Cambridge Zero

A bold response to the world’s greatest challenge

The University of Cambridge is building on its existing research and launching an ambitious new climate change initiative. We are calling on the world’s brightest and best to join us in creating a zero-carbon future.

How we’re different

Cambridge Zero is not just about developing greener technologies. It will harness the full power of the University’s research and policy expertise, developing solutions that work for our lives, our society and our economy.

Dr Emily Shuckburgh

Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE

A world-leading climate scientist and gifted science communicator, Dr Emily Shuckburgh recently joined the University as Director of Cambridge Zero. In her previous role at the British Antarctic Survey she led a national research programme on polar climate change.

“Part of our responsibility as a globally influential academic institution is to take a leading role in helping our society move towards a sustainable future.”

Pioneering research

Cambridge Zero is bringing together a portfolio of cutting-edge research.

Zero-carbon energy transitions

Developing next-generation power and heating systems, batteries, photovoltaics, turbine design, and policies to enable the transition to a zero-carbon energy future, incorporating bioenergy and hydrogen economy.

Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance
Energy Transitions@Cambridge
Energy Policy Research Group
Nuclear Energy Centre
Whittle Laboratory
Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Policies and decision-making

Supporting evidence-based policymaking through climate science, behavioural science, health and wellbeing research, artificial intelligence tools, and legal, governance and management dimensions.

Bennett Institute
British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Centre for Climate Science
Centre for Diet and Activity Research
Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance
Energy Policy Research Group
Politics and International Studies
Public Health@Cambridge
Social Decision-Making Lab

Resources and production

Creating a zero-carbon circular economy incorporating sustainable industry and agriculture, resource efficiency, re-use of products, and recycling of embedded materials into durable new products.

Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology
Centre for Crop Science
Centre for Industrial Sustainability
Circular Economy Centre
Creative Circular Plastics Centre
Resource Efficiency Collective
The Use Less Group

Resilient economic futures

Building sustainability and climate risk assessment into all financial and business decisions, and thinking beyond GDP to redefine prosperity in terms of social and natural capital.

Bennett Institute
Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Cambridge Judge Business School
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
Conservation Research Institute

Transport, cities and infrastructure

Re-visioning mobility and urban planning by developing innovative solutions with autonomous vehicles, electric aircraft, district power systems, architectural design, and natural construction materials.

Centre for Digital Built Britain
Centre for Natural Material Innovation
Centre for Sustainable Development
Centre for Sustainable Road Freight
Computer Science & Technology
Energy Efficient Cities Initiative
Real Estate Research Centre
Resilient Materials for Life
Whittle Laboratory

Carbon drawdown and climate repair

Advancing carbon capture, geological storage, industrial utilisation and carbon nanotube production, natural climate solutions, and exploration of the legal, ethical and technological dimensions of climate repair.

Advanced Carbon Applications and Manufacturing Initiative
BP Institute
Centre for Climate Science
Combustion Research Group
Earth Sciences
Mechanics, Materials and Design

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Connecting partners

We are enhancing our existing networks of external engagement and collaboration, and actively seeking new partners, to create a platform for change.

Inspiring leadership

We are training a new generation of creative and innovative leaders to respond to this urgent global challenge.

Leading by example

Cambridge is the first university in the world to adopt a 1.5ºC science-based target for carbon reduction

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Renewable energy

Assessing the feasibility of developing a solar farm on University land, and sourcing all of the University’s electricity from renewable energy.

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Environmental building

All new University building projects must consider full carbon and financial lifecycle costs.

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Sustainable food policy

The Sustainable Food Policy has achieved a 33% reduction in carbon emissions per kilogram of food by changing product options at University catering outlets.

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Indirect carbon emissions

Looking at options to significantly reduce the amount of gas the University uses for space and water heating, through the use of heat pumps and other technologies.

Upcoming events

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