The Climate Commission: Engaging Australians on Climate Change — ASN Events

The Climate Commission: Engaging Australians on Climate Change (10350)

Will Steffen 1
  1. Australian National University, Acton, ACT, Australia

The Climate Commission was formed in early 2011 to engage Australians on climate change, focusing strongly on three aspects – science, international action and economic approaches to reducing emissions. The expertise of the six Commissioners spans the physical science of the climate system, the impacts of climate change, engineering and technology, economics and business.

The Commission has employed a range of approaches to engaging Australians on the issue, including town hall forums, reports and other publications, website and social media, presentations at conferences and symposia, and small group discussions with business groups, schools, and community organisations. For most of its existence, and especially in the year leading up to the introduction of carbon pricing, the Commission has had to work in a toxic environment for engagement on climate change.

Nevertheless, the Commission has achieved some success and developed some effective ways to communicate and engage, including the use of infographics and videos, strong media campaigns around the release of reports, repetition of consistent messages and support of trusted people in society. Throughout all of these approaches and techniques, maintenance of scientific accuracy is paramount, and is never compromised.