Envisioning a greener future for the state
A trio of UTAS academics is contributing high level expertise in the climate change policy and action field, after being appointed to the Tasmanian Climate Action Council (TCAC).
Dr Anna Lyth, Senior Research Fellow (Sustainability) in the UTAS School of Geography and Environmental Studies, Dr Nick Towle, Rural Clinical School and Professor Jan McDonald from the UTAS Faculty of Law are three of the 10 TCAC members.
Their appointments follow on from the pioneering role of Associate Professor Kate Crowley, UTAS School of Government, who was the inaugural Chair of TCAC in its first term.
TCAC recently held its first meeting.
Minister for Climate Change, Cassy O'Connor, said "the calibre of our new Council members, as with our last, is extremely high, and they bring a diverse expertise into many areas that are essential in tackling climate change, including science, transport, urban design and planning, law, business strategy, sustainability and behaviour change."
"As Minister, it felt terrific to sit alongside the new Council members today, surrounded by such a wealth of expertise and genuine commitment to being part of Tasmania's transition to a low carbon economy."
The Minister said the Council members spent the meeting discussing key projects currently on the table for climate change policy in Tasmania and that their future work plan will take a longer term view to Tasmania's 2050 target and a transition to a low carbon economy.
Dr Lyth said the Council had a great mix of experience and she and her colleagues were pleased to be involved.
"Our collective expertise and experience covers a range of important policy /action areas, including climate change adaptation research and approaches, urban and transport planning and strategy, behaviour change, community engagement and education for sustainability."
Dr Lyth said the TCAC membership also provides UTAS with the opportunity to contribute to wider community action, by exploring engagement opportunities with other sectors of the community and sharing its own experiences and leadership in key areas such as:
Prof McDonald is an environmental lawyer, with specific expertise in climate change adaptation.
"The Tasmanian Government has recognised adaptation as an important emerging priority, in addition to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"The impacts of climate change will be experienced along the coast and in key economic sectors such as agriculture," Prof McDonald said.
"TCAC can contribute to the Government’s adaptation policy platform so as to minimise the negative impacts of climate change and take advantage of opportunities it may present."
Dr Towle said climate change is recognised as the biggest threat to global health in the 21st Century.
"The rest is a good news story in that many of the actions we can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to some inevitable changes will also lead to improvements in health and wellbeing.
"The University of Tasmania has a number of leading researchers in the field of climate change and health and understanding how our health systems will need to respond to the challenges ahead," he said.
"It is my hope that the TCAC will provide an avenue for translating this research into practical outcomes."
The members of TCAC include Professor Lesley Hughes (Chair), Jess Feehely, Paul Gilding, Chris Harries, Dr James Risbey, Greg Johannes, Dr Nick Towle, Dr Anna Lyth and Professor Jan McDonald
Photo courtesy of Minister O'Connor's office. From left to right :Wendy Spencer (Tas Climate Change Office), Jess Feehely, Dr Anna Lyth, Prof Jan McDonald, Tasmanian Climate Change Minister, Cassy O'Connor, Prof Lesley Hughes (TCAC Chair), Paul Gilding, Chris Harries and Dr Nick Towle. (Dr James Risby and Greg Johannes absent from photo).For more information, visit the DPAC Climate Change website.
Authorised by the Vice-Chancellor
19 July, 2012