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Associate Professor Bec Colvin; photo credit: Alex Gotts

Reflections on the ANU Climate Update 2024: Will the climate narrative shift by 2030?

20 February 2024

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Bec Colvin is a social scientist and Associate Professor with the Resources, Environment & Development Group at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

The best way to address the impacts of climate change is at the forefront of some of the best minds at the Crawford School of Public Policy and the ANU. Academics participating in the ANU Climate Update 2024 used this time to provide a comprehensive insight into the evolving climate landscape and our collective responses to these shifts, both within Australia and globally.

Crawford’s Associate Professor Rebecca Colvin engaged in a panel discussion alongside fellow researchers and practitioners dedicated to addressing climate-related challenges across diverse sectors. Reflecting on her experience, Bec shared her insights from the event.

Bec found Professor Mark Howden’s update on climate science particularly confronting, especially regarding the stark global temperature rise in 2023 compared to the mild climate experienced in Australia. The data presented shattered any comfort derived from the local weather patterns.

During the panel discussions, which included esteemed colleagues, Dr Zoe Leviston, Visiting Fellow Sharon Forwood, and Professor Valeska Ting, Bec was struck by their emphasis on the diverse nature of climate action. They highlighted that action encompasses a range of activities beyond mere protest attendance and stressed the importance of considering different perspectives and identities in defining meaningful responses to climate challenges.

In reflecting on her personal encounters at the event, Bec expressed, “I found the variety of speakers to be uplifting, particularly to hear from Visiting Fellow Sharon Forwood some of the opportunities for better-connecting research with the education community. Forwood described teachers’ conferences and journals and expressed that there is a large demand for contributions from the research sector.”

One of the most poignant moments of the event came during the Q&A session. Dr Marwan El Hassan posed a thought-provoking question: “Are we going to be telling a different story in 2030, six years from now?” It was a question that lingered in the air, prompting reflection on the progress made and the challenges that lie ahead. Professor Howden’s response, acknowledging incremental progress while highlighting the ongoing need for action, resonated deeply with the packed Auditorium.

The annual event left an impression on Bec, “Overall, this was a brilliant event, and one that I attend every year. I thank the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) for their investment in such a valuable opportunity to welcome the ANU and the broader community to come together and learn about climate change and explore some of the pathways ahead in responding to this monumental challenge.”

Recording of the ANU Climate Update 2024

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Updated:  13 April 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team