Vice-Chancellor makes a zero carbon commitment

Vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge stands at a lectern in the Senate House to give his annual address to the University

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge has challenged all its departments, faculties and colleges to help meet the commitment to divest from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels by 2030 and to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2038. In his annual address to the University that marks the start of the new academic year, Professor Stephen Toope called on the 40,000-strong community of students, teachers and non-academic staff to apply creativity, resilience and empathy to create a sustainable future for the world in which we live. 

“The University is responding comprehensively to a pressing environmental and moral need for action with an historic announcement that demonstrates our determination to seek solutions to the climate crisis. We will approach with renewed confidence our collaborations with government, industry and research partners around the world as together we work for a zero carbon future.”

As departments of the University, Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press will contribute as part of the University’s Cambridge Zero climate change initiative. By generating ideas and innovations to help shape a sustainable future, Cambridge Zero seeks to equip future generations of leaders with the skills to navigate the global challenges of the coming decades. Beyond developing greener technologies, it aims to harness the full range of the University’s research and policy expertise, developing solutions that work for our lives, our society and our economy.

Amplifying the impact

As world leading educational and academic organisations within the University, Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press are in a unique position to amplify the impact of Cambridge Zero. By building on our track record of creating high quality educational resources and qualifications, from Early Years to Postgraduate levels, we are supporting positive change in the areas of research, knowledge transfer, learning and education in relation to environment and sustainability. 

For us this means working together to ‘Green the curriculum’, ensuring that learners of all ages are inspired with up-to-date science and that we take opportunities to broaden the curriculum. As an example, earlier this year OCR launched a consultation in response to a call for a new GCSE in Natural History.  Working closely with naturalist Mary Colwell, the Natural History Museum and many others, the proposed qualification will aim to offer learners the opportunity to engage with nature, as well as give environmental issues more prominence in the curriculum. It will also involve strengthening our climate science publishing to attract and disseminate the best quality research at all levels, positioning ourselves as a global influencer in tackling the climate crisis. And it means continuing to engage, empower and support our people to improve their personal and collective environmental sustainability practices here in the UK and around the world.

You can watch the Vice-Chancellor’s full address on the University’s YouTube channel.