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Resources for students and useful contacts

Students and others can find information on climate change for use in assignments, projects, essays and research. It includes reliable sources of information to better understand climate change and links to Australian Government climate change initiatives and international sources.

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Useful information and sources

  • Department of the Environment and Energy
    The Department of the Environment and Energy is responsible for the Australian Government's policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy. Climate science contains a range of resources that will assist students and others better understand climate change, the greenhouse effect, indicators of climate change, Australian climate change science, and projections for Australia's climate in the future in particular temperature, rainfall, and sea level. It also points to reliable information sources both within Australia and internationally.
    CSIRO uses climate simulations to project future climate decades in advance. CSIRO's website contains climate change projections developed to support the planning needs of Australia's natural resource management sector and to provide information to assist climate adaptation processes.

    CSIRO has an extensive list of frequently asked questions on climate change.
  • Greenhouse effect
    The greenhouse effect is a natural process that warms the Earth's surface. When the Sun's energy reaches the Earth's atmosphere, some of it is reflected back to space and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. Set up in 1988, it provides policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation. Its assessments provide a scientific basis for governments at all levels to develop climate related policies. While its assessments present projections of future climate change based on different scenarios and the risks that climate change poses and discuss the implications of response options, they do not prescribe actions to take.
  • State of the Environment Report
    The State of the Environment Report is the latest report into the state of the Australian environment. It says the world is warming and greenhouse gas emissions continue to contribute to climate change. It also quotes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the human influence on climate is clear.
  • National Electricity Market
    The National Electricity Market is the wholesale electricity market for the electrically connected states and territories of eastern and southern Australia - Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. It generates around 200 terawatt hours of electricity annually, supplying around 80 per cent of Australia's electricity consumption.
    Uses climate simulations to project future climate decades in advance. CSIRO's website contains climate change projections developed to support the planning needs of Australia's natural resource management sector and to provide information to assist climate adaptation processes. It also has an extensive list of climate change reference materials and data sources.
  • Clean Energy Regulator
    Administers schemes to reduce carbon emissions and increase clean energy use such as the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme, the Carbon Farming Initiative, and the Renewable Energy Target.
  • Climate Change Authority
    Advises the Australian Government on Australia's climate change policies and future emissions reductions targets.
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation
    Finances cleaner power solutions, including large and small-scale solar, wind and bioenergy and invests in more energy efficient property, vehicles, infrastructure and industry. At the beginning of January 2016, it had committed more than $1.4 billion in clean energy projects valued at over $3.5 billion.
  • Australian Renewable Energy Agency
    Aims to make renewable energy solutions more affordable and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia through various programs and projects. Has $2.5 billion in funding until 2022. The website provides a map of its projects.
  • Australian Research Council
    Advises the Australian Government on research matters and its Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science focusses on resolving uncertainties through in regional climate science.
  • CoAG Energy Council
    A forum for collaboration on developing an integrated and coherent national energy policy.

State and Territory Climate Change Initiatives

State and territory governments are also taking action to reduce emissions and encourage uptake of renewable energy generation through a range of policy measures. For more information on state and territory policy measures and targets, visit their websites below.

The recent State of the Environment Report captured what each State and Territory is doing to address climate change

The states and territories have initiatives for households, consumers, businesses and industries wanting to reduce their energy use to save money and reduce emissions.

Energy websites

  • Households
    Covers energy, water, waste and travel. Only some mention of emissions reduction but more focus on efficient energy use. Targeted at households and -based business. Details of available federal and state assistance.
  • EnergyAction
    Covers energy for business and industry with a focus on efficient energy use. Previously targeted at large industry but now includes small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Provides summary information and links to more detailed resources.
  • Energy Rating
    Information on energy rating labels and labelled products. Contains tools to compare productsand some general energy saving information.
  • Your
    Sustainability information for domestic buildings and for people requiring more detailed technical information including builders, architects, students and teachers of building related fields, and keen renovators and self-builders.
  • Commercial Building Disclosure
    For commercial office space that must be rated under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System. Commercial office space greater than 1,000 m2 must be rated if undergoing a sale or lease. Targeted at building managers, owners and energy rating assessors.
  • Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme
    All domestic buildings must be rated for their energy efficiency with most jurisdictions requiring a minimum 6 stars out of 10. Targeted at owners, builders and energy rating assessors.
  • CoAG Energy Council
    All issues considered by the COAG Energy Council, a Ministerial forum for the Commonwealth, states and territories and New Zealand to work together pursuing national energy reforms.