In conversation with Marian Wilkinson

A photograph of Marian Wilkinson, alongside the cover of her new book The Carbon Club

This event is being organised and run by the ANU Events team.

Marian Wilkinson will be in conversation with Frank Jotzo on Marian's new book The Carbon Club, the inside story of how a network of influential climate sceptics, politicians and business leaders fought to control Australia's climate policy.

In the summer of 2019/20 as Australia burned, and smoke from its fires encircled the planet, the world wondered why a country with so much to lose through climate change was doing so little. The Carbon Club reveals the reasons behind inaction, and the small group of key players who determined it.

Based on interviews with players from all sides, The Carbon Club is the story of how influential climate science sceptics, politicians and business leaders fought to control Australia's response to the climate crisis. They shared a fear that dealing with climate change would undermine the nation's wealth, jobs and competitive advantage—and the power and interests of the carbon club.

Central to their strategy was an international campaign to undermine climate science and the urgency of the climate crisis. The more the climate science was questioned, the more politicians lost the imperative to act. The sustained success of the carbon club over two decades explains why Australian governments failed to deal with the challenge of climate change. But at what cost to us and the next generation?

One of Australia's most respected investigative journalists, Marian Wilkinson has tracked the rise and rise of Australia's carbon club in brilliant detail. The result is a book that is both essential and disturbing reading.

Marian Wilkinson is a multi-award-winning journalist with a career that has spanned radio, television and print. A member of the Australian Media Hall of Fame, Marian was a pioneer in the resurgence of Australian investigative journalism. She was a senior journalist for many years with The Sydney Morning Herald, serving as its Washington correspondent, Environment Editor and Deputy Editor. She also worked as a senior reporter and executive producer for the ABC’s Four Corners program. She has written several books, including The Fixer, on former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson, and Dark Victory, on Australia's response to asylum seekers, which she co-authored with David Marr.

Frank Jotzo is a professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy. He has done research, analysis and advisory on climate policy for two decades, and has seen some high points and many low points up close. Frank is a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He teaches climate change policy and economics at the Masters level.

Signed copies of Marian's book will be available for sale at Harry Hartog bookshop, ANU.


If you would like to submit a question to be answered in conversation, please email with your question for Marian.

Details with live link will be emailed to participants shortly before the event.