2020 climate outreach

The Climate Change Institute (CCI) connects ANU research with a wide range of audiences and stakeholders through media engagement, public events, seminars, targeted briefings and online communications. The list below provides a sample of some of our outreach activities in 2020.


28 public lectures, seminars, roundtable discussions & Climate Cafes
Over 3,700 people reached by ANU expert commentary
4.3 Overall rating out of 5 stars
81% of attendees surveyed would talk to others about the event

In 2020, we ran the majority of our events online due to the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions. As restrictions begin to ease however, we are looking to maintain online streaming of our events as well as allowing in-person attendance. Streaming the events online has allowed audience members to join us from across Australia and the world, and this broader reach is something we hope to continue.

“Excellent event where I felt empowered and supported to take action against climate change.”

“The forum is a useful source of information tracking the state of/ and responses to climate change. The passion and focus that each speaker brings to their topic gives the forum a strong sense of identity (as an academically informed and accessible interrogation of responses to climate change).”

“A seamless and acutely informative presentation.”

Highlighted events

In the media

The media is a vital channel for communicating ANU climate research to the Australian and international community. Climate researchers engage with media on a daily basis. In 2020:

  •  Over 10,600 media programs, articles featuring key CCI contributors
  • More than 84m audience reached by CCI media
  • Mentioned across over 3,300 media outlets

Here are some examples of 2020 media coverage:

Leading up to COP26

To mark one year until COP26, CCI collaborated with the British High Commission, French Embassy, and Italian Embassy respectively to produce several events.

The panel for the film screening of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. From left: H.E. Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Australia; Caitlin Baljak, undergraduate student at the ANU; Dr Sophie Lewis, ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment; and Dr Zoe Leviston from the ANU Research School of Psychology.

In collaboration with the British High Commission, CCI co-hosted a panel discussion and screening of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. H.E. Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Australia moderated the panel discussion. Speakers on the panel were ANU undergraduate student Caitlin Baljak; Dr Sophie Lewis, ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment; and Dr Zoe Leviston from the ANU Research School of Psychology. You can watch a recording of the panel discussion here.

CCI also co-hosted an online event titled Delivering on the Paris Climate Agreement – looking ahead to Glasgow, alongside the British High Commission, and the Italian Embassy. H.E. Julie Bishop, Chancellor of the ANU and former Foreign Minister of Australia, gave an introductory address. Other speakers at the event were Dr John Murton, Special Envoy for COP26 from the Government of the United Kingston; Tosca Barucco, Special Envoy for COP 26 from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; and Prof Frank Jotzo, Director of the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy at the ANU. You can watch a recording of the event here.


A photograph of the speakers at the Celebrating Antarctica event. On screen top left; Rocco Ascione and other staff of the Antarctica Technical Unit; bottom left of screen is Dr Emily Shuckburgh from Cambridge University; bottom right is Prof Carlo Barbante from the National Research Council of Italy; on stage is Prof Mark Howden (left) and Prof Nerilie Abram (right).

To mark both Antarctica Day 2020 and one year until COP26, CCI co-hosted a hybrid event Celebrating Antarctica: climate change, biodiversity, and science. Speakers at the event were (in order of presentation) H.E. Francesca Tardioli, Ambassador of Italy to Australia; Dr Rocco Ascione, Researcher at the Antarctica Technical Unit; Prof Carlo Barbante, Director of the Institute of Polar Sciences at the National Research Council of Italy; Prof Nerilie Abram from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences; Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Director of the Cambridge Zero initiative at the University of Cambridge; and Ms Julie Le Saos, Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy in Australia. You can watch a recording of the event here.

TEDxANU – Countdown

On 15 October 2020, the ANU Postgraduate and Research Students Association (PARSA) ran the first TEDxANU event, titled TEDxANU – Countdown. This event was part of TED’s global Countdown initiative, which aims to champion and accelerate solutions to climate change.

The following CCI members gave talks at the event, which you can watch online by following the links:

Outreach by CCI Director

Professor Mark Howden has also given numerous presentations to policy, industry, academic and general audiences including:


  • AGnVET Services
  • Animal Sciences Group
  • Cattle Council of Australia
  • Meat and Livestock Australia


  • Beyond Zero Emissions
  • Cambridge Zero initiative, University of Cambridge


Griffith Narrabundah Community Association


  • Global Evergreening Alliance
  • National Science Week presentation – organised by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment
  • Professionals Australia
  • Questacon
  • Schroders Investment Management Australia

Within ANU

  • Presentations for ANU Advancement
  • Advised the ANU Bushfire Impact Working Group
  • Presenter for events and courses by the ANU Pacific Security College
  • Engagement with ANU InSpace
  • Guest Lecturer for an ANU International Law course
  • Presenter for Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Symposium

Outreach by individual CCI members

Some examples are listed below and there are many more examples of media coverage of CCI researchers.

Climate change and agriculture

Assoc. Prof Carolyn Hendriks was an invited speaker at the Farmers for Climate Action Repowering the Regions webinar.

Dr Steven Crimp was the keynote speaker for the fourth year in a row at the Grains Research and Development Corporation annual updates that occur across the country. This year, Dr Crimp presented at the updates in Goondiwindi in Queensland, and Mungindi in Northern New South Wales.

Dr Crimp also gave the keynote presentation at the BASF North West Grower’s Innovation Meeting in March, discussing the innovation challenge that climate change poses for Australian agriculture.

Dr Crimp was also the keynote speaker at the University of Western Australia for their 14th annual Industry Forum in late October. The theme for the 2020 forum was Climate change and agriculture – Challenges and solutions for Australian farmers. Dr Crimp gave a sense setting presentation for the challenges of climate change for Australia and Global Agriculture.

The Farm Weekly media outlet published an article on Dr Crimp’s presentation, which you can read here.

A picture of Dr Steven Crimp delivering his presentation to the 14th annual University of Western Australia Industry Forum.

Responding to climate change

Dr Bec Colvin gave a presentation titled Moving climate change beyond politics at the TEDxCanberra event. You can watch a recording of her talk here on the TED website.

Assoc. Prof Carolyn Hendriks was an invited speaker at the Green Institute’s COVID Democracy Series ‘From the Local to the Global and Back’ alongside Scott Ludlam and Tim Hollo.

PhD scholar Melanie Pill published a report alongside colleagues from the University of the South Pacific, as part of a consultancy to assess the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific against the aims and goals of the Paris Agreement. This consultancy was commissioned by Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and The Pacific Community (SPC).

CCI Business Manager Clare de Castella, Dr Steven Crimp, and Prof Mark Howden took part in software company Tigerspike’s Innovation Day 2020 – Climate Change workshops, which were held in collaboration with the Australian National University, Microsoft, and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The aim of the workshops was to develop innovative ways of engaging ANU students and staff in climate friendly practices from on-boarding and beyond, as well as identifying how we might be able to share climate data in a way that drives positive behavioural change at an individual or community level.

Climate Change and the arts

Artist and Visiting Fellow Ngaio Fitzpatrick collaborated with the Canberra Glassworks to produce an online event for Requiem for a Reef.

Requiem for a Reef is a collaborative and immersive work of advocacy for the endangered Great Barrier Reef by artist Ngaio Fitzpatrick, composer Alexander Hunter and nine musicians. The event consisted of a performance, followed by a Q&A with Ngaio. Following this, there was a panel discussion with Dr Jennie Mallela (FHEA), a Marine expert from the Research School of Biology College of Science at ANU, And Professor Mark Howden, Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute. You can watch a recording of the event here.

Prof Mark Howden opened the photography exhibition titled Shadows and Consequences, which featured a series of still and moving image works that invite audiences to re-consider their relationships with the natural environment and its non-human communities.

Dr Anna Raupach launched the Climate Sign Archive at the ANU School of Art and Design, to build up a collection of protest signs to capture the collective movement for action on climate change. You can view the archive website here, and a video of a prototype augmented reality presentation of the signs here. The Archive was also featured in Unity for Humanity Summit showcase, which you can view here

Prof Libby Robin wrote a blog post on Adjunct Prof Mandy Martin’s exhibition Hi-Vis Futures, which wrapped up at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in February. The art depicted connections between industry, carbon emissions and the end of the fossil fuel era, and was produced in collaboration with Alexander Boynes and Tristan Parr.

Built environment and climate change

Dr Tayanah O’Donnell featured on a Policy Forum podcast titled Transforming our cities, discussing the rise of sustainability challenges facing our cities, and the work of the Future Earth Australia organisation, of which she is Director. Listen to the podcast here.

Climate change and gender

Prof Margaret Jolly, Dr Bec Colvin, and Prof Nerilie Abram were panellists for 2020 International Women’s Day panel organised by ANU. This year’s theme was climate change.

Climate policy, economics, international negotiations and law

Prof Mark Howden and Dr Bec Colvin joined science writer Ketan Joshi on the Policy Forum podcast to discuss the past and present struggles of Australia’s climate policies, and how policymakers can put the country on the right track. You can listen to the podcast here on the Policy Forum website.

PhD scholar Melanie Pill attended the 12th Executive Committee meeting of the Warsaw International Mechanism of Loss and Damage. This was by nomination through RINGO, the focal point that nominates researchers and independent NGOs to attend UNFCCC meetings.

Melanie also attended the Warsaw International Mechanism session as part of the “Climate Dialogues” that have been organised instead of this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP26) that was postponed to 2021. The executive committee provided an update on work that has been done on loss and damage to date and invited speakers from the Green Climate Fund and the Standing Committee on Finance to talk to the matter of loss and damages finance.

Awards and honours

Several CCI members were recipients of the ANU Teaching and Learning Awards for 2020. These were the recipients across the various categories:

Excellence in Supervision

  • Prof Michael Platow
  • Assoc. Prof Leanne Armand
  • Prof Penny King

Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

  • Dr David Freudenberger

Programs that Enhance Learning (team)

  • Dr Will Grant, Dr Rod Lamberts, and Prof Joan Leach were amongst the team from the Centre of Public Awareness of Science to receive this award.

Teaching Excellence

Evaluating the impact of the Climate Change Institute

The Climate Change Institute has collected data this year to help us evaluate our impact and plan for the future.

We collected the data through an online survey about our events and a series of interviews with our stakeholders.

A summary of the findings from this work is now available here - CCI Evaluation summary (PDF 0.84 MB)

Many thanks again to all those who participated.