Category Archives: Events

Naomi Klein talks about Capitalism Vs. the Climate

In her latest book, This Changes Everything (2014), Canadian writer and activist Naomi Klein argues that unrestrained capitalism is at the root of the climate crisis and that the global response to climate change has, thus far, been shaped by wealth and power.

Earlier in the month I had the chance to speak with Naomi Klein on the eve of her appearance at the Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas. The transcript of our discussion is set out below and you can listen to the podcast of our discussion here. Continue reading Naomi Klein talks about Capitalism Vs. the Climate

Fossil Fuel Divestment as Effective Climate Change Action

Earlier in the year I was asked to talk at a Politics in the Pub event on the subject of ‘How Effective Is the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement in Speeding up Action on Climate Change?’.  I shared the stage with Blair Palese, Australian CEO of 350.org, and it was an opportunity to talk about how divestment might contribute to a more effective political response to the climate crisis. Below is an abridged version of my talk and you can view a video of the presentation at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading Fossil Fuel Divestment as Effective Climate Change Action

Road to Paris and Science Based Targets Initiatives

On May 1, the Balanced Enterprise Research Network (BERN) at the University of Sydney Business School  hosted an event in collaboration with the UN Global Compact, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and WWF Australia on the Road to Paris and Science Based Targets Initiatives.

This forum launched the initiative ‘Science Based Targets‘ – which aims to encourage businesses to set new, ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in the run up to the COP21 talks in Paris later this year. Formed as a response to the urgent call by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to decarbonise the economy, the initiative adopts a scientific approach to climate action in line with the latest IPCC report, and highlights the central role that business must play in responding to the climate threat by reducing GHG emissions in line with the best climate science. Continue reading Road to Paris and Science Based Targets Initiatives

Climate change as a moral issue for business?

Last Monday Greens Leader Christine Milne delivered a landmark speech at the University of Sydney on the next steps for global warming policy around the world and Australia’s role as we approach the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris this year.

I participated in the event as one of the respondents to Senator Milne’s address and was asked to comment on ‘what role business should play in effective climate change response?’ My response is set out below, but one theme that emerged in the discussion is whether business has an ethical responsibility in its response to climate change? I argue that it does, and this excellent article by David Roberts today highlights the broader way in which climate change is being viewed as a moral imperative and why this frightens those opposed to action on climate change. This an issue business seems unprepared to deal with, but as the climate crisis worsens and its moral implications become more apparent, it is one businesses need to increasingly engage with. Continue reading Climate change as a moral issue for business?

Fossil Fuels as Stranded Assets?

Recently, the Balanced Enterprise Research Network (BERN) at the University of Sydney hosted a visit by Ben Caldecott, Director of the Stranded Assets programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. During his visit, Ben presented a number of very well-attended talks on the issue of fossil fuels as stranded assets and the implications for Australian investments in coal mining. Continue reading Fossil Fuels as Stranded Assets?

The Future of Fossil Fuels in a Climate-Challenged World

Open cut coal mine - Hunter Valley

The politics of climate change is becoming ever more complex. Just last week in Australia we have witnessed the spectacle of our major political parties voting against moves to prohibit coal and CSG mining on agricultural land; one of the country’s most influential conservative radio commentators supporting a Greens’ politician in her efforts to limit fossil-fuel developments on farming land,  and the conservative NSW government approving a massive expansion of coal mining in the Hunter Valley (which will include the relocation of an entire village!). Continue reading The Future of Fossil Fuels in a Climate-Challenged World

The Biodiversity Crisis: Video of Sydney Ideas Lecture

Last week, I chaired a Sydney Ideas symposium on “The Biodiversity Crisis: Environmental, Social and Economic Impacts”. This event featured two leading experts on the topic: Professor Lesley Hughes from the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University and the Climate Council, and Professor Manfred Lenzen, head of Sustainability Research in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. You can view the full video of the event above which features Lesley’s talk “Can Biodiversity Survive the Human Race?” in which she explores the links between unprecedented species decline and climate change, as well as Manfred’s fascinating analysis of the links between global trade, supply chains and species extinction.

The event was generously funded via support from the Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) and the Balanced Enterprise Research Network (BERN) at the University of Sydney Business School.