2018 ANU Climate Annual Report


Message from the Director

Professor Mark Howden
Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute

"2018 was a year of extreme events, with drought affecting much of eastern Australia, fires raging in Queensland and California, multiple heat records broken over the course of a particularly hot Northern Hemisphere summer and continued heatwaves here in Australia. As we witness the mounting impacts of climate change, bringing different disciplines together to develop innovative solutions has never been more important. We’re delighted to share some of our 2018 highlights – these cover only a small fraction of the work happening across ANU."


Research highlights

The CCI brings together cutting edge climate research – from fundamental climate science and its effects on our biophysical environment, to societal, economic, political, legal and technological impacts and responses.

CCI keywords infographic

Below we’ve highlighted a small sample (far from comprehensive) demonstrating the breadth of climate research across ANU.


Education spotlight

Over 117 climate courses
60 undergraduate courses
89 postgraduate courses
4 interdisciplinary PhD scholarships

Climate education across ANU

ANU runs over 60 undergraduate and 89 postgraduate courses that address the multiple dimensions of climate change, from climate science to economics, law, policy and governance aspects of climate change vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation.

Master of Climate Change

As climate impacts become more apparent, people who understand its multiple dimensions and can contribute to innovative solutions are in increasingly high demand. Learn about the Master of Climate Change »

Master of Climate Change student, Caitlin Sears, has recently landed her dream job with ARENA.

I chose the Master of Climate change because it touches on all aspects of climate change, and gives all students the chance to focus on their areas of interest. I’ve received phenomenal support from the course convenors – not just by helping with coursework but also by helping me develop my career.

PhD supplementary scholarships

In 2017, the CCI established a top-up PhD scholarship to encourage an integrative approach to climate research. Here are two of the recipients:

Understanding societal attitudes to climate change and carbon dioxide removal »

YuanYuan Shang, National Centre for Public Awareness of Science

I’m aiming to understand the context, framing, communication gaps and discussion on negative emissions, to assist the technologies in moving from pilot-scale theory to scaled-up practice.

Who’ll pay for the losses and damages caused by climate change? »

Melanie Pill, Fenner School of Environment & Society

The end goal is to create a holistic framework that covers financing of all aspects of loss and damage and that can be adopted internationally.


Public policy engagement

The Climate Change Institute is engaged with policymakers at an international, national and state / territory level on an ongoing basis. Here are a couple of examples:

ANU contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

60 undergraduate courses 6 leadership roles with IPCC
ANU expert commentary reached more than 2.3 million people
14+ briefings, roundtables & lectures on IPCC 1.5°C report
Numerous ANU expert reviewers for IPCC

ACT Government Climate Strategy for Net Zero Emissions

The CCI organised a roundtable facilitating researcher engagement, co-ordinated a policy submission & ran a Student Climate Café garnering student input. Four CCI members are members of ACT Climate Change Council.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP24)

Three CCI members attended the Convention and the CCI ran a public lecture “Explaining the COP24 Katowice Climate Conference” discussing the implications of the negotiations.


ANU climate outreach

ANU Climate coasters

The Climate Change Institute collaborated closely with ANU School of Design to develop the 'climate coasters’, a tangible visualisation of 2017 climate data.


Building our community of climate researchers and teachers

278 Climate Change Institute members
Across 7 ANU Colleges
24 out of 27 ANU Schools
231 full members and 47 PhD student members

A new CCI Advisory Committee was established in 2018 with representatives from 10 ANU Schools.

CCI Advisory Board

CCI Member Profile – Aaron Tang

Aaron Tang

Aaron Tang is a PhD student focused on the international politics and environmental governance of carbon dioxide removal. Aaron has found the interdisciplinary nature of the CCI has helped him immensely.

I’m in the business of understanding people. I can’t do that from the perspective of politics or economics or sociology alone, so the guidance and networks that the CCI have given me are fantastic.


ANU climate events

23 CCI public lectures, seminars & Climate Café
Over 2600 audience members at CCI events
Overall star rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars
89% of those surveyed will tell others about the event

What people said

Here are some examples showing the diversity of our 2018 events:

In the media


In the media

The media is a vital channel for communicating ANU climate research to the broader community. Climate researchers across ANU engage with media on a daily basis.

Here are a few examples of 2017 media coverage:

Clearing the air: who should do the most to tackle climate change? »

Professor Frank Jotzo
Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August 2018

Street trees set to weather threats of climate change and heated suburban warfare »

Associate Professor Cris Brack
ABC Radio Canberra, 24 August 2018

Australia’s drought could cause a spike in gastro cases »

Dr Aparna Lal
SBS News, 11 October 2018

Panel discussion on fire, climate change and the 'new normal'

Professor Mark Howden
Channel 7 Weekend Sunrise, 1 December 2018


Keep in touch

If you’d like to get involved in ANU climate change activities, email climate@anu.edu.au and subscribe to our regular e-newsletter and follow us on social media.