Averting Climate Catastrophe: Extinction Rebellion, Business & People Power

Averting Climate Catastrophe: Extinction Rebellion, Business & People Power

Thursday, 31 October 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

We have a brief window in which to act on climate change, and to do so with enough force, commitment and ambition to achieve a rapid decarbonisation of the global economy. But how might such a fundamental shift - from business as usual to transformative change - be achieved?

Part of the answer may lie in events in London in April, where, under the banner of the Extinction Rebellion, thousands of people committed acts of civil disobedience, seriously disrupting the capital for 10 days. Media attention to climate change soared and a climate emergency motion was passed by Parliament.

This public lecture examines Extinction Rebellion’s strategy, its emphasis on non-violent civil disobedience and its impact before asking: what, beyond grassroots politics, would a transformational movement built around climate change involve? Must pressure be brought to bear on recalcitrant governments from many quarters: not just from grassroots activist groups but from business, financial markets, scientists, school children, faith groups, cities and multiple others?

Perhaps, as groups like Extinction Rebellion gain momentum, and join with others, a tipping point will be reached, generating rapid and far reaching changes across the economic and social system. If so, then bottom up action driven by civil society, in tandem with its allies and as part of a broader web of influence, may yet be the catalyst for rapid, radical and constructive action by nation states.

This is part of a MSSI seminar series focusing on biodiversity.

Event Location: 
Basement Theatre, Glyn Davis Building (MSD)
Masson Road
3010 Parkville , VIC
Australian National University

Neil Gunningham is a lawyer and social scientist working principally in the areas of climate, energy and environmental regulation and governance. His books include Smart Regulation: Designing Environmental Policy, and Shades of Green: Business, Regulation and Environment. His current research is on the role of financial markets in climate change mitigation, and on the roles of climate activism in averting a climate catastrophe.

Web tools and Projects we developed

  • Open-NEM

    The live tracker of the Australian electricity market.

  • Paris Equity Check

    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.

  • liveMAGICC Climate Model

    Run one of the most popular reduced-complexity climate carbon cycle models online. Used by IPCC, UNEP GAP reports and numerous scientific publications.

  • NDC & INDC Factsheets

    Check out our analysis of all the post-2020 targets that countries announced under the Paris Agreement.