Record gift to Climate Repair

Today Downing College is delighted to announce a gift of £2.1m from Jamie Arnell (Law 1988 and Chairman of the Downing Campaign Board) to support a Fellowship in Climate Repair and three international PhDs each year, all of whom will contribute to the work of the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge (CCRC), which forms part of the wider Cambridge Zero programme.

This leadership gift to Downing’s new fundraising campaign will advance the work of the CCRC in ocean-based research whilst strengthening undergraduate teaching in Geography.   The Centre is based at the College, where interdisciplinary work - including that of the Fellow and international PhDs - will be conducted to explore options for climate repair.

Jamie Arnell comments: “Climate change is perhaps the most urgent issue of our generation and time may well be running out for us to halt the rise in global temperatures.  The CCRC and Cambridge Zero are leading research to provide solutions to combat climate change.  The funding of a dedicated Fellowship appealed to me as it combines the world class research strengths of Cambridge with nurturing new research talent and teaching younger generations at Downing. In ten years’ time, we need to be able to say that we explored every possible idea, no matter how ambitious, to heal our planet.” 

Director of CCRC Dr Shaun Fitzgerald comments: “Jamie understands the urgency of climate change and the need to help reach the Centre’s objectives to ensure a deep and rapid emissions reduction, to remove greenhouse gases and to discover and test targeted interventions to refreeze the polar regions.  His leadership, through advice and philanthropic support, ensures that we are able to expand our research capacity at speed and collaborate with partners in Cambridge, the UK and internationally to tackle the crisis.”

The Master Alan Bookbinder adds: “We are very grateful to Jamie Arnell for his gift which will strengthen our undergraduate teaching in Geography, whilst advancing vital research in climate repair.  The interdisciplinary nature of College life, where Fellows meet informally, provides an ideal space in which to spark discussions and inspire collaboration across different departments. In time, we look forward to hosting international conferences on Climate Repair at Downing to bring together world-leading thinkers in this vital field.” 

Jamie Arnell’s gift is the single biggest commitment to people at Downing (rather than to buildings) and we are very excited by the possibilities it opens up.


Centre for Climate Repair website.

Published 17 May 2021.