4 November, 2004 Press releases

Today one of the UK’s most senior figures in environmental politics will make the inaugural speech in a new lecture series entitled ‘Environment on the Edge’.

Sir Crispin Tickell, former British Ambassador to the UN, will be giving a talk entitled ‘The Nature of the Problem’ at the University of Cambridge, to examine what the not-too-distant future may hold for us in the light of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, climate change, loss of biodiversity and diminishing clean water supplies.

The lecture series is a joint collaboration between New Hall and St Edmund’s College, the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Anne Lonsdale, President of New Hall, believes there is a pressing need to draw attention to growing environmental problems.

“We are delighted that Sir Crispin will be opening the lecture series at a time when the importance of addressing climate change is gaining ground on political agendas throughout the world. We hope that these lectures will make an important contribution to the current debate on what lies ahead in environmental policy and planning.”

Kaveh Zahedi, Officer-in-Charge at UNEP-WCMC, adds, “Climate change is not a future possibility but a current reality affecting communities around the world. The lecture will help to underline how critical it is for us to better understand our ecosystems and the services they provide in terms of our health, well being and livelihoods.”

Sir Crispin is currently the Chancellor of the University of Kent at Canterbury and Director of the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding, University of Oxford. He is the author of Climate Change and World Affairs, which was written long before current greenhouse gases were publicly debated, and was one of the first studies to underline the importance of climate issues in the realm of international relations.

The following five lectures, beginning in the New Year, will focus on one specific area of environmental concern, and the partners are looking forward to welcoming more distinguished speakers to Cambridge in 2005.