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What can Cambridge do about climate change?

21 March 2016

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Reported by Adele Julier, NERC-Funded CSaP Policy Intern (January 2016 - April 2016)

For news items and recordings of the previous three seminars, click here (4 Feb, 11 Feb, 10 March).

In our final seminar of the 2016 Climate Change series, we heard from a panel of experts on what Cambridge could do to drive progress in sustainable living and combatting climate change.

David Bent chaired the session, and began with a summary of the seminars to date, outlining what he considered to be the main themes of the series to date. We then heard from Prof. Kennel on the measures that the University of California has put in place to ensure that it is leading on climate change both locally and internationally.

Lord Martin Rees contributed his thoughts on the importance of innovation and investment in Research and Development. He also stressed the importance of keeping climate change in the media and at the forefront of public debate, to incentivise politicians to act. The contributions of religious organisations must also, he said, not be underestimate, citing the example of the 2015 Papal Encyclical and its smoothing of the path to Paris 2015 for Catholic nations.

Polly Courtice spoke on the role of universities in educating undergraduates in issues such as climate change, regardles of their subject. She also outlined the importance of engaging with businesses in a manner that works for both industry and academia, and communicating climate risks in a way which incentivises action against short term effects of climate change on profits.

CSaP and Professor Kennel would like to thank those who attended and contributed so many thoughtful and insightful questions.

(Banner image from Vincent Parsons on Flickr)

Polly Courtice

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Professor Charles Kennel

University of California San Diego

Lord Martin Rees

Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge