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Our at-a-glance guide to every event at the Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival 2022

There are dozens of events on at the Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival 2022 in Cambridge, which runs from Friday, October 14 to Sunday, October 16.

Organised by the University of Cambridge’s Cambridge Zero initiative - its response to climate change - it is supported by the Cambridge Independent.

There are in-person and online events across the three days, with many at the Guildhall in central Cambridge.

All are free, and there are also on-demand online events and ongoing exhibitions across the three days, as we detail below.

Here’s our guide to what is on.


Emily Shuckburgh, of Cambridge Zero
Emily Shuckburgh, of Cambridge Zero

9.30-11am Opening Panel: What does Climate Accessibility means to you

Opening ceremony. Guest panellists will discuss what Climate Accessibility means to them and how this year’s festival can contribute to advancing climate solutions

  • Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge; +16; in-person

12-1pm Law & Climate Change

This session will give an overview of the Centre for Climate Engagement’s programme of work focused on law for climate action. We will explain why we see the legal world as an important part of the net zero transition and how we have been engaging with lawyers, academics, students, and business stakeholders on this topic.

  • +16; online

12-2pm Showcase climate action

Cambridge City Council is hosting a drop-in session so that you can find out more about what the City Council is doing to make Cambridge cleaner and greener.

  • Committee Room 1, The Guildhall; +16; in-person

12-1pm Climate Positive Solutions for Sustainable Smart Homes in Cambridge

  • From Cambridge Cleantech; +16; online

11-1pm Writing the curriculum for a Biodiversity badge for YUNGA and Finding and reducing your carbon footprint

These two events can be enjoyed together or on their own. For the Biodiversity Badge children will learn how to develop a non-formal curriculum to get children interested in Biodiversity. For reducing your carbon footprint the session will offer a practical online workshop for school student to work out their school carbon footprint

  • For secondary school teachers/students; online

12-1pm Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and its Implications for the Sustainable Development Goals

This event will feature three 10-minute presentations followed by a half-hour moderated Q&A session, during which the audience is invited to ask questions.

  • For academics/researchers; online

1-1.30pm Cambridge Science Centre: Life Works!

During this show you will meet Darwin and his family, and find out why we all look a bit the same – but different. Or visit during the weekend to have a go at hands-on exhibits. There area also chances to volunteer.

  • The Guildhall (Main Hall); for families; all ages; in-person

2-3pm Climate change – what’s health got to do with it?

Aseries of speakers will highlight the crucial links between climate and health and opportunities for joint solutions by showcasing projects currently being designed and implemented by the London Mayor, local authorities and research teams.

  • +16; online

2-3pm Passive Cooling in a hotter world

In this event, leading experts in environmental design, across academia and industry, will discuss opportunities for passive cooling retrofitting and construction in the UK and challenges that need to be overcome.

The Guildhall (small hall); +16; in-person

2-5pm Poster Workshop: Climate on the Streets!

Taking global climate movements such as Fridays for Future and the historic use of print in protest as a cue, this workshop encourages participants to express and articulate their environmental ideas and emotions through poster design.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); all ages; in-person

3-4pm The wildlife of the fields around Nine Wells

John Meed will describe his 10-year study of the wildlife in a square kilometre of arable land in the green belt south of Cambridge, with a focus on farmland bird indicator species, notably grey partridge, corn bunting and yellow wagtail.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); for secondary school age; in-person

3-4pm Students contributions to Climate Action and making Climate Accessible: Cambridge Hub

This one-hour presentation will cover how Cambridge Hub facilitates and supports students in becoming climate leaders and how others can do the same. What are our best practices to instil confidence in students and to break down barriers for students within higher education engaging in climate action and sustainable action?

  • +16; online

3-4.30pm A Guide to Building Greener, for all ages

A hands-on workshop, making houses and insulation panels, playing with windmills and water turbines.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); for early years and upwards; in-person

4-5pm Can we sue our way out of the climate crisis?

This panel will ask: what does this rise in litigious climate action mean for society as we race to meet climate targets? And, with development of attribution science, how does the future look?

  • Darwin College; +16; in-person and online

4-5pm How to make plant-based diets accessible to all

Learn about some simple changes you can make to your eating habits that can improve your health and energy levels that can also help the planet.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); +16; in person

5.30-6.30pm How do we Feed the World?

Which technologies, discoveries and inventions have made it possible to feed the world’s growing population? Our expert speakers will present technologies ranging from ancient methods of preserving food to modern gene sequencing.

  • Large Lecture Theatre at Department of Plant Sciences, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA; +16; in person

4-7pm William Pitt Seminar 2022 - Who’s in charge?

Chaired by Professor Emily Shuckburgh, director of Cambridge Zero, the 17th annual Pembroke College William Pitt Seminar will be Introduced by the master, Lord Chris Smith, and asks the question – ‘Who’s in charge?’.

  • +16; online

6.30-7.30pm Where are the Women?

This event will identify the key barriers to women's leadership across climate sectors, connecting gendered oppression to climate justice, climate action and leadership.

  • Keyne’s Hall, King’s College; +16; in-person

7-9pm Panel discussion: Is the Climate Emergency a failure of inclusion?

Insight and discussion on this key question.

  • Lee Hall, Wolfson College, Barton Road, CB3 9BB; +16; online

7-9pm Make Zoo and Mend: Sustainable Fashion at the Museum of Zoology

Join a fun, practical evening about sustainable fashion. Learn ways of mending or refashioning clothes and get top tips on how to be greener in our clothing choices with mini-workshops, drop-in activities and more.

  • Museum of Zoology; +16; in person


The Polar Museum
The Polar Museum

9-10.15am Can young people move beyond #FridaysforFuture? Mainstreaming youth in climate governance landscape

This panel discussion will look at climate governance structures through the youth engagement lens to ascertain how young people can be meaningfully engaged for positive climate action.

  • +16; online

10-4pm Ice from above: Remotely sensing the Arctic

Visit the Polar Museum and try out the relaunched interactive Arctic ice exhibit. Spin the wheel to discover how Arctic ice cover has changed over the last century. Learn how we sense temperature with one of our self-led activity boxes.

  • The Polar Museum, Lensfield Road CB2 1ER; children/families/all ages; in-person

10-11am Landfill Mountains

Rab Ferguson will read from his novel Landfill Mountains, about climate change and storytelling magic. Following the reading, Rab will lead discussion and workshop activities around making writing about climate change engaging and accessible – whether that be fiction or non-fiction.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); for young adults; in-person

10-12pm Empowering Climate Action through Game Play

Bartertown is a board game that imagines a world without money to test how social networks can be reshaped by an economy of favours and resource-sharing. The game acts as a decision-making tool for a warming world, one that fosters new relationships between economies, design, and the public. The game is appropriate for adults, teenagers, and everyone interested in cities, strategy, social justice and climate change.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); +16; in-person

10-12pm Inspiring Climate Change Solutions

This workshop aims to captivate and engage youth with the process and impact of climate change. This foundational knowledge is paired with interactive and empowering activities that will inspire youth to think and implement sustainable solutions to climate change at home and in the future.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); all ages; in-person

12-1pm Making Climate Change Accessible to All Through Education

This session will demonstrate how educators from all disciplines and countries can integrate climate change into their everyday teaching and equip their students with skills to develop innovative local solutions to this global problem.

  • For secondary school teachers; online

12-1pm Why green finance matters to you?

There are a lot of buzzwords out there - ESG (environmental social governance), green bonds, impact investing, sustainability-linked bonds – to name just a few. ‘Green finance’ is one of the fastest growing sectors in global financial markets, but what does this mean for real people? The Bennett Institute’s Matthew Agarwala reveals how decisions made in the world of high finance affect regular people, from workers today to pensioners tomorrow, and anyone who has (or wants) a mortgage.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); +16; in-person

1-2pm Just So? Traditional stories and traditional climate knowledge

Listen to Cambridge Storytellers tell creation myths, legends and ‘just-so’ stories from around the world and help them untangle the environmental truths and knowledge from the threads of the story, with climate expert Dr Stefanie Mack from the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); families/children/all ages; in-person

1-1.30pm (Mis-)Representing Climate Change: Environmental Art in a Warming World

This presentation will argue that art can be both 'good' and 'bad' for climate. An artist will identify how art might enable a climate (mis-)representation, while showing that art has a profound and unique capacity to offer poignant and meaningful representation of environmental issues.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); +16; in-person

1-1.30pm Sustainable development in remote communities through energy solutions

This presentation will show the analysis of different case studies within rural communities highlighting how the energy transition has impacted their lives and different potential solutions that can be implemented.

  • +16; online

2-4pm 2050: a new world board game

The boardgame will be played in an interactive environment. This is a highly collaborative game which will require input from all members in order to reach the 2050 goals. Once finished, there will be a brief discussion period.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); families/all ages; in-person

3-4pm Birdgirl & Beyond: Mya-Rose Craig on her memoir, mental health and access to nature for VME young people

Mya-Rose will give an insight into her memoir and setting up Black2Nature, a charity which focuses on engaging VME communities with nature.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); all ages; in-person

4-5pm From the ground up

This inspiring film shares the experience of five commercial farmers from the Cambridgeshire region on how they are adapting their farming practices to help cut carbon and double nature.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); +16; in-person

5-6pm Beyond ‘Capacity-Building’: How climate adaptation strategies are built to fail - and how to fix them

This talk will explore the good intentions that are stymied by the structural barriers to participation.

  • +16; online

6-7pm Climate change and religion

A panel discussion with representatives from different religions talking about climate change and religion. There will be time for Q&A as well for the public to present their questions.

  • Cambridge Central Mosque, 309-313 Mill Road, CB1 3DF; +16; in-person


A North Sea oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth, Scotland.
A North Sea oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth, Scotland.

10-12pm Empowering climate action through game play

Bartertown is a board game that imagines a world without money to test how social networks can be reshaped by an economy of favours and resource-sharing. The game acts as a decision-making tool for a warming world, one that fosters new relationships between economies, design, and the public. The game is appropriate for adults, teenagers, and everyone interested in cities, strategy, social justice and climate change.

  • The Guildhall (small hall); +16; in-person

11-1pm A Guide to Building Greener, for all ages

A hands-on workshop, making houses and insulation panels, playing with windmills and water turbines.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); early years and upwards; in-person

11-1pm Community Climate Action in Cambridge

This session will give insight into the landscape of climate action in the Cambridge community. Following the fast-paced PechaKucha format, and using the ethos to ‘talk less, show more’, the session will consist of a series of exciting mini-talks to give a snap-shot of local community projects happening across Cambridge. You’ll get to find out more about these local projects, how they are tackling climate change, and how you can get involved in them. The mini-talks will cover a number of topics so that there is something for everyone

  • Committee Room 1, The Guildhall (council chambers); In-person

12-1pm The Case for Fossil Free Research

This session will overview the critical issues raised by Big Oil’s funding of climate change-related research in elite universities, including questions of greenwashing, conflicts of interest, academic freedom, the intersection of research and policy, and universities’ credibility within climate conversations.

  • +16; Online

12-1pm Bright New World – The role of story in transformation

In this session author Cindy Forde will explore the role of stories and transformation at how stories shape our belief system and their impact on climate change and ecological breakdown.

  • The Guildhall (Small Hall); +16; in-person

11-12pm Landfills Mountains - Book reading by Rab Ferguson

Rab reads from his novel Landfill Mountains about climate change and storytelling magic.

Then he will lead discussion and workshop activities around telling stories that demonstrate the urgency of climate change. He’ll talk about the communities most impacted by the climate crisis, and how to use both fiction and non-fiction writing to encourage immediate action.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); young adults; in person

1-1.30pm LifeWorks!

Join Cambridge Science Centre for a show exploring the natural world. It will explore the ways we can all help save resources by taking some inspiration from the humble hermit crab, and watch as a cloud is made in a bottle.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); all ages; in-person

1-2pm Biomimicry as an agent for change: the case of achieving industrial ecosystem sustainability in the UAE

In the context of the petroleum rich Arab-Gulf, this presentation will highlight circular economy practices in novel contexts and reflect on insights from designing a digital tool inspired by nature.

  • +16; online

1.30-2.30pm Botanic Gardens tour with Wolfson’s head gardener

A tour that will help give an understanding of how horticulture is a tool for becoming more eco-friendly and working towards a better, cleaner future.

  • Cambridge University Botanic Garden; 1 Brookside CB2 1JE; +16; in-person

3-6pm Closing Panel: Inequality and Exclusion in the face of Climate Change

A discussion, ranting from the Himalayas to East Anglia

  • The Old Library, Pembroke College, Pembroke Street CB2 1RF; +16; in person and online

ONGOING, IN-PERSON SESSIONS, from Friday, October 14

In the dry garden at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden are senior horticulturist Andrea Topalovic Arthan and John Kapor. Picture: Keith Heppell
In the dry garden at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden are senior horticulturist Andrea Topalovic Arthan and John Kapor. Picture: Keith Heppell

12pm onwards Leveraging the power of storytelling to strengthen the climate narrative (exhibition)

Through publishing photo stories of the very people who are the face of our climate emergency, Faces of Climate Change aims to increase awareness of the risks as well as opportunities that have come with climate change and in doing so help to mobilise people around the world to take action to protect our planet for generations to come.

  • The Guildhall (main hall); all ages; in-person

Plants and Climate Change Trail at the Botanic Gardens

This trail is focused on how plants are likely to respond to climate change, plants that have been designed to cope with a changing climate, and plants that could be used in the battle against climate change and its impacts.

  • Cambridge University Botanic Garden, 1 Brookside, CB2 1JE; All ages; in person

ON DEMAND SESSIONS, from Friday, October 14

Fungi in a woodland (59859027)
Fungi in a woodland (59859027)

The path to Gigatone Scale: How AI is helping to decarbonise heavy industry

Carbon Re has evolved from a university spin-out to a company significantly reducing the carbon emissions of the cement industry. Learn more about decarbonising heavy industry.

  • +16; online

Clean energy and climate repair: How first nations peoples will save the world

This presentation will describe several of the important initiatives these communities are taking, ask whether and how the energy transition will improve first nations’ peoples’ lives, and explain how we can all help first nations peoples in their climate-repair efforts.

  • +16; online

Shade in Cambridge podcast: Why climate justice is racial justice

Presenters Annoa and Megan sit down with Reinhard Nyandire and Lashanti Jupp to discuss the intersection of climate and racial justice.

  • +16; online

The Hebrides Redacted: Nature is going quiet

Economist Matthew Agarwala and composer and conductor Ewan Campbell have redacted Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture to show the precipitous decline in the North Atlantic Humpback whale population since the piece was written.

  • All ages; online

Mobilising mycologists worldwide to conserve underground fungal networks

Fungal networks stitch together ecosystems, sequester massive amounts of carbon and mediate global nutrient cycles. However, these networks are disappearing at an alarming rate, speeding up climate change and potentially destabilising ecosystems. Learn how to catalogue them and preserve them.

  • +16; online

Exploring the basic science of weather and climate

Science investigations, triggers and tools to use for exploring the water cycle, heat transfer and ocean currents

  • Children aged 8-12; online

For more details on any of these events, go to https://climatechangefestival.zero.cam.ac.uk/

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