Category Archives: Cambridge

Letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Cambridge Zero Carbon Society

1, Parker Street,



27th October 2007


Dear Prime Minister,



We are a group of concerned scientists, economists and students from the University of Cambridge and are writing to you regarding Britain’s CO2 reduction targets as set out under the draft climate bill. We believe the climate bill is a crucial element of strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level and supports our international efforts to tackle climate change. We see the best approach as being a positive one and that Britain should lead by example, reducing its emissions to a sustainable level in a timescale that avoids dangerous climate change. Economic evidence suggests that conversion to a net zero carbon economy, when promoted by efficient economic instruments can be achieved at low cost or even with net benefit to the UK.


We feel it is important that the targets are chosen based on clear thinking and the most reliable up-to-date scientific evidence. We also understand the importance of a comprehensive or holistic approach taking into account pressures from the different parts of government and society.


Today we have been educating the public in London regarding these issues. It is important to simplify as much as possible this complex issue and demonstrate the choices we now face. We would like to draw your attention to the enclosed information sheet summarizing the fact that to prevent a 2°C increase in average global temperatures a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is needed in the UK.

For further information on some suggested policies or to hear more from us please feel free to visit our website and contact us, We warmly welcome a response to this letter.


Yours sincerely,



Stephen Stretton


Economist, Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research


Stephen Rowley


Physicist, Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge


Gowns go to town for the climate

A group of Cambridge university students descended on the capital last Saturday (October 27th) to encourage people to lobby for stronger legislation to save the planet. The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society ( wants Parliament to toughen up its planned legislation on greenhouse gases.

The Parliament Square protest was organised to increase the targets set out in the forthcoming Climate Change Bill, due to be discussed by MPs in the next parliamentary session. The legislation will make Britain the first country in the world to pass laws to restrict greenhouse gas emissions.

“This Bill gives us the opportunity to lead the way in setting meaningful targets,” says organiser Stephen Stretton. “If we get this right we can set an example for other countries to follow and create a real possibility of creating a sustainable future”.

Current calculations suggest that a sustainable level of carbon dioxide emissions would be about one tonne CO2 per person per year, averaged across the total world population. The current global average is about 4 tonnes per person and growing, while in Britain each person is already responsible for ten.
This means Britain needs to reduce emissions by 90% to reach the sustainable target. In addition, it is important that these reductions are achieved in the next twenty years. This way we could limit any global temperature increase to no more than two degrees celsius above the pre-industrial, which is the point at which dangerous feedback mechanisms could cause more serious damage to the climate.

The students, who were dressed in their academic gowns, want the Climate Change Bill strengthened to increase the proposed target of 60% reduction by 2050 to 90% by 2030.


Note for Editors:
The protest happened from 11am-1pm in Parliament Square, Westminster. The protest was organised by the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society and supported by the Cambridge Climate Change Coalition.

Find our response to the UK Climate bill here:

Full document (pdf) here:


For further information please contact:

Marc Kaufmann: 0789 184 9630

Introduction in Chinese

众所周知,通过燃烧 化石燃料(比如煤),石 油和天然气所释放到 大气层中去的二氧化 碳会导致全球范围内 的升温。

这个效应被 温室效 科学家们预测气候只 要比工业革命之前升 高两度(就可称为气 候的危险变化)将导 致大面积的沙漠化和 态系统(比如亚马 逊热带雨林)的崩溃
。从而更多存储在树 木中的碳将以二氧化 碳的形式释放到大气 层中去。按我们目前 发展趋势,在未来 几年内这种变化就会 发生。


Translation by Jiawen Chen & Helen Li