energy solutions, smart waste management, smart health management, new forms of entrepreneurship and a well-functioning local circular economy.
Sustainable food choices: From crop cultivation to global food security and individual eating choices
Andrew Balmford, Helen Curry, Nazia Mintz-Habib and Amy Munro-Faure
This session will explore food choices ranging from crop diversity and how we choose what to plant, to global food security and its impact. Speakers will also consider the interaction between food retailer choices on what to offer, and individual food selection and the impact this has on overall carbon emissions.
Covid-19 has shown us we need new food systems that can stand external shocks and sustain the environment. The Panel will discuss how we can create the necessary conditions for a resilient and sustainable food system both nationally and internationally, taking into considerations the needs of the different actors and countries that make up the food supply chain. You don't need to register, just click below to access the meeting (password: 155464)
Hannah Jane Walker
The poet Salena Godden wrote the poem ‘Pessamism is for Lightweights’ in 2017. It was performed by 1,000 people at March 4 Women. It was performed in Parliament Square with Extinction Rebellion and it continues to ring out loud and clear in peaceful protests and festival fields. One of the lines of the poem states ‘there is power and strength in optimism’. This workshop will use the ideas of optimism and pessimism and use poetry writing as a way fo exploring feelings and concerns about climate change
Cambridge City Council Climate Change Strategy 2021-2026
Cambridge City Council
Cambridge City Council is developing its new Climate Change Strategy for the next five years. This workshop will provide an opportunity for Cambridge residents to give their views on how the city can manage the impacts of climate change, which are likely to including higher temperatures and heatwaves, water shortages, and increased seasonal rainfall and flooding. This workshop is one of 5 on the Council’s Climate Change Strategy, which will be taking place throughout November. The other four workshops will focus on how carbon emissions can be reduced in Cambridge and the city can reach net zero carbon emissions.
Fixing the food systems: resilience and sustainability, a reality?
Prof. Cristiane Derani, Dr Shailaja Fennell, Prof. Ken Giller, and Prof. Jaideep Prabhu. Chaired by Prof. Howard Griffiths
Prem Gill and Cindy Forde
Prem Gill and Cindy Forde look at how we can learn to see the world differently.
Prem, PhD Candidate with the Scott Polar Research Institute, British Antarctic Survey and WWF, will talk about his project "Seals from Space" and the implications of AI and immersive technology for the conservation world.
Cindy, founder of Planetari, the first education system aligned to the UNSDGs, will explore why education needs to change if we are to achieve a zero carbon future.
Closing the waste loop: one example of reusing incineration ash in Singapore
Zhichuan J. Xu
Closing the waste loop is a critical and global challenge. The countries with small lands facing such a critical issue much more urgent due to the limited space for waste landfill. This presentation introduces a new strategy to recycle and reuse the incineration ash for value added products in Singapore. It may inspire more effort in exploring more strategies and technical approaches for closing the waste loop.
What Makes Up Flood Water?
It’s easy to think of floodwater as just being muddy water from a river but the reality is that it can come from a variety of different sources and be a potent mix of some very dangerous elements. These can have significant impacts on health and cause extensive damage to both the natural and built environment. With flood risk increasing across the UK and globally, it’s important that we understand the threat that flood water can pose and consider how we can adapt.
Within this episode of ‘Hazard + Hope’, Ed Barsley discusses the wide range of different ingredients that can make up flood water and what can be done to reduce the volume and type of contaminants within this mix.
Keeping track of changes in the climate is vital and scientists have
been working out ways of measuring and recording weather conditions
for centuries. Explore a range of devices from the Whipple Museum collection for measuring sunshine, temperature, pressure and "air comfort", and design your own measuring machine.
Of Mountains and Seeds
This session considers the works of Indigenous thinkers and poets. It will reflect on how language and poetry can help us understand relations between humans and non-humans, to be attentive to local markers and traces in ecology, and how the deep histories of elements can also be inferred from seeds. Through a literary reading of a recent translation of late Dongria Kondh poet and elder Dambu Praska’s song (Lament of Niyamraja, a film by Surya Shankar Dash), the talk will discuss how literary metaphors are archives of interpretations of the climate crisis as confronted already by several Indigenous communities.
Land-based carbon drawdown for food, ecosystem and climate security
Agriculture and ecosystems are tipping toward collapse due to land use and climate extremes. Irreversible feedbacks in the land system can lock in food insecurity, biodiversity loss and a hot house world. However regenerating agro-ecosystems is possible and can be profitable.
In this talk, Prof Justin Borevitz will introduce the components of precision landscape regeneration, linking genotype, phenotype and environment, and the outsized role Australia can have in the world. The solutions are to both increase carbon capture via photosynthesis of grasses and trees and to reduce emissions from plant stress (autotrophic respiration) and soils (heterotrophic respiration). Smart farming practices including regenerative agriculture and ecosystem restoration can rebuild agro-ecosystems. This includes methods for boosting soil carbon with microbes and management. Integrating and scaling these land based solutions can build planetary health and resilience.
Decarbonising a University using Science Based Targets
The University of Cambridge has set a Science Based Target committing itself to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions to absolute zero by 2048, with an aspiration to be a decade ahead of its decarbonisation pathway at all times and to reach zero-carbon by 2038.
The programme of works to achieve this ambitious target includes:
•looking at options to eliminate gas used for space and water heating;
•developing renewables on University land;
•sourcing all of the University’s electricity from zero carbon sources;
•energy efficiency improvements across the University’s estate.
In addition to outlining the approach being taken by the University of Cambridge, this session will discuss the challenges involved including the setting of boundaries in a complex and highly devolved governance structure and measuring scope 3 emissions. It will also cover the opportunities and challenges that Covid-19 presents for advancing the University’s carbon reduction agenda.
The UK Climate Assembly — Process & Outcomes
The UK Climate Assembly is a UK-wide citizens’ assembly with randomly selected participants commissioned by six select committees of the House of Commons. The assembly considered important policy options that will guide the UK’s path to NetZero in the next decades to come. The project involved 108 randomly select citizens from across the UK come together over several weekends to learn about climate change and develop recommendations to parliament on what measures should be implemented, and how decisions should be made as part of the NetZero transition. This workshop will provide insights into the process design, and what we can learn from the citizens’ deliberations.
Storm Over Paradise; The Save Nairobi National Park Campaign
Nyandire Reinhard Bonke
Reinhard won a Chevening Scholarship to the University of Cambridge to pursue an MPhil. Conservation Leadership. He is keen on advocating for Sustainable Development and on running initiatives linking people to nature. Some of his major professional achievements includes, re-drafting Kenya’s Wetlands Policy, organizing the first ever African Youth Conference on Climate Change and devising wide-ranging and strategic conservation activities. He led and engaged with conservation networks in Kenya to lobby for more sustainable and accountable national conservation leadership.
How developing countries are adapting and building resilience to climate change - focus on Bangladesh
Professor Saleemul Huq
The adverse impacts of climate change are already occurring around the world. As a geographically disadvantaged area, Bangladesh has lived with climate disasters for ages and has learnt to live with them, gradually minimizing the casualties of life and property. All countries must gear up their ability to be better prepared for the impacts before they occur through enhancing adaptive capacity.
In the case of Bangladesh, we have learnt to live with nature and disasters, harnessing the opportunities from these challenges. With the purpose of sharing knowledge for adaptation from the LDCs for South-South-North collaboration, ICCCAD is leading the LDC University Consortium of Climate Change (LUCCC). LUCCC is in the process of collating the best practices of disaster management and community-based adaptation and resilience. Through our coordinated efforts, Bangladesh can emerge as the learning capital of the world on how to tackle climate change and make the country more resilient.
Please see below for details of the events available on 13th November. Register to join a live session or follow the links to watch our on demand content.
Stay tuned as we will keep adding more content before the festival begins!
Aimed at leaders and practitioners in the fields of finance and business, this panel will explore the role of the finance industry – and sustainable finance in particular – in building zero carbon, equitable and sustainable economies post COVID-19.
The Future we Want initiative of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), has promoted a global conversation amongst leaders in business, government, civil society and academia about our long-term collective future post COVID-19.
Together we are exploring the critical questions that need to be answered in order to enhance our understanding and improve decision-making by leaders to secure the Future we Want.
This webinar will consider some key themes that emerged from a global call for questions run by CISL, which invited leaders and practitioners to identify questions which need to be considered in order to shift towards a sustainable economy.
Key themes to be discussed are:
•The role of finance in protecting and restoring nature
•How the finance system can be ‘rewired’ to include sustainability in decision making
•The performance and potential of ‘sustainable assets’
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Friday 13th November
Focus on finance
The role of sustainable finance in delivering the Future we Want post COVID19
Nina Seega (Chair), Simon Connell, Paul Fisher, Greg Lowe, Madeleine Ronquest
Climate Change and Finance
Matthew Agarwala, Kamiar Mohaddes, Cristina Peñasco, Simone Schnall
Bringing the global economy in-line with the Paris Agreement and national commitments to deliver net zero will require massive investments in the energy system, food system, transport infrastructure, built environment, production processes, recycling and waste management systems, and more. Estimates of the amount of finance needed to deliver such changes range from $1.6 trillion to $3.8 trillion every year between 2016 and 2050. Featuring cutting-edge research from across Cambridge Zero’s climate economics community, this session offers an inside-look at how to measure country-level climate risk, the impact of ESG performance on stock returns during the pandemic, and the role of green investment banks and other financial institutions in mitigation and adaptation.
No registration needed, join the meeting by clicking the link below.
Sustainability, circular economy and impact investment
In this session Dr Khaled Soufani, Director of the Circular Economy Centre (CEC), will discuss sustainability, circular economy and impact investment.
The business implications of climate change – taking a risk management approach to manage the unknown
The largest wildfires recorded in the Western US, record high temperatures in Siberia, melting ice-sheets - climate change is the most complex risks facing society presently and a risk we can no longer avoid. We must learn to live with the impacts that are already here, while simultaneously reducing GHG emissions to avoid further deterioration. For businesses, the impacts of climate change mean a need to implement risk management responses to properly manage the physical, transition and legal impacts, but also to identify the potential business opportunities that early adaption may present.
The Green New Deal in the Shadow of Keynes – old ideas for new challenges?
Accelerating climate change has propelled the Green New Deal to prominence. But is it the right strategy for a green economic transition? In this presentation, I explore the Green New Deal’s coherence and suitability as a response to ecological catastrophe. Retracing the intellectual history of New Deal-era economic thought, I show how outdated Keynesian preoccupations create troubling paradoxes within contemporary proposals for the Green New Deal. These Keynesian legacies, the product of an era in which economy and ecology were treated as separate entities, may be unfit for the project of rethinking economy and society within the Anthropocene.
Pragmatism and Morality
Closing ceremony with Jonathon Porritt
Join us for the closing ceremony of the first Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival where Jonathon Porritt will join us to discuss the ways in which individuals and organisations can make any necessary decisions in terms of addressing the Climate Emergency, and how that’s likely to change over the next few years.
Cyanobacteria and microalgae: our green future
The current challenges for the agriculture sector include increasing crops yield without expanding of agricultural land, while at the same time reducing the environmental damage thus preserving natural resources, soil, and water for future generations. The green revolution 4.0 based on biotechnology of cyanobacteria, microalgae and the Crisp/Cas9 system have the potential to completely change the current agricultural sector. This group of microorganisms is one of the most promising sources for biotechnological production of new biologically active compounds for medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and especially as a food source in near future.
Children and the Circular Economy – Gobble the Gobbling
The story of “Gobble the Gobbling” by M.A. Nestor. Narrated by Marion Leeper. Suitable for young and old.
Gobble has used all the natural resources available on his planet, so what can he do? Join Marion Leeper storyteller as she narrates this fun and educational story which explains in a simple and fun story how the circular economy works.
Universal Ownership and Systemic Risks
The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare many pre-existing conditions of modern society. Besides the obvious lack of pandemic preparedness, these include biodiversity loss, air pollution, supply chain vulnerabilities, and inequality, to name a few – all systemic risks that threaten the health and wellbeing of humans, the environment, or both. For universal owners this is their belief made manifest, proof that externalities generated in one part of the system can add outsized costs to the rest. This presentation explores how institutional investors can affect systemic risks like climate change or global pandemics.
Meet The Speakers
We are grateful to all of our speakers who are taking part in our climate change festival. See below to find out more about some of the speakers who will be joining us over the week.
Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is a ‘veteran campaigner’ and eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development.
He is also a Non-Executive Director of Willmot Dixon Holdings, Chancellor of Keele University, and is involved in the work of many NGOs and charities as Patron, Chair or Special Advisor. He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) of which he is still a member; a Trustee of WWF-UK (1991-2005) and a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency (1999-2008).
He stood down as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in July 2009 after nine years of providing high-level advice to Government Ministers.
His new book, ‘Hope in Hell’, is published in June 2020. His recent books are ‘The World We Made’ (2013), ‘Capitalism As If The World Matters’ (Earthscan, revised 2007), Globalism & Regionalism (Black Dog 2008) and Living Within Our Means (Forum for the Future 2009).
Jonathon received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.
Dr Emily Grossman
Dr Emily Grossman is an internationally acclaimed science author, public speaker and TV personality, with a degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD in cancer research. She is best known as a science expert on TV shows such as Sky1’s Duck Quacks Don’t Echo and ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show and for her inspirational talks in schools, universities and at live events such as The Hay Festival, The Science Museum and Cheltenham Science Festival. A passionate advocate for equality and diversity in science, Emily has delivered a TEDx talk on Why Science Needs People Who Cry and was recently named the second Honorary STEM Ambassador, alongside astronaut Tim Peake, for her pioneering work in STEM education and as a role model to young people. She is the author of best-selling children’s book Brain-Fizzing Facts: Awesome Science Questions Answered, which has recently been shortlisted for the Teach Primary Book Awards 2020.