We are not just a think tank, we’re also a ‘do tank’. We connect people who can make a difference with the resources, evidence and ideas that will make a difference. We solve problems.
In its 10 years of existence, The Climate Institute has worked towards delivering impact:
- Strategic alliances crucial to delivering reforms and achieving lasting change. The Australian Climate Roundtable of business, investor, welfare, union and environment groups is the latest example of the kinds of bridges we have helped build. The Roundtable's acknowledgement in July 2015 that climate change is impacting Australia - with growing economic, social and environmental costs - is as important as its recognition that delayed or piecemeal action will increase the costs of responding to the climate challenge.
- We are a “go to” commentator on climate issues for media, opinion and decision makers. Just in the last year we have driven major news stories and front page coverage across commercial media and ABC alike.
- We lay out practical tools for understanding complex situations, for instance what the post-2020 pollution reduction target Australia offers in mid-2015 will mean and how it compares to what others are doing. Our election pollute-o-meter has provided analysis of the pollution reduction potential of major parties, backed by in depth analysis and proposals for policy priority. Our G20 Low Carbon Competitiveness Index was used by economist Lord Nicholas Stern in his engagement with governments across the major economies.
- Our influence, analysis and economic modelling was crucial for the expansion of the renewable energy target in 2009. On the back of this policy billions were invested in wind and solar across Australia.
- We helped re-establish the momentum which saw laws that limited carbon pollution and made polluters begin to take responsibility for their emissions. After two years of operation these laws reduce emissions by around 40 million tonnes - twice that will be achieved by the Renewable Energy Target over a decade. Those laws have been rudely interrupted but we helped save vital independent institutions like the Climate Change Authority and are working with others to rebuild momentum for effective policies.
- While our political processes struggle, investment that properly manages climate and carbon risks can drive or at least help the change in business behaviour that’s required for a cleaner, modern economy, globally and in Australia. That’s why we pioneered transparency in investment decisions at superfunds, the world’s largest investors. And this is why we’re now pushing investors and regulators to investigate how climate risks to Australia’s financial stability as well as to investments like your superannuation.
- We have made sure the voice of Australians is heard on climate, by tracking attitudes to climate change and its solutions consistently since 2007.
- Australia is a recognised global leader with highly effective diplomacy skills. Because of this and as the world’s 13th biggest polluter, what we do internationally matters. To maximise our international accountability and bust myths that other nations aren’t acting on climate, we track and influence Australia’s climate diplomacy and regularly map global climate action.
- Central to our work is a clear eyed risk management approach that seeks to manage the unavoidable while avoiding the unmanageable. We have conducted numerous research projects on how climate impacts many areas of our lives, and many have led to changes in industry practice, and empowered everyday Australians to make sound decisions. For example, in 2007 we led groundbreaking research forecasting bushfire weather conditions that realised the need for “very extreme” and “catastrophic” categories of bushfire risk. They are now iconic and in use across the nation.
- We have worked with the private sector and all levels of government in identifying resilience tools and indicators for energy, transport, property and water infrastructure.
- We have examined mental health and community wellbeing implications and explained how climate change impacts on your ability to access and afford home insurance.
- IPCC and other climate science reports can be hard to understand, so we translate them for you and highlight the impacts for Australia. We did this with the multi-part latest IPCC report, but we have also published simple guides to why warming of 2°C matters and why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at current levels is a problem, even though it’s a natural occurring element.
- As climate policy staggers at the Federal level, we have provided the states with evidence-based research that they can step up pollution reduction and investment and renewables and provide their residents the opportunities that come with address climate change. Every step in the right direction gets us closer to resolving the climate challenge.