Climate Change Institute (CCI) members are engaged with policymakers on climate at an international, national and state / territory level on an ongoing basis. Here are a few examples (far from comprehensive):
Leadership roles with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
International Advisory Roles
In 2017, Professor Mark Howden has also been on the following advisory panels in Australia, Chile, the EU and Asia including:
Roundtable discussions with policy-makers
The CCI organised and hosted 6 roundtable discussions, attended by 150 policy makers, researchers, NGOs and industry representatives. These included:
Both the Climate Change Institute and individual researchers have made submissions to various parliamentary inquiries this year:
Review of Australia’s Climate Change Policies – May 2017
Senate Inquiry on the Implications of Climate change for Australia’s National Security – August 2017
Both Professor Admiral Chris Barrie and Dr Amrita Malhi appeared as expert witnesses before the Australian Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee's Inquiry. Amrita made the case for a human security view of climate change and its impacts, and for Australia to scale up its commitment to an aid program that actively assists our neighbours - especially in the Pacific, and also in Asia - to adapt to impacts already being felt across the region.
Engagement with ACT Government
Honorary Professor Penny Sackett, Professor Frank Jotzo and Emeritus Professor Will Steffen are members of the ACT Climate Change Council. This year they have given advice, which was incorporated into the Discussion Paper on ACT’s Climate Strategy to a Net Zero Emissions Territory, released in Dec 2017. Professor Will Steffen was also the primary author for the Council’s Climate Change 2016: a brief science update.
Policy engagement by research theme
Climate change in the Pacific
The CCI worked with Stacy-Ann Robinson to develop a policy brief entitled “International financing for climate change adaptation in small island developing states”, which was sent to key decision-maker in Pacific climate affairs.
Climate and Water
Professor Quentin Grafton convened and signed the Geneva Actions on Human Water Security in Geneva on 7 July. The Geneva Actions has 54 Founding Signatories from 22 different countries, including 1 UNESCO Chair in Water. Inspired by the Green Carbon Fund, the Founding Signatories call for the creation of a Global Human Water Security Fund equivalent to one cent per person per day or some $27 billion/year to provide additional investments in three water actions: secure basic human water needs; secure improvements in watersheds, streams, rivers and aquifers; secure improved water governance.
The future of water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin was in the spotlight in late 2017, with allegations of water theft by irrigators in New South Wales, and claims that the Basin Plan is being undermined by a lack of transparency and accountability. Assoc Professor Jamie Pittock is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and their report was released on 30 November 2017.
Sea level rise
The CCI initiated four targeted parliamentary briefing sessions with MPs across the political spectrum with Professor Mark Howden and Adam Parris, of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, New York City.
Climate and health
The Climate and Health Alliance, led by their President Dr Liz Hanna, launched a collaboratively developed Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia at Parliament House on 22 June.
The launch of the document secured tri-partisan support, with the event co-hosted by Commonwealth Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King, and Australian Greens Leader, Senator Richard Di Natale. The ALP have since announced that they will develop and implement a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, based on the Framework. Read more.
Professor Michael Hutchinson and Dr Tingbao Xu have provided spatially distributed climate and forest productivity data to the Department of Environment and Energy to support their Carbon accounting for the National Inventory System.
Climate and Forests
A major ecosystem service provided by native forests is the storage and sequestration of carbon. A study of ecosystem accounts in the Central Highlands of Victoria co-authored by Dr Heather Keith and Professor David Lindenmayer showed that managing the forests for carbon as a climate change mitigation activity had a greater economic value, as well as environmental benefit, compared with continuing native timber harvesting.
Results from the study are being used to inform policy about forest management as part of the negotiation of the Regional Forest Agreement. We have provided briefings to the Victorian Forestry Taskforce; the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP; the Shadow Minister; and the Commonwealth Department of Energy and Environment. The project is being used internationally as a case study of ecosystem accounting in the development of the United Nations System of Environmental Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounts. Public communication includes and ANU media release, radio interviews on ABC Radio National, News Canberra and Melbourne Community Radio, and two short videos are available on the web.
Climate and Fire
Dr Marta Yebra has engaged with policy makers throughout the year, notably presenting to the Australian Flammability Monitoring System for the AFAC Predictive Service working group as they are interested in using the system for the new National Fire Danger Rating Site and via the Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC at their Research Driving Change – Showcase 2017. She will be a Panellist at the Parliamentary Friends of Science (PFoS) event on Wildfires, Wet and Wind in April 2017.
Here are some examples of outreach by individual CCI members:
Professor Mark Howden has given presentations at the following events:
- National and international policy and governance
- Community and NGO
Dr Bec Colvin, CCI Knowledge Exchange Specialist participated as a panellist for an EnergyLab discussion on the opportunities of community energy. She also spoke with 350.org on the social psychology of conflict about climate and environment issues and presented a webinar on the social impacts of energy development with the Energy Impacts Research Coordination network.
Dr Bec Colvin delivered a lesson on the greenhouse effect to students at Garran Primary School.
Dr Bec Colvin was awarded a fellowship to present at the Energy Impacts Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, to share findings on the impact of consultation with communities around energy developments.
Dr Marta Yebra was invited discussion panel member for the practitioner’s workshop on the use of Surrogates and Indicators in Ecological Monitoring. Australian Botanic Gardens. Canberra. August 2017, the "Future Earth". National Science Week, Canberra. August 2017. She was also the invited speaker at Australian National Data Service (ANDS) geospatial tech talk, Canberra. 4th August 2017.
Cobi Smith was a panellist for the Adelaide premiere of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, in August.
This year two ANU climate PhD scientists, Alena Kimbrough and Bethany Ellis participated in Shirty Science in collaboration with local artists. They explained their research to the artist and together created a shirt that represents an aspect of climate research.
Dr Jonathan Pickering presented to the Australian-German Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne on : ‘US retreat from the Paris Agreement: Kyoto revisited?’ on 28th September