Professional Short Course: Climate Essentials

Photo: robdownunder, Flickr

This short course has been fully booked. Please email Ruth O'Connor at the ANU Climate Change Institute for information about our next short course offering.

Climate change is already affecting communities throughout Australia with recent average annual temperatures about 1.14°C above those in pre-industrial times. As a result, Australia has also experienced changes in extreme weather, with more frequent heatwaves, storms, flooding and bushfires. All government departments, agencies and institutes are required to plan, develop and implement strategies to address current and projected changes to our climate.

This short course has been designed for professionals who want to gain an overview of the latest developments around climate change.  It will cover both the science of climate change and policy responses across a range of sectors.

The course is run by the ANU Climate Change Institute, bringing together leading climate researchers from across the university.

Scope and content

The course will provide a summary of the latest climate science, followed by an overview of climate policy and economics, climate adaptation, climate change communications and health & climate change. The final session will discuss the opportunities and challenges around developing effective climate policy. This will be tailored to provide direct contextual relevance to the decisions faced by Australian government departments, institutions and agencies.

Course details

  • The course has been adapted from a full day face-to-face course to online delivery to meet current social distancing requirements. The staggered structure is designed to maximise engagement and is based on advice from ANU experts in online course design.
  • The course covers six broad topics over three mornings; two sessions per day, each session punctuated by discussion of the key points.
  • Participation will be via the Zoom video conferencing tool, allowing direct interaction and discussion with lecturers and other course participants.
  • Course timings 9:00am – 12:00pm each day, Mon 15th - Wed 17th June 2020
  • Full program can be viewed here (PDF 1.79MB)

Who should attend?

This course has been designed for staff across government who are relatively new to working on climate change and want to gain an overview of the latest climate research, the impacts of climate change and policy responses in terms of both mitigation and adaptation. It is expected that participants will come from a range of different government departments and that the diverse perspectives of participants will be useful for all attendees given that climate impacts are being felt across all sectors of our economy and society. The course is also useful for NGO and consultancy staff who are interested in learning more about climate change.

Important information

  • This course offering is now fully booked.
  • The course will take place subject to demand. Registrants will receive a full refund in the unlikely event that the course is cancelled.  
  • Group discounts are available for bulk registrations of three or more participants from the same organisation.  
  • Contact course convenor, Ruth O’Connor, via or 02 6125 4672 to find out more.     
  • Cost - $1150 per person (including GST)


  • Introduction - Professor Mark Howden, Director, ANU Climate Change Institute
  • Understanding Climate Change and Extremes - Professor Mark Howden, Director, ANU Climate Change Institute
  • Climate Policy and Economics - Professor Frank Jotzo, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
  • Climate Change Adaptation - Dr Steven Crimp, ANU Climate Change Institute
  • Communicating climate change to psychologically complex creatures (humans) - Dr Bec Colvin, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
  • Health and Climate Change - Professor Sharon Friel, ANU School of Regulation and Global Goverance
  • Enabling climate policy solutions - Hon Professor Howard Bamsey, ANU School of Regulation and Global Goverance

A detailed version of the program and course details can be downloaded here (PDF 1.79MB)