Key contributors to climate change policy making in Australia will reflect on their experiences and point to the lessons that can be learnt at a forum at the University of Melbourne on Tuesday 30 March.
Butterflies are emerging in spring over 10 days earlier than they did 65 years ago, a shift that has been linked to regional human-induced climate change in a University of Melbourne- led study. The work reveals for the first time, a causal link between increasing greenhouse gases, regional warming and the change in timing of a natural event.
A significant shift in the ETS debate will result from this week's Federal Opposition leadership spill, says University of Melbourne's Dr Les Coleman
"The major issue to come out of Abbott 's leadership is the fact that all bets are off now. Where there was consensus before about the ETS as being a good way forward, I think it will go right back to basics now and that there will be a complete reassesment of it."
"Whatever Abbott does in terms of his policies, I think it will open up this debate and allow a lot more opportunity to look for better and more productive solutions to climate change."
Dr Coleman says it's a shame that the Liberal leadership spill has further politicised an already confused debate.
"We really need to bring about behavioural change but we seem to have gone the other way to politicise it. We've got discussions happening amongst diplomats and their track record in achieving change isn't very strong - look at the World Trade agreement which has taken decades to resolve."
"So it seems a great pity to me that the whole issue has become so politicised and we've lost sight of the need to get tangible behavioural change by consumers of energy and we need to implement a simple basic scheme."
Human rights and international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth, says that Australia's appointment to the UN Human Rights Council gives the country an opportunity to examine its own human rights record.