Dr Emily Grossman, Sir Jonathan Porritt, Tyson Yunkaporta

Cambridge researchers offer sneak peek of blueprint for green future as part of free week-long climate festival.

This Climate Change Festival offers us optimism in the midst of a global crisis

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope

The University of Cambridge kicks off its first global Climate Change Festival today (6 November), the first of eight days of free online climate-themed events for all ages.

Cambridge Zero, the University’s climate initiative, has partnered with the academic publishing powerhouse Cambridge University Press to offer a week of live panel sessions, pre-recorded talks demonstrations, stories and games, led by leading thinkers from science, academia, policy and community groups from around the world.

The Festival will start this afternoon with a preview of “A Blueprint for a Green Future,” Cambridge Zero’s report on the necessary policy changes needed build a sustainable future, which will be launched next week. The Director of Cambridge Zero, Dr Emily Shuckburgh, and some of the report’s authors will be discussing how to ensure a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

The Festival will also include live talks and panel sessions with leaders in the climate movement including scientist, TV personality and best-selling author Dr Emily Grossman; British environmentalist and writer Sir Jonathan Porritt; US Under Secretary for Science Paul M Dabbar and Australian Indigenous scholar and writer Tyson Yunkaporta.  

The Festival takes place at the time when the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) was due to take place in Glasgow, which has been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The eight days of online events, both live and on-demand, will cover the five themes of COP26: Energy Transitions, Zero Carbon Transport, Finance, Adaptation & Resilience, and Nature, along with a sixth theme of Green Recovery. Each of the eight days also covers one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Stephen J. Toope said: “This Climate Change Festival offers us optimism in the midst of a global crisis. By sparking collaboration and dialogue between the academic and non-academic communities, it will help us focus on what we can all achieve together, and shine a light on some of the solutions already being implemented locally, nationally and internationally. Taking place at the time when COP26 would have happened, it is a testimony to our commitment to tackling the global climate crisis.”

Director of Cambridge Zero, Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE said: “This is the moment to reset our priorities and to re-evaluate our relationships with each other and with the world that sustains us. This Festival is a chance for us to share some of the exciting research and new initiatives underway at Cambridge Zero, and beyond, to show how we all can make a difference and live more sustainably.”

All sessions are free to join with recordings made available to watch again on Cambridge Open Engage, the research and collaboration platform developed by Cambridge University Press.

To learn more about the festival, view the programme and register for events, visit the festival website, or follow @CambridgeZero on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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