This year, we have continued to grapple with the policy questions inherent in tackling the climate crisis. Early in 2020, we collaborated with Christ’s College, Cambridge to host the annual series of climate seminars; organised a roundtable discussion for our Policy Leaders Fellows on getting to absolute zero carbon emissions; and began a collaboration with Cambridge Zero to support policy engagement in the transition to a net zero society.
Policy and the Climate Crisis
Since 2018, CSaP has supported the Christ’s College Climate Seminar Series. This year was no exception, with a compelling array of speakers from academia and government, including Policy Fellow Alum Simon Sharpe, Policy Lead for COP26 at the Cabinet Office; Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Director of Cambridge Zero; and Julian Critchlow, Director General, Energy Transformation and Clean Growth, BEIS.
In December 2019, CSaP hosted a discussion with Professor Julian Allwood, in advance of the release of his Use Less Group’s Absolute Zero report. Professor Allwood also met CSaP Policy Leaders Fellows to discuss getting to absolute zero carbon emissions.
CSaP also worked with CirPlas, funded by UKRI’s Plastics Research and Innovation Fund, to facilitate engagement with policy stakeholders.
CSaP and Cambridge Zero
Since January 2020, CSaP has been working closely with Cambridge Zero, the University of Cambridge’s ambitious climate change initiative, to support policy engagement in the transition to a net zero society. Together, we have established the Cambridge Zero Policy Forum, a community of over 80 senior academics from across the University with an interest in tackling the policy challenges of net zero through a multidisciplinary lens. The Policy Forum has met to discuss topics including the green recovery and how to apply systems thinking to the transition to a clean economy and net zero society.
The Policy Forum contributed both to a briefing by the COP26 Universities Network on a Green Recovery and to the Cambridge Zero report A Blueprint for a Green Future, launching in November 2020. The Policy Forum has held a Policy Workshop on soils, and Cambridge Zero’s Director Dr Emily Shuckburgh spoke at the CSaP Annual Conference seminar on the Green Recovery. We reported on the net zero discussions at our Annual Conference in a bonus episode of our Science and Policy podcast – see the link below.
In the coming year, CSaP will continue to work with Cambridge Zero and the Cambridge Zero Policy Forum, by (among other things) supporting policy engagement at the national and local levels, engaging with University and regional stakeholders, and supporting Cambridge Zero Policy Forum Policy Interns.