In less than two months the pursuit of a global agreement on climate change will be under way at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

The highly-concentrated focus of this landmark conference will be on how countries around the world can begin the transition towards a carbon neutral economy.

For that to be possible there will need to be renewed political and social action across the globe on carbon emission reduction, and it is against this backdrop that Griffith University has teamed up with the Global Change Institute for a two-day workshop in Brisbane later this month.

‘Managing the transition to a sustainable economy’ will be hosted at South Bank on Thursday and Friday, October 22-23, and brings together world-leading academic thinkers from the fields of natural science, psychology and economics.

Climate change adaptation

“Irrespective of the outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, it is clear that both developed and developing countries face a number of fundamental challenges in achieving substantial carbon emission reductions,” Dr Andreas Chai, Griffith Business School, said.

“Along with decreasing the carbon emissions associated with energy production, there must be a simultaneous move towards achieving more carbon neutral consumption patterns and lifestyles too. Otherwise it is not a complete solution.

“To this end, we have assembled experts from economics, psychology and the natural sciences to discuss the social, psychological and economic dimensions of climate change adaptation.”

Researchers from some of Australia’s top universities and institutions will be joined by colleagues from the United States and Europe over two days at South Bank.

Three dedicated sessions will cover (i) Sustainable transition in energy production; (ii) Climate change, consumer lifestyle and energy demands; and (iii) Policy making and well-being in the era of sustainable growth.

CarmenLawrence.smallA presentation by Professor Carmen Lawrence (left), University of Western Australia and former Premier of Western Australia, will open session two; while Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, University of Queensland, will deliver the keynote address at the workshop dinner on October 22 at the Shore Restaurant.

“While many profess to be concerned about climate change and the state of the environment, there appears to be a yawning gap between these concerns and the propensity for people to act on these concerns and adopt sustainable consumption practices,” Dr Chai said.

“In addition, the shifting knowledge base around climate change continues to create uncertainty and this poses particularly tricky issues for policymakers about the timing of policy interventions.”

The end of the two-day workshop on October 23 will be followed by a special panel event hosted by the Griffith Centre for Sustainable Enterprise and Griffith MBA on social inclusion in a warming world.