This project has been part of the 2020 CUSPE Policy Challenges programme, under the title:
“How can we use community-based networks and resources to jointly tackle the climate emergency with our communities?”
The policy challenges are a collaboration between The Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange and the Cambridgeshire County Council and offer a unique opportunity for early-career researchers to use their analytical skills to benefit the local community, while honing transferable skills, developing an understanding of local government, and engaging firsthand with the practicalities of the evidence/policy interface.
Climate action at a local level is crucial to tackling the climate crisis, but resources are often limited. However, there are opportunities to draw on existing community networks and resources to tackle the climate emergency in a productive and inclusive way. In particular, young people are a highly important yet underrepresented demographic in addressing climate change in local communities. This study aimed to evaluate how to best engage young people in local climate action by conducting focus groups and surveys with young people in Cambridgeshire. Common principles that should inform community engagement on climate change, particularly with young people, are diverse representation, direct communication channels with local government, and stable financial support.
Will is a third year PhD student at the MRC Cancer Unit, researching tumour immunology. Will is passionate about environmental education and engagement, and is keen to help formulate policy relating to its implementation across all areas of society.
Ellie is a final-year Geography undergraduate. She is interested in how citizen perspectives and values can be included at the climate science-policy interface for a more socially just future. She is exploring this in the context of the French Citizens’ Convention on Climate Change for her undergraduate dissertation.
Elizabeth (Izzy) Hampson is a final year PhD student at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, working on the fundamental biology of cell signalling. She is interested in the science and policy interface, especially around tackling the climate emergency.
Emma is a recent graduate of the MPhil programme in History and Philosophy of Science and is now working in environmental policy for environmental NGO Wildlife and Countryside Link. Influenced by her previous experience as a marine biologist and her passion for nature, she is interested in evidence-informed environmental policy-making.
Lisa is a final year PhD student at the EPSRC Centre for Sensor Technologies and has a multidisciplinary research background with a focus on optical sensing and imaging methods. As a wildlife and nature enthusiast she is particularly interested in applying science & technology for nature conservation and in the use of science for policy, to inform more sustainable decision making.
Olivia is a third year PhD student in the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit in the Department of Geography working on coastal salt marsh ecosystems and nature based coastal defences, and as such she’s particularly interested in the evidence-policy interface surrounding hazards, risk and the environment.
Dr Timea Nochta is a research associate at the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction. Her research focuses on the urban governance of infrastructure and technology. She is particularly interested in cities and regions as sites for climate change mitigation and socio-technical innovation.