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Emily Farnworth increases board focus on climate change

Deputy Director appointed to Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement

The Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement is delighted to announce the appointment of Emily Farnworth as Deputy Director, taking up the position in the new year.  Emily is a leading expert on the implications of climate change for business, having spent more than 25 years working in the field in both the UK and globally. She led the World Economic Forum’s work on climate action, which included the Climate Governance Initiative, and helped establish networks for non-executive directors around the world to lead this discussion in the boardroom.

The Hughes Hall Centre works with experts in Cambridge University to bring the latest research to the non-executive corporate community, supporting the transition to a net-zero economy and adaptation to climate risk; to protect asset values over the long term.  The Centre also hosts Chapter Zero, the Directors’ Climate Forum, whose more than 1,000 members sit on the boards of over half the biggest UK listed companies.

The Centre recently announced the donation of £4.5m over five years to support its work on bridging the gap between boards, regulators, investors and academic experts in the University.

This appointment is another move in Cambridge University’s growing focus on the climate change agenda, both through initiatives such as Cambridge Zero and the University’s net-zero ambition.

Emily Farnworth

Emily Farnworth said, ‘I am delighted to be joining the Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement. We are entering a time that requires radical collaboration across all disciplines. Building on the academic excellence at Cambridge University creates a huge opportunity to accelerate the emerging low carbon economy alongside creating a more resilient and sustainable society.’

Julie Baddeley, Director of the Hughes Hall Centre and Chair of Chapter Zero said: ‘Emily’s expertise and experience will significantly increase the Centre’s impact and reach.  As well as directing our work with Cambridge academic experts, she will oversee the global secretariat for the Climate Governance Initiative, which currently has 20 Chapters emerging around the world with Chapter Zero in the UK leading the way.’

Emily Shuckburgh, Director of Cambridge Zero, added: ‘I am excited to work with Emily and the Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement to support the close cooperation between academia, business and policymakers that is needed to respond to climate change and accelerate the global transition to net zero.’

Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement

The Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement was formally established in 2019 to increase awareness on the boards of private companies and to inform them of the need for urgent action on climate change. The Centre forms part of The Bridge, Hughes Hall’s wider project on translating research into real-world impact.

Emily Farnworth biography

Emily Farnworth has over 25 years of experience working with businesses, government and non-profit organisations to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Emily has worked across multi-stakeholder groups and within specific industry sectors to collaborate on solutions to tackle climate change. She has led research, campaigns and communications strategies aimed at creating systemic change in the way businesses mange climate risk and decarbonize operations.

Emily was the Head of Climate Initiatives at the World Economic Forum where she was involved in setting up the Climate Governance Initiative, the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders and the Mission Possible Platform. She is now a Platform Fellow of the World Economic Forum and continues to support the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance that helps corporate buyers navigate the options for nature-based carbon credits. She also sits on the Advisory Group of RE100 – an initiative that drives demand for renewable power. Emily holds a Masters in Environmental and Management Sciences.


For further information please contact Julie Baddeley, Director of the HHCCCE, via climate@hughes.cam.ac.uk.


Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement: www.climatehughes.org/