Culture

Meet The Climate Council: Australia’s New Independent Advisory Body On Climate Change

Professor Tim Flannery's recently-axed Climate Commission has emerged from the ashes like a beautiful, crowd-funded phoenix.

Last week, the Abbott government abolished Australia’s independent Climate Commission, a Government-funded body set up to expertly advise on the science and economics of climate change policy, headed up by Professor Tim Flannery.

Many people — including David Suzuki — were unhappy about that.

Some of those people emailed and tweeted Tim Flannery, encouraging him and the rest of the Commissioners to keep doing the work they were doing.

And on Monday night, Tim Flannery launched the Climate Council, a new “fiercely independent” non-profit and crowd-funded organisation that hopes to pick up where the Climate Commission left off.

“Without an informed public, we’re unlikely to make the decisions that will safeguard our future against truly dangerous climate change,” Flannery says. “So we’re going to keep going.”

All the other former Climate Commissioners support the initiative, and will be working for free until the Council gets off the ground. “Last summer was the hottest on record, breaking over 120 extreme weather records. This is the critical decade for tackling climate change and reducing our emissions. But we can’t tackle climate change without a well-informed public – and that’s where we come in.”

Reliant on public donations, the Climate Council raised $1000 an hour through their first night. After their first day, Tuesday, they had raised over $430,000, with over 10,000 people signing up as founding members. The video has been viewed over 11,000 times, and they look set to raise the $500,000 target they’d hoped for by the end of the week. The money will go towards covering overheads for communications and reports — starting with next week’s IPCC report — and employing a small team, including expert researchers.

As usual, Dan Ilic is winning the comments.

dan ilic

Environment Minister Greg Hunt seems to be taking this all as sweet vindication: “It proves our point that the commission didn’t have to be a taxpayer funded body,” he told Lateline last night.

You can sign up and donate to the Climate Council here, or join them on Facebook.