Climate and Carbon Challenges

Climate and Carbon Challenges

Thursday, 11 April 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

This event will examine the opportunities and challenges for Australia and especially, the engineering profession, to reshape its industries and society to meet the global challenge of emissions reductions required to meet the safe climate goals set at the 2015 Paris climate conference and reviewed at COP24 2018 in Poland. The topic will be addressed from perspectives of
(a) latest scientific assessments on climate and emissions trends; and
(b) challenges for the engineering profession in responding to industry transformations necessitated by a carbon constrained future.

Two topics will be discussed at this event:

The science basis for determining policy and engineering responses - A/Professor Malte Meinshausen

Policy actions by government and contributions from the engineering profession need to be based on an understanding of the latest scientific assessments by the international climate science community. This presentation will address important aspects including:

  • the global carbon budget and Australia’s fair share in contributing to the global abatement effort
  • latest thinking on climate risk e.g as analyses by the IPCC 1.5 degree Warming Assessment
  • greater emission reduction ambition in light of COP 24 and recent scientific reviews such as the UNEP Emissions gap Report

How should society generally and the engineerign profession in particular, respond? - Tom Yankos

Policy responses by government has been a fraught issue over the last decade. The engineering profession has a key role in developing technical solutions to support both international obligations and to enable the transformations demanded by a carbon constrained future. This presentation will look at:

  • What policy tools and regulations are required to support an orderly, cost efficient  transition to net zero carbon emissions across all sectors Australia by 2050.
  • How adequate are our current collective government sectoral settings towards achieving a net zero 2050 CO2e target?
  • What typical specific strategies and adjustments will be required across different key CO2e emissions sectors within Australia, particularly in Engineering related sectors. (transport, built infrastructure, industrial processes, mining, energy).
Event Location: 
Engineers Australia
Level 31, 600 Bourke Street
3000 Melbourne , VIC
Australian-German College of Climate & Energy Transitions

A/Prof Malte Meinshausen is Deputy Academic Convenor of the College at The University of Melbourne since 2012 and is affiliated with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. He holds a PhD in "Climate Science & Policy", a Diploma in "Environmental Sciences" from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and an MSc in "Environmental Change and Management" from the University of Oxford, UK. Before joining the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in 2006, he was a Post-Doc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He has been a contributing author to various chapters in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4). Until May 2011, he was leading the PRIMAP ("Potsdam Real-Time Integrated Model for probabilistic Assessment of emission Path") research group at PIK before relocating to Melbourne. Since 2005, he is a scientific advisor to the German Environmental Ministry related to international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC. Since 2014, he investigates methods to derive future climate targets for Australia in the context of a Future Fellow ARC project. 


Tom Yankos plays a central role in providing research and analysis for a range of ClimateWorks’ projects. Since joining ClimateWorks Australia in late 2014, Tom has undertaken analysis for a range of projects, including the quantitation of the potential emissions reduction contribution from Sustainability Victoria’s TAKE2 pledge program, state-based economy-wide emissions projections and potential impacts of switching from gas to electric appliances on the electricity grid (in collaboration with CSIRO).
He also completed analysis for the ‘Energy Productivity Index for Companies’ project and contributed to the development of ClimateWorks’ ‘2050 Pathways Calculator’, an online tool which allows users to explore scenarios leading to deep decarbonisation by mid-century. During a secondment to CSIRO, Tom helped prepare the 'Low Emissions Technology Roadmap' report which highlights areas of potential growth in Australia's clean technology sector, contributing ClimateWorks' perspective and expertise.

Prior to joining ClimateWorks, Tom provided data analysis and modelling activities for energy efficiency and cost reduction for the Toyota Motor Corporation Australia. He also has experience in advanced simulation and computational methods.
Tom holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Business (Distinction) from RMIT University.

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.