How we’re different
Cambridge Zero is not just about developing greener technologies. It will harness the full range of the University’s research and policy expertise, developing solutions that work for our lives, our society and our economy.
Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE
A world-leading climate scientist and gifted science communicator, Dr Emily Shuckburgh is the Director of Cambridge Zero. She is also Reader in Environmental Data Science in the Department of Computer Science and Technology. In her previous role at the British Antarctic Survey she led a national research programme on polar climate change.
Cambridge Zero Research Symposia: Climate Science – 6 Oct 2021
Raheela Rehman summarises the first Symposium of this Michaelmas term, 'Climate Science'. Bringing together academics and early career researchers, the afternoon showcased the latest research taking place in this field across the University of Cambridge and British Antarctic Survey. The fundamental scientific models spanned the physical environment, from the atmosphere to the oceans and ice sheet loss.
6 December 2021
Southern Ocean front detection using unsupervised classification: A new paper on applied machine learning
This paper presents a complementary new approach for calculating ocean fronts using an unsupervised classification method called Gaussian mixture modelling (GMM) and a novel inter-class parameter called the I-metric. By researchers at the University of Cambridge, the British Antarctic Survey and Sorbonne University LOCEAN-IPSL Laboratory.
1 December 2021
Dr Joanna Depledge: reflections on Glasgow COP 26 beyond the headlines
Dr Joanna Depledge, expert in international climate change negotiations, unpicks the intricate global politics which underlined COP26 in Glasgow.
29 November 2021
Student Maryam Grassley at COP26’s People’s Summit
The People’s summit for Climate Justice in Glasgow was attended by Cambridge Student Maryam Grassley who has fed back the poignant quotes which moved her from the range of talks and discussions.
16 November 2021
COP26’s Extra Day Round Up - Saturday 13th November
On COP26’s impromptu Saturday, an agreement was made by the parties. Friederike Hartz stayed in Glasgow and caught almost all interventions, including an emotional plea from Tuvalu’s representative, emphasising the agreement’s human impact by showing his grandchildren.
15 November 2021
Careers to Solve the Climate Crisis
This summer, Cambridge Zero’s Rosa Prosser produced six short films which showcase current and future careers necessary to achieve net-zero by 2050. With COP26 and associated protests ongoing in Glasgow, it is clear a green recovery is necessary, and that young people are motivated to be a part of it. Providing the right information is pivotal to ensuring those at the beginning of their careers feel empowered to make their employment contribute to tackling the climate crisis.
2 November 2021
The latest research highlights and discoveries from Cambridge Zero and our partners featured in the news.
What is a ‘black swan’ event and why are they key to the climate crisis?
A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has revealed the physical changes, both underway and looming, that are a result of climate change - from harsher extreme weather to rising sea levels. At the request of governments, it looked at the growing possibility of ‘black swan’ events.
10 August 2021
UK COP26 Presidency to unveil visions of a global net zero future
This international collaboration, delivered by a global consortium led by Deloitte and facilitated by the University of Cambridge, AECOM, Radley Yeldar and One Young World, will help all nations of the world envision what a climate-resilient, net zero future would look like
19 June 2021
‘Overwhelming’ international support for more government action on environment, message-testing experiment finds
Ahead of COP26, a survey experiment taking in the UK, US, Brazil, India, China, Indonesia and Poland has found massive support for more action.
1 March 2021
"Cambridge Zero will help us imagine – and deliver – a better, healthier zero‑carbon future."
Cambridge Zero is bringing together a portfolio of cutting-edge research.
Cambridge Zero connects research groups and institutes across the University, joining up their research and policy expertise. This includes* researchers and projects within:
* not all of the research conducted by these groups is relevant to Cambridge Zero.
We are growing our existing external engagement and collaboration networks, actively seeking new partners to create a powerful platform for change.
Sustainability in business
The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) works directly with senior leaders, CEOs and boards of leading companies to align their strategy and commercial decisions with the Paris Agreement and drive the transition to net zero across their operations.
The Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement aims to increase awareness on company boards of the need for urgent action on climate change. It supports Chapter Zero, which provides a toolkit to help non-executive directors understand and respond to the impacts of climate change on their businesses.
It provides collaborative working space for stakeholders and hosts the Cambridge components of the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials research and the Faraday Institution, the UK’s independent institute for battery science and technology.
The Centre for Science and Policy's mission is to improve public policy through the more effective use of evidence and expertise, by creating opportunities for public policy professionals and academics to learn from each other.
The Cambridge Conservation Initiative is a collaboration between nine leading conservation organisations and the University, catalysing strategic partnerships across research, education, policy and practice to transform global understanding and conservation of biodiversity and secure a sustainable future.
Cambridge Enterprise supports the University in achieving knowledge transfer and research impact, by helping innovators, experts and entrepreneurs use commercial avenues to develop their ideas and expertise for the benefit of society.
Cambridge Cleantech unites the creators of new cleantech technologies with the financiers, partners and customers who can bring their products and services to fruition.
CISL’s Accelerator & Sustainability Hub helps local and regional entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups tackle the challenges of a transition to a sustainable economy.
The Centre for Sustainable Finance helps financial institutions mitigate the physical risks of climate change on their portfolios and prepare for the risks and opportunities of transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
The Centre for Risk Studies engages with organisations to recognise, analyse and manage the impacts of systemic risks. The annual Cambridge Global Risk Index assesses the potential of multiple threats, including extreme weather events, to disrupt global economic activity.
Cambridge University Press is a leading publisher in the field of climate and sustainability. It is working directly with researchers and educators to develop a new open platform for early research and collaboration, Cambridge Open Engage.
We are training a new generation of creative and innovative leaders to respond to this urgent global challenge.
The Living Lab for Sustainability brings together students, academics and staff to test new ideas, apply research to practice, and develop new solutions for enhancing sustainability within the University.
Students bring enthusiasm and ideas, academics bring world-renowned expertise and research, and staff bring practical advice and assistance, leading to more innovative interventions and effective results.
Our doctoral training programmes provide the next generation of researchers with the skills they need to become interdisciplinary leaders and produce cutting-edge research.
Sustainability in the curriculum
The University aims for all students to have access to formal or informal opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding relating to sustainability matters and solutions, and is consulting on how sustainability can be further embedded in the curriculum.
University primary school
The University of Cambridge Primary School is an inclusive, ambitious and innovative place of learning. By connecting primary educators with University researchers to create research-informed teaching resources and creative activities, it aims to support children to become agents of hope, able to contribute positively to their world.
Policy challenges collaboration
How can Cambridgeshire reach net zero emissions by 2050? Through the CUSPE Policy Challenges, a team of early-career researchers worked with the County Council to identify the required policy actions to achieve this goal.
Executive education and short courses
CISL’s sustainability leadership education programmes offer senior leaders insight into innovative, commercially compelling ways to address global trends.
Reducing direct emissions
We are assessing options to significantly reduce the amount of gas the University uses for space and water heating, and will develop plans to meet our future heat demand through low or zero carbon technologies.
We are one of a group of 20 UK universities that have joined forces to enter into a power purchase agreement, to secure 20% of our current electricity demand from a UK wind farm. We are assessing the feasibility of developing our own renewables.
Building for success
We are taking steps to ensure that lifecycle costs and carbon are key considerations in decisions relating to our development and refurbishment programme, utilising our own academic expertise in this area wherever possible.
Addressing indirect emissions
We are taking steps to better understand and reduce our indirect emissions, including those from flights, food and our wider supply chain. We will begin setting targets for these emissions this academic year.
Involving staff and students
Hospital for zero-carbon future
Cambridge Children’s, a new children’s hospital and research institute with Cambridge University Hospitals and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, aims to be an exemplar in carbon reduction as part of its role in providing a safer and more sustainable future for all.