Griffith University to tackle climate change in new program

Griffith University has launched a new initiative to tackle one of the world’s most pressing problems.

The Griffith Climate Action Beacon will harness expertise from within the University and its partners to work on enduring solutions for climate change.

Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges and threats facing humanity and as COVID-19 shows, modern societies are not immune to existential shocks, but when we work together, we can overcome shared problems,’’ said Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon.

“The next 10 years is critical and Australia, indeed all countries, face the challenge of rapidly transitioning to a net zero emissions economy and building capacity for a climate resilient society. That’s why we have created Griffith’s Climate Action Beacon.

“What’s really exciting is that Griffith University is taking a step beyond research into practice, to work with communities on practical climate action projects and solutions.”

To guide this practice, Griffith University is working with a number of key partners to establish the Climate Ready Initiative, a social impact initiative that will prepare society for the transition towards a net-zero emissions and climate resilient future.

Under this initiative, Griffith will seek to create climate-ready partnerships with government, business, industry and communities.

Professor Mackey said the new focus on practice was accompanied by strong interdisciplinary research aimed at three key societal outcomes:

  • Motivating climate action —understanding the barriers and enablers to climate action among individuals and collectively in organisations and communities
  • Future climate transitions — to enable climate resilient development and net zero carbon emissions economies
  • Climate justice — ensuring climate actions are fair, equitable and just and contribute to broader sustainable development goals

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the significant long-term investment in the Climate Action Beacon, the first of a number of major initiatives known as ‘Beacons’, was part of the University’s commitment to using research to address critical societal problems and translating research outcomes into real-world solutions.

“It builds upon Griffith’s extensive research, particularly in sustainability and social justice, which are key to effective and just climate action. We will undertake significant, socially relevant research and practice with partners from across and beyond the University to try to ensure that the future is one that brings benefits to as many people as possible.”