On 21 May 2019 Carbon Neutral Cambridge organised the Zero Carbon Futures Symposium in partnership with the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council. The event was supported by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and local businesses. 51% of the 57 expert participants and speakers were council officers or councillors. Other participants included representative from universities, the built environment sector, local charities and community groups.
The overarching aim of the one day symposium was to help accelerate the local transition to Net Zero Carbon by informing policy development for the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan. It addressed questions such as the powers (both statutory and soft power) that are available to Councils, and the examples that would support the use of those powers. The primary focus of the day was on new build housing and energy, as these are matters where the City and District Councils have most influence.
Climate change matters both globally and locally. With a projected sea level rise of 1.5m by 2100, and much of Cambridgeshire lying at below this level, unchecked climate change will have very significant impacts in our region.
This event report summarises the key findings and recommendations, aiming to inform both the Greater Cambridge Local Plan, and to assist councils, councillors and community groups in other parts of the UK in accelerating their paths to Net Zero.