Democracy Sausage: COVID-19 and climate change lessons

02 November 2020

The bushfire royal commission report released last week put climate change at the front and centre of its analysis, if not its recommendations. But as Australia has achieved such success in using scientific advice to respond to COVID-19, can it also start following the advice of scientists on tackling climate change? Mark Kenny is joined by Arnagretta Hunter, Mark Howden, and Marija Taflaga to talk bushfires, state vs federal responses, and the roadmap for addressing climate risk.

Last week’s report from the bushfire royal commission once again shone a light on the importance of tackling climate change, even as we navigate a global pandemic. But it arrived in the same week that Australia was able to achieve zero new COVID-19 infections – a result that has been driven by listening to and acting on scientific advice and modelling. So can Australia’s leaders take those lessons and apply them to the climate crisis? Could it be that the states lead the federal government in acting on the issue? And will the messages from the Commission’s report change the way we talk about economic risk when it comes to climate? On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Professor Mark Kenny is joined by Professor Mark Howden, Dr Arnagretta Hunter, and Dr Marija Taflaga. Listen here.

Mark Howden is the Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University (ANU).

Arnagretta Hunter is a cardiologist, physician, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at ANU Medical School.

Marija Taflaga is Director of ANU Centre for the Study of Australian Politics and a lecturer in the ANU School of Politics and International Relations. Her major research is on political parties and particularly the Liberal Party of Australia.

Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.

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