International Roundtable on Achieving Positive Social and Economic Outcomes in the Energy Transition
This document is a summary of the discussions held at the International Roundtable on Achieving Positive Social and Economic Outcomes in the Energy Transition on 17 February 2022. This Roundtable was co-hosted by The Next Economy and Melbourne Climate Futures at the University of Melbourne, with support from the Strategic Partnerships for Implementation of the Paris Agreement, and brought...
Building Prosperous, Just, and Resilient Zero-Carbon Regions
Increasing recognition of the speed with which fossil fuels need to be phased out combined with sharp falls in renewable energy costs are creating significant challenges for many Australian regional communities with a long history of reliance on fossil fuel industries. At the same time, there is also increasing evidence that a well-managed, just transition to a zero-carbon economy can create huge...
Building and Appliance Energy Efficiency Research: Opportunities for EU-Australian Collaboration
European Union (EU) and Australian institutional structures, past policy measures and present policy approaches related to building and appliance energy and climate response have much in common, and important differences. Both the similarities and differences provide fertile ground for increased future research collaboration. Both the EU and Australia have structures with overarching governance,...
Launch of the EU-AU Building and Appliance Efficiency ReportAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeThursday, 17 March 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
European Union and Australian institutional structures, past policy measures and present policy approaches related to building and appliance energy and climate response have much in common, and important differences. Both the similarities and differences provide fertile ground for increased future research collaboration.
Both the EU and Australia face challenges in dramatically scaling up action to cut carbon emissions associated with appliances and buildings, as well as adapting to more extreme climate conditions and managing equitable transitions. Both have substantial stocks of existing buildings and equipment that will maintain high levels of emissions unless operating efficiency is optimised and/or they are renovated or replaced. Climates and availability of renewable energy vary widely across both regions.
At this event, Alan Pears and Rosalinda Bustamante launched the ‘Building and Appliance Energy Efficiency Report: Opportunities for EU-Australian Collaboration’, which is available here.Speaker:
Alan Pears AM is a Fellow at the Climate and Energy College and a Senior Industry Fellow at RMIT, where he taught for many years. He has worked in the energy field since the late 1970s, mainly on demand side issues and has played key roles in development of several Australian energy efficiency and climate abatement programs across all sectors, including appliance and building efficiency and industry/business energy management. In recent years, he has worked with the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity, framing and applying the ‘value chain’ approach to energy productivity for the refrigerated cold chain, food processing and application of high temperature heat pumps. He has evaluated urban carbon strategies with the Asia Pacific Economic Community, and has worked with several Australian communities on low carbon strategies. Alan advises business, governments and communities.
Rosalinda is in her final year of the Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne and has a degree in law and business. She has worked in the areas of sustainability, climate change, environmental law, and finance. She has led different community engagement projects in the international youth climate movement since 2014.
Digitalization and Sustainability: How is Digital Finance affecting the sustainable development arena?Australian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 15 March 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
It has become increasingly apparent that leaders at the local and subnational level must think outside the box in order to match the results of past performance and simultaneously adapt to accelerating changes. From the Covid-19 global pandemic to social justice issues relating to the climate crisis, decision makers are under increasing pressure to respond quickly and effectively to challenges whilst proactively mitigating against the consequences.
This is where digitization and digital innovation enter the scene.
Digitalization and digital innovation are transforming the current landscape of sustainability and climate action, and have the potential to create even more change in the coming years. Meaning the integration of digital technologies into everyday life to change the way all of us interact and live, digitalization should work hand in hand with sustainability and be leveraged in multiple sectors.
What does this mean in practice? An increase in data facilitates increased precision for reporting and monitoring our current situation, and accurately predicting future trajectories so leaders can make more informed decisions at the local level. Digital innovation can also encourage behavior change via micro-rewards enabled through Blockchain technology. In addition, collecting data from communities through a bottom-up approach enhances the citizen-science interface and provides valuable information that reflects the real time functioning of a city.
Against this backdrop, Pourya Salehi presents the impacts of digital innovation on the domain of finance. We have entered an era of exciting new funding mechanisms, which is a catalyst for mobilizing other essential resources needed for climate action. As said by the UN Secretary General, “digital technologies which are revolutionizing financial markets can be a game changer in reaching our shared objectives”. Pourya’s presentation explores citizen-centric financial systems and examines the benefits this has for both community members and local governments.Speaker:
As the Senior Research Officer at ICLEI World Secretariat, Pourya has an educational background in urban planning and management, land management, Blockchain technology, and finance, along with a decade worth of experience in sustainable development gained from working at consultancies in addition to research institutes. Pourya was the lead of the organization in the development of ICLEI's Global Research Strategy in 2019; a strategic document that guides the organization’s research and innovation activities including project acquisition, while building partnerships with leading research and innovation partners across the globe. From this, Pourya has been leading the execution of the Global Research Strategy and coordinating it across ICLEI’s 20+ international offices.
In addition to managing, coordinating, and overseeing several research and innovation projects over the past years, Pourya is also an accomplished author on various knowledge products including a number of peer-reviewed publications on a wide range of topics. This experience has been instrumental in Pourya becoming one of the founding members of the Global Covenant of Mayors' Research & Innovation Technical Working Group (GCoM’s R+I TWG), in addition to other research and innovation related spaces such as the Scientific Steering Committee for UNCCD’s Global Land Outlook (GLO) 2.0, and a member of Partners' Network Organizing Committee for the renowned Innovate4Cities Conference which was co-organized by UN-Habitat and GCoM and co-sponsored by the IPCC to build on the 2018 Edmonton Cities and Climate Change Science Conference and the resulting Global Research and Action Agenda (GRAA). He is also one of the co-authors of the Updated Global Research and Action Agenda for Cities on Cities and Climate Change Science. More recently, the Strategic Advisory Committee of the Global Covenant of Mayors appointed Pourya as the Global Co-Chair of GCoM's Research & Innovation Technical Working Group which, along with other responsibilities, guides and oversees the implementation of GCoM's Innovate4Cities initiative.
Energy Affordability: Sharing Lessons from the EU and Australia’s Low Carbon Transitions
Energy affordability is a key concern for households in the European Union (EU) and Australia, as the transformation of the electricity sector unfolds. High prices can lead to energy poverty: when a household cannot afford the essential electricity services needed for a decent standard of living, such as heating. This report compares approaches in the EU and Australia. We analyse the cost drivers...
National climate policy after the 2022 Australian national election: What might we expect?Australian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 1 March 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Australia has long been a climate policy laggard among developed countries. The Morrison Coalition Government has done nothing to improve this record, as highlighted by its performance at the Glasgow COP in 2021. Indeed during the period from 2014 through to the present – under successive Coalition governments (Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison) – national climate policy has been marked first by climate policy reversals and then inaction both in terms of proclaimed ambition and policy. Meanwhile, since its loss in 2019, Labor has remained quiet on this contentious issue. And yet, paradoxically, during this period, Australia’s greenhouse emissions have continued to drop.
Australians will go to the polls in May this year. This seminar will speculate about the possible role of climate policy in the 2022 national election campaign, and will consider possible climate policy scenarios – in the context of the ‘performance paradox’ – for the period which follows.
This event has been organised with the financial support of the European Union’s Partnership Instrument. The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.Speaker:
Robyn Eckersley is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in Political Science at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She has published widely in the fields of environmental political theory, politics and the state; ecology and democracy; international relations; and global environmental governance, with a special focus on the ethics, politics and governance of climate change. Her recent books include Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power (2012, co-author); Globalization and the Environment (2013) (co-authored with P. Christoff) and The Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory (2018) (co-edited with C. Brown.
Peter Christoff is a Senior Research Fellow with the Melbourne Climate Futures Initiative, and an honorary Associate Professor in the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, at the University of Melbourne. His research and publications focus on Australian and international environmental and climate politics and policy. In addition he has served on various climate-related policy bodies, including the Victorian Premier's Climate Change Reference Group the Victorian Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation, and was also the Assistant Commissioner for the Environment in Victoria.
EU-Australia Knowledge Network: Wrap-Up EventsAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 22 February 2022 - 5:30pm to Thursday, 24 February 2022 - 7:00pm
Join us for a series of wrap-up events for the EU-Australia Knowledge Network.
Wrap-up Day 1: Highlights of the EU-Australia Knowledge Network and a summary of the ‘Buildings and Energy Efficiency’ project
Tuesday 22 February 2022, 5:30pm-7:00pm AEDT
Following an introduction in the SPIPA program, we will present highlights from the Network’s seminars and activities.
Alan Pears and Rosalinda Bustamante will then present a summary of their research on Buildings and Appliances Energy Efficiency in Australia and the EU, including comparisons of the governance and regulatory frameworks between Australia and the EU, linkages with just transitions and circular economies, and areas for potential collaboration between the EU and Australia.
Wrap-up Day 2: The Regional Energy Transition and Launch of the EU-AU Energy Affordability Report
Wednesday 23 February 2022, 5:30pm-7:00pm AEDT
Our first presentation will be from Dr Amanda Cahill (CEO of The Next Economy) discussing the similarities and differences between fossil-fuel reliant communities in Australia and the EU, and lessons learned in facilitating a just transition for these communities.
After Amanda’s presentation, Johanna Cludius, David Ritter and Viktoria Noka from Öko-Institut and Dr Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran from the University of Melbourne will launch their report ‘Energy Affordability: Sharing Lessons from the EU and Australia’s Low Carbon Transitions’. This will cover both a comparison of electricity prices between Australia and the EU, and different models of hardship protection for vulnerable groups between the two jurisdictions. This report is available here.
Wrap-up Day 3: Health co-benefits from climate action, lessons from the EU Taxonomy, and next steps for the EU-Australia Knowledge Network
Thursday 24 February 2022, 5:30pm-7:00pm AEDT
This event will include two research presentations. First, Belle Workman will present research on the health co-benefits that arise from actions to mitigate climate change; then Angela Bruckner will present lessons that can be learned from the development and implementation of the EU Taxonomy, towards the development of an Australian Taxonomy.
Finally, this event will conclude with a discussion of the links between the EU-Australia Knowledge Network and other members of the Australian SPIPA network, the lessons of the SPIPA program, and next steps to continue the collaborative research relationships developed during this program.
This event has been organised with the financial support of the European Union’s Partnership Instrument. The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
Using an Improved Database of City-level Mitigation Actions to Drive Improved PracticeAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 15 February 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Taking effective action on climate change is more urgent than ever, but cities across the world are still hamstrung by limitations on their ability to efficiently look to and learn from other cities. Although tens of thousands of cities across the globe are each implementing numerous actions to tackle this critical problem, extremely little information about these activities is available in easy-to-access formats leading most practitioners to preferentially seek information from their immediate neighbours rather than pursue any kind of systematic investigations. Furthermore, due to the lack of inter-compatibility in how activities are described and measured, it is extremely challenging to perform effective analysis and other forms of investigation on what cities are doing. Although there is some effort made to consolidate city-level activities (examples including the Data Portal for Cities and the CDP Open Data Portal) these repositories do not currently provide cities with effective ways to interrogate and understand the data to inform decision-making. We have observed that this lack of direct connection to practitioners leads to a lowering of perceived value and to inadequate or infrequent submission of further data.
This lack of sustained and robust data input from cities is an extremely critical issue with the research community as well. Poor documentation and standardization in city activity classification provides serious barriers to both learning from, and providing guidance, to municipal practitioners.
In response to this Ironbark, in conjunction with Innovate4Cities, developed a database which has been further expanded into a new tool called CityCAD. Both tools have been developed using a new approach to documenting city-level activities, with a specific focus on functionality and engagement for municipal practitioners and associated staff. This approach has been specifically developed based on the ways in which cities design their activities with the intention to connect directly into decision-making pathways. Through doing this, we have been able to identify numerous ways of providing ongoing value to practitioners as well as providing many benefits to researchers and other stakeholders.
This seminar will review the structure and function of CityCAD focusing on how it addresses current barriers to knowledge transfer. We will also explore some of the ancillary benefits it provides, and design principles for interfacing to city practitioners to facilitate improved practice in stakeholders with a range of technical and analytical capabilities.
This event has been organised with the financial support of the European Union’s Partnership Instrument. The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.Speaker:
Matt is co-lead of the Innovations Unit - Climate Program for Ironbark Sustainability.
Matt has been at the forefront of innovation for carbon emissions mitigation at the local government level for over ten years. As Head of Research for the Moreland Energy Foundation, and among other innovative solutions he developed the fundamentals of their Zero Carbon Evolution program, a pioneering initiative that sought to dramatically ramp up community-scale programs. Since his time at Ironbark Sustainability he developed the data platform that created Snapshot Community Emissions Profile (www.snapshotclimate.com.au), which has become the primary tool for municipalities across Australia for preparing their emissions inventories and launching their programs into climate change mitigation. He developed the Science-Derived Target method that connects Australian municipalities to the National Determined Contribution (NDC), a method now recognized by the international organisation the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. He also has pioneered methods for determining the impacts of initiatives by local government in reducing emissions in their municipalities, centred on his Evidence-Based Action Planning framework. Most recently, he has developed the CityCAD database and has been working with a range of stakeholders to systematically empower improved practice.
Matt regularly presents to national audiences of city practitioners and other experts on best practice and innovative new methods. He has also sat on numerous working groups and expert panels assessing innovation and standards in the industry.
Evolution of the Global Research Action Agenda for Cities (GRAA)Australian-German Climate & Energy CollegeThursday, 17 February 2022 - 10:30am to 11:30am
The 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science conference initiated a process of engagement between urban policymakers, practitioners, researchers and other societal actors, to map and evaluate the state of research and progress on the intersection of cities and climate change, with an emphasis on research needs for increased action. The primary output of this conference was the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science (GRAA)(World Climate Research Programme, 2019), which identified four cross cutting areas and six topical areas where research and knowledge were needed. Expanding the perspective from that seen at the conference to better include the city voice, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) launched the Innovate4Cities (I4C) initiative, and associated City Research Agenda, to support action by cities as called for within the 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science conference’s GRAA.
The first Innovate4Cities conference (Innovate4Cities 2021) was held virtually in October 2021 by GCoM and UN-Habitat, and co-sponsored by the IPCC, once again bringing together a community from academia, the private sector, NGOs, local governments, national governments, city networks, youth, international organisations and other stakeholders engaged in addressing climate change in cities. This virtual conference allowed for presentations from around the world to take place across time zones over five days, which facilitated participation from a diversity of presenters and discussants from over 150 countries. In this presentation, Brenna and Cathy will discuss some of the initial insights on the GRAA, resulting from this recent I4C gathering.
- Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science: https://www.wcrp-climate.org/WCRP-publications/2019/GRAA-Cities-and-Climate-Change-Science-Full.pdf
- GCOM: https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/
- Innovate4Cities initiative: https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/research-innovation/
- 2018 City Research Agenda: https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/GCoM_Innovate4Cities-OPS_Booklet_8.5x11.pdf
- Announcement for Summary for Urban Policy Makers Initiatives: https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/press/new-summary-for-urban-policymakers-initiative-announced/
- Innovate4Cities Conference – Plenaries summary: https://unhabitat.org/relive-the-innovate4cities-climate-change-conference-plenaries-here
- The Future of our Cities is Indigenous – Maddison Miller, Pursuit: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/the-future-of-our-cities-is-indigenous
- I4C Conference Student Writing Team – Report: https://sites.research.unimelb.edu.au/cities/projects/innovate4cities/studentwritingteam
Dr Brenna Walsh is a consultant on climate change and cities, and has been co-editor of the Innovate4Cities update to the Global Research and Action Agenda for the Innovate4Cities conference, supported by UN-Habitat. Brenna is supporting the Global Covenant of Mayors in updating the City Research Agenda. Brenna is also a project manager at the Surface Particulate Matter Network, working at the intersection of urban climate change and health. Previously, as a science officer at Future Earth International she coordinated work of the Scientific Steering Committee for the 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science conference, held in Edmonton, Canada after which she coordinated writing of the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science.
Dr Cathy Oke is currently Melbourne Enterprise Principal Fellow in Informed Cities within the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning and Associate Director (Enterprise and Impact) in the Melbourne Centre for Cities at the University of Melbourne. In this role, she is also Special Advisor Innovate4Cities at Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM). Cathy was previously the Knowledge Broker at the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) research hub, of the National Environmental Science Program, based at the University of Melbourne; and a Councillor at the City of Melbourne 2008 – 2020 (principally in the Environment Portfolio). Cathy has been a member of the ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability – World Secretariat’s Global Executive Committee since 2009, a leadership body which guides the network in advancing its global vision. She has been a critical member of the team advocating on behalf of cities at seven UN Conference of the Parties – UNFCCC (Copenhagen, Cancun, Paris, Bonn. Madrid and Glasgow) and Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) (Cancun and Sharm el Sheik).
Achieving an Equitable and Sustainable Energy Transition: Social Data, Best Practices for Intergenerational Collaboration, and Supporting Youth-led ActionAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeThursday, 10 February 2022 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Diverse knowledge and perspectives play key roles in driving research and innovation on climate change action. Despite equitable participation and the value of city-based partnerships as key dimensions of local climate action, youth are an important but often excluded cohort in local climate action. As part of a partnership between Student Energy, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), and the Melbourne Centre for Cities at the University of Melbourne, a team of youth researchers representing eight global regions have been assembled as part of the GCoM Youth Policy Innovation Team to advance these imperatives for city and local climate action.
Drawing from the world’s first social dataset of youth perspectives gathered from Student Energy’s Global Youth Energy Outlook (GYEO), members of the policy innovation team have analysed and distilled these datasets into concrete recommendations for an inclusive, climate safe and energy transition. This seminar will provide insight into the key findings and elaborate on the identified pathways and perspectives for action: Youth Vision for the Future Energy System, Governance and Policy Innovation, Technological and Financial Innovation and Social Innovation.
- Global Covenant Of Mayors: https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/
- Melbourne Centre for Cities: https://sites.research.unimelb.edu.au/cities
- Global Youth Energy Outlook (including a recording of the Launch event at COP26): https://studentenergy.org/program/outlook/
- International Energy Agency, Recommendations of the Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions: https://www.iea.org/reports/recommendations-of-the-global-commission-on-people-centred-clean-energy-transitions
- The Student Energy 'Energy Topics Index': https://studentenergy.org/energy-education/topics/
- Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council: https://ourfootprintja.org/
- An article by GoodGoodGood on the role of youth councils in tackling climate change: https://www.goodgoodgood.co/articles/youth-council-climate-change
Paola studies Industrial Engineering at Universidad San Francisco Xavier (USFX) and is passionate about renewable energy, science, start-ups, and community projects. In 2015, Paola received a scholarship from the Embassy of the United States of America to participate in a Science and Innovation Summer Camp in La Jolla, California where Paola gained life-changing experience about renewable energy and its importance in our future. Since then, Paola has worked on many social projects in Bolivia and founded Magnífica Warmi with a group of friends, which is a project that works with Indigenous women on issues related to the environment and climate change.
In 2020, she was selected as the Latin America Regional Coordinator for the Global Youth Energy Outlook of Student Energy (the first report of its kind to share what young people from all the world want for their energy future in their countries and regions), in 2021 was selected to represent Bolivia in the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition at Milan for Pre-COP where 400 young people from all over the world will meet to propose the construction of a more sustainable future and now she is part of the Global Support Team of the SDG7 Youth Constituency.
Alison Fong is a budding young planner passionate about connecting peoples, conversations and the built environment through an inclusive and sustainable creative focus. As a recent Master of Urban Planning Graduate from the University of Melbourne, Alison has continuously practiced these values whilst fostering diverse experience across government, private sector, academic and local community the lin planning and placemaking initiatives. Most recently, Alison was chosen to participate as part of the Global Covenant of Mayors’ Youth Policy Innovation Team, where she worked within a collaborative global youth team to extract youth policy insights on city-level climate action from Student Energy’s Global Youth Energy Outlook.
Alison has also been a keen advocate in shaping accessible places for all, where she was awarded 2nd place at the Climathon Melbourne Hackathon in 2017 with her team for an outstanding project to bring greater heat wave knowledge and environmental awareness to international students and was also awarded the annual SGS Economics Planning Graham Larcombe Award in 2020 for her demonstrated interest in equity and social disadvantage issues in urban development during her graduate studies.
Urban greening and climate changeAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 8 February 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Australia’s population is highly urbanised and increasingly coastal. As climate change impacts increase, Australia’s urban population will be progressively more exposed to many of these impacts, including sea level rise, urban heat, more intense storms and rainfall events, bushfires and drought. These complex challenges and impacts require a wide suite of responses, in addition to the necessary climate change mitigation actions that cities must undertake. Urban greening can make a significant contribution to climate change action in cities, as well as contributing to a range of other valuable functions, benefits and services. For example, vegetation is one of the most effective means to address urban heat, therefore contributing to both adaptation and mitigation efforts (the latter through a reduced use of artificial cooling). There is increasing recognition of the interlinkages between addressing both climate change and biodiversity ‘emergencies’. This seminar explores urban greening implementation and policy approaches, before highlighting current research examining the integration of climate change action across the built environment.
Judy's sources for this presentation include:
Speaker:University of Melbourne
- Bush, J. 2020. The role of local government greening policies in the transition towards nature-based cities. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 35, 35-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2020.01.015
- Bush, J., Ashley, G., Foster, B. & Hall, G. 2021. Integrating green infrastructure into urban planning: developing Melbourne’s Green Factor Tool. Urban Planning, 6. https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v6i1.3515
- Bush, J. & Doyon, A. 2019. Building urban resilience with nature-based solutions: how can urban planning contribute? Cities, 95, 102483. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2019.102483
- Hürlimann, A. C., Warren-Myers, G., Nielsen, J., Moosavi, S., Bush, J. & March, A. 2021. Towards the transformation of cities: a built environment process map to identify the role of key sectors and actors in producing the built environment across life stages. Cities, 103454. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2021.103454
- Parris, K. M., Barrett, B. S., Stanley, H. M. & Hurley, J. (eds.) 2020. Cities for people and nature, Melbourne: Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub. https://nespurban.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Cities-for-People-and-Nature.pdf
Dr Judy Bush is a lecturer in urban planning in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. She is a member of the research team on the ARC Discovery Grant DP200101378 ‘Integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation in built environments’. Her research focuses on urban environmental policy and governance, including governance and policy approaches for nature-based solutions, biodiversity, urban ecology and climate change perspectives.
Climate change social science: How communication can help us solve climate changeAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 1 February 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges facing humanity. Scientists have worked tirelessly to collect data, run models, and put together intergovernmental reports on the state of the climate and what may happen if we do not act. The efforts to collate evidence and communicate about it have truly been history making – and as climate scientists argue in the latest IPCC report AR6: “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere” (Summary for Policymakers, p. 4).
But why is it that in 2022, governments still lag in making meaningful reductions to greenhouse gas emissions? Does the unequivocal evidence not speak for itself? This seminar will argue that, unfortunately, it does not. Climate change may be a scientific problem, but it has evolved into a deeply divided social political issue, especially in western democracies. We see deep polarisation in Australia on climate change, and communication is key in breaking the deadlock and being able to build a social mandate for climate change. This talk will explore the social science of climate change and highlight that if we begin to understand the complexity in humans, we can foster meaningful climate change engagement and reach solutions.
Nic’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A discussion with Dr Linden Ashcroft, Lecturer in Climate Science and Science Communication from the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
Nic's sources for this presentation:
Speaker:Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University
- James Hansen speech 1988: https://pulitzercenter.org/sites/default/files/june_23_1988_senate_hearing_1.pdf
- Haslam, S. A. (2000). Psychology in organizations: The social identity approach. Psychology in Organizations: The Social Identity Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446278819 https://sk.sagepub.com/books/psychology-in-organizations
- The Royal Society. (1985). The Public Understanding of Science. Royal Society. Retrieved from https://royalsociety.org/- https://royalsociety.org/~/media/royal_society_content/policy/publications/1985/10700.pdf /media/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/1985/10700.pdf
- Suldovsky, B. (2017). The Information Deficit Model and Climate Change Communication. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.301 https://oxfordre.com/climatescience/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228620-e-301
- The Australia Institute. (2021). Climate of the Nation 2021: Tracking Australia’s attitudes towards climate change and energy. Canberra. Retrieved from https://australiainstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/211013-Climate-of-the-Nation-2021-WEB.pdf
- van der Linden, S. (2017). Determinants and Measurement of Climate Change Risk Perception, Worry, and Concern. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science (Issue April). https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.318 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2953631
- Kahan, D. M., Peters, E., Wittlin, M., Slovic, P., Ouellette, L. L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012). The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature Climate Change, 2(10), 732–735. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1547 https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1547
- Hornsey, M. J., Harris, E. A., & Fielding, K. S. (2018). Relationships among conspiratorial beliefs, conservatism and climate scepticism across nations. Nature Climate Change, 8, 614–620. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0157-2 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0157-2
- Colvin, R. M., & Jotzo, F. (2021). Australian voters’ attitudes to climate action and their social-political determinants. PLoS ONE, 16(3), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0248268 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248268
- Howe, L. C., MacInnis, B., Krosnick, J. A., Markowitz, E. M., & Socolow, R. (2019). Acknowledging uncertainty impacts public acceptance of climate scientists’ predictions. Nature Climate Change, 9(11), 863–867. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0587-5 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0587-5
- McLoughlin, N., Corner, A., Clarke, J., Whitmarsh, L., Capstick, S., & Nash, N. (2019). Mainstreaming low-carbon lifestyles. https://climateoutreach.org/reports/mainstreaming-low-carbon-lifestyles/
- Fielding, K. S., Hornsey, M. J., Thai, H. A., & Toh, L. L. (2020). Using ingroup messengers and ingroup values to promote climate change policy. Climatic Change, 158(2), 181–199. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02561-z https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-019-02561-z
- Goldberg, M. H., van der Linden, S., Maibach, E., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019). Discussing global warming leads to greater acceptance of climate science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(30), 14804–14805. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906589116 https://www.pnas.org/content/116/30/14804
- Gustafson, A., & Rice, R. E. (2020). A review of the effects of uncertainty in public science communication. Public Understanding of Science, 29(6), 614–633. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662520942122 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0963662520942122
- James Hansen image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_Hansen.jpg
- Q and A program by ABC, video located on YouTube channel “abcqanda” URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXuRvvKLwtw
- Shi, J., Visschers, V. H. M., Siegrist, M., & Arvai, J. (2016). Knowledge as a driver of public perceptions about climate change reassessed. Nature Climate Change, 6(8), 759–762. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2997 https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2997
Nic Badullovich is a PhD candidate in the Resources, Environment & Development group at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
His research centres around the communication of climate change with a particular focus on the role of framing in communication. He is interested in the social and political context and complexity that surrounds climate change and believes this is essential to consider when communicating.
He has published his research in academic journals such as Environmental Research Letters and presented at conferences such as The Conference On Communication and Environment and Australia Science Communicators annual symposium.
Nic has also been contracted as a consultant for communications work and has gained practical experience through his work at Questacon (The National Science and Technology Centre) in Canberra. He currently holds an ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) scholarship and is due to submit his PhD thesis in mid-2022.School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Melbourne
Linden Ashcroft grew up in country Victoria on the lands of the Yorta Yorta people and is a lecturer in climate science and science communication at The University of Melbourne. She is also a historical climatologist, and uses pre-1900 documents and weather observations to explore the climate of Australia’s past so we can better prepare for the future.
Her career has spanned the academic, non for profit and government sectors, including a stint at the Bureau of Meteorology, and managing a national citizen science project.
Linden is a regular on community radio, gives frequent public talks, has contributed to over 40 media articles since 2018, and was featured in the 2019 Best Australian Science Writing Anthology.
She was a 2019–2020 Science and Technology Australia Superstar of STEM, received the 2020 Australian and Meteorological Society Science Outreach award, and was selected as a Victorian Tall Poppy by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science in 2021 for her excellence in scientific research and outreach.
Beyond Disclosure: Managing Sovereign Climate RiskAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 16 November 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Investors and regulators around the world are increasingly looking to understand how climate change could cause financial and economic harm. They are most concerned about the systemic financial risks associated with large-scale investments being held in assets which will be impacted by the climate crisis and its concomitant economic transitions. However, to date, the steps taken by industry groups and government to manage climate risks have focused on information disclosure from corporate actors (such as the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure - TCFD). The logic of these initiatives is to create greater transparency and to enable capital markets to ‘price-in’ climate risks.
But corporations are only one type of actor involved in investment markets. Governments have borrowed money for centuries from private and public lenders. Indeed, government debt is at historically high levels at present. How should investors, regulators and governments themselves manage climate risks associated with such sovereign lending? To date, investors and governments have been emphasising disclosure as a mechanism for managing sovereign climate risk. But governments are structurally different to corporate entities, and many of the risks they face cannot be managed by disclosure itself. Indeed, disclosure may lead to significant ethical implications for countries. If not disclosure, what other approaches could sovereigns, investors and regulators take to manage such risks? In this talk we elaborate why sovereign climate risk is important and set out an initial framework for moving beyond disclosure in managing sovereign climate risk.Speaker:Pollination
Arjuna (‘Arj‘) is a Director a Pollination and is an expert on various aspects of climate policy, law and finance. Over the past decade, he has advised governments, international financial institutions and global corporations on the development and implementation of climate policy and legal frameworks, climate risk management, climate finance instruments and energy decarbonization strategies.
Arj began his career as a lawyer at Baker McKenzie’s Global Climate Change Practice, during which time he was recognised as Australia’s best lawyer under 30. He was also previously a Senior Policy Adviser at the Centre for Policy Development and a Fellow at the Steyer Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. On the side of his role at Pollination, Arj is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Smith School for Enterprise and Environment and a Board Director at Environmental Justice Australia.
Arj has a doctorate in climate law and economics from Stanford University which he received as a John Monash Scholar, and degrees in Law and Asian Studies from the Australian National University. His work has been published in leading peer-reviewed climate change journals and in the international press.
Zoe is an Executive Director at Pollination and is a leading advisor on climate finance, with significant experience developing strategy, governance and analytics for institutional investors wishing to manage climate change risk and SDG exposure.
She previously led Citi’s APAC ESG Research team and advised investors on climate change at Credit Suisse and Bank of American Merrill Lynch. She serves on the board of the IGCC and was an observer to the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative’s Coordinating Working Group and is on the board at the Centre for Policy Development.
Zoe has won numerous research awards, was rated one of the top RI analysts globally in 2019 and was awarded the inaugural Rising Star award by WIBF. She holds master’s degrees in environmental policy and economics from Oxford University and the University of Queensland.
Forest strategies for climate mitigation in Australia and the EUAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeTuesday, 9 November 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
This seminar will consider the global potential for restoration of degraded lands and forests and specific forest related mitigation strategies in the EU and Australia.
Global potentials for ecosystem restoration
The potential of ecosystem restoration remains underexplored as an option that minimizes land-use change, protects and enhances biodiversity, and delivers sustainably managed and productive landscapes. This presentation considers the types of ecosystem restoration that are presented in the literature, the carbon sequestration potential of these options, and the contribution to limiting temperature rise.
EU Forest Policies
Forests have become central to the European Green Deal as they are key for enhancing biodiversity across the continent, they provide the largest source of carbon sequestration, and they are under increasing pressure due to promotion of wood products to replace energy and products. There are several initiatives under the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Forest Strategy that attempt to provide a direction for action on forests including:
- targets for restoration of forests
- efforts to monitor biodiversity outside of protected areas
- the development of guidelines for afforestation and reforestation projects and
- a roadmap for planting a trillion trees.
This presentation will look at the opportunities and challenges as well as national reactions to these initiatives.
Costs and benefits of restoring Australia’s degraded terrestrial ecosystems
Since European settlement, large areas of Australia’s native vegetation have been progressively cleared for agriculture and urban settlements, with cascading negative effects to biodiversity. Restoring our most heavily degraded ecosystems with native vegetation will prevent species extinctions and help abate climate change. Our latest research sought to find out if we can elevate all of Australia’s ecosystems to have a minimum of 30% native vegetation coverage in healthy condition, while avoiding urban, industrial and primary agricultural areas. We estimate the cost associated with restoration, stewardship, and management of these areas. In addition, we outline the expected carbon abatement. We demonstrate a systematic approach to determine where cost-effective restoration actions need to occur to achieve a conservation goal.
Such a restoration project would restore habitat, ecosystem services, and sequester carbon. This study presents a bold restoration vison, transforming the way landscapes are managed, assisting Australia to become a net zero nation in the next few decades, and creating long-term jobs in regional communities. This research shows that there are restoration-based solutions for biodiversity loss that are attainable and affordable.
The presentations from Dr Kate Dooley and Bonnie Mappin are linked below. Kelsey Perlman's presentation can be found here.Speaker:Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne
Kate has a PhD in climate politics from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Science from Imperial College London. She is currently a Research Fellow at Melbourne University’s Climate and Energy College. Kate has policy expertise on forest governance, climate change and carbon accounting and has almost two decades experience advising government and non-government organisations. She has been following the UN climate negotiations since 2009, focusing on the role of forests and land-use in climate mitigation and has published on rights-based approaches to ecosystem restoration, the politics of forest carbon accounting, and land-use for sustainable development.
Kelsey Perlman is a forest and climate campaigner at Fern and has worked on EU and international climate policy for the past 6 years with experience in various political institutions including ICAO, UNFCCC and the EU. Her current focus is on forest and climate policies in the EU where she follows discussions on negative emissions, sustainable forest management and policies such as the EU Forest Strategy and the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation.
Bonnie Mappin is a biodiversity conservation scientist, with broad background in financial risk mathematics and consulting. Currently she is the Program Director of Landscape Restoration for the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. Bonnie is in the final stages of completing her PhD in ‘Ecological restoration planning for effective conservation of terrestrial biodiversity’ at the University of Queensland. Supervised by Professors Hugh Possingham and James Watson, Bonnie’s research explores gaps in ecological restoration planning to advance impact on the conservation of biodiversity. Her research advances include determining the need and priorities for restoration to achieve conservation goals, evaluating the impact of a large global restoration initiative, and creating a national plan for Australia’s restoration priorities with budgeting costs and benefits.
Bonnie’s background includes formal qualifications in Actuarial Science and experience working in corporate financial services. She transitioned her career to life science by laying foundations with a Masters in Quantitative Biology from Imperial College London. Bonnie’s role at the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists involves working with eminent scientists and experts in the policy–science–management interface of conservation, developing technical reports, providing advice for sound environmental policy as well practical resources, knowledge, and tools to empower businesses and communities to restore Australia’s environment.
Nature-Based Solutions for Sustainable Agricultural Land ManagementAustralian-German Climate & Energy CollegeWednesday, 3 November 2021 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Agricultural nature-based solutions provide a sustainable, long-term approach to land management. Nature-based solutions aim to restore land, improve vegetation, and enable farms to be more resilient while mitigating and adapting to climate change. As awareness about climate change and environmental issues continues to increase, there is an expectation that agricultural production occurs in a low emission or carbon neutral environment. Agricultural industries have committed to carbon neutral targets in Australia, which will help food producers to meet global environmental expectations and to remain competitive into the future. Dr Natalie Doran-Browne’s presentation discusses some of the options available to farmers to reduce or offset on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, through efficient and regenerative farm management practices, including nature-based solutions.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, nature-based solutions provide co-benefits that improve farm performance and resilience. Dr Rachelle Meyer’s presentation provides information on the co-benefits of high amounts of soil carbon and integrating trees into farm operations. This will include preliminary results from the “Trees on Farm: maximising co-benefits” project which aims to develop a database of co-benefits and disadvantages of planting trees on farm and quantify the value of co-benefits. Trends in the literature reviewed for the database and reported co-benefits will be discussed.Speaker:The University of Melbourne
Rachelle Meyer's research interest include adaptation and mitigation in the land sector. For her PhD thesis, she used a whole-farm system modelling approach to quantify the agro-ecosystem benefits and mitigation implications of soil carbon in grazing systems of western Victoria. This included calculating net greenhouse gas balances and investigating the impact of climate change on the potential of soil carbon as a mitigation option. Currently, Rachelle is managing the Trees on Farm project which aims to quantify the co-benefits of trees to farm operations.
Natalie Doran-Browne is a Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne and is part of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences. Her research encompasses managing and reducing the impacts of climate change through the use of sustainable farming practices in Australia and in developing countries. Natalie published the first research papers on carbon neutral farming in Australia. Her research expertise is in the carbon accounting of farm systems, as well as strategies to mitigate and offset greenhouse gas emissions from livestock at the farm or national levels. Recent research incorporates the requirements for governance and institutional arrangements that will help countries to work towards meeting emission-reduction targets through their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Web tools and Projects we developed
The live tracker of the Australian electricity market.
This website is based on a Nature Climate Change study that compares Nationally Determined Contributions with equitable national emissions trajectories in line with the five categories of equity outlined by the IPCC.
Run one of the most popular reduced-complexity climate carbon cycle models online. Used by IPCC, UNEP GAP reports and numerous scientific publications.
Check out our analysis of all the post-2020 targets that countries announced under the Paris Agreement.