The Critical Decade
In May 2011, Australia's Climate Commission released a key report, 'The Critical Decade: Climate Science, Risks and Responses'. The Commission states that "failing to take sufficient action today entails potentially huge risks to our economy, society and way of life into the future. This is the critical decade for action."
Inspired by this sense of urgency, and in the wake of the ‘Four Degrees or More?’ conference in July 2011, this multi-institutional research project, 'The Critical Decade', is investigating the issues of climate change action and in particular the political, institutional and societal barriers to it, as well as opportunities for progress.
It is being run by The Critical Decade Steering Group:
- Associate Professor Peter Christoff, the University of Melbourne, and Chair of the Steering Group;
- Professor Craig Pearson, Director, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI), the University of Melbourne;
- Professor Mike Sandiford, Director, Melbourne Energy Institute;
- Professor David Griggs, Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University;
- Professor Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute, Australian National University, and himself a Climate Commissioner.
The project examines opportunities for and obstacles to fostering a post-carbon economy and society in Australia over the next decade.
The first step, sponsored by MSSI, was a roundtable discussion in November 2011. This helped refine the key questions that will be examined in greater depth through academic research and public workshops next year.
As it develops, the project is intended to engage other universities and a wide range of leaders in government, business and civil society.