Learn about climate change and its solutions
What's the Paris Agreement all about? How much has the world warmed already? What are the best solutions for tackling climate change? Why aren't our politicians taking the crisis more seriously? What does climate change even look like?
If you've been wanting answers to these kinds of questions, we feel you. In Australia, information about the climate crisis is often rooted in opinion rather than fact, and subject to strong partisan influence. It can be intimidating trying to find reliable, relevant, and up to date information. But you don't need to go it alone - we've got your back!
Below, you'll find our favourite sources of reputable climate information. We've included Australian and international organisations, websites, reports, podcasts, documentaries, and more, so you can get some clarity around the science, the politics, and the solutions.
Learning about the climate crisis and the other big environmental issues is a journey that can feel frustrating and scary at times. Sometimes, it can be an incredible source of hope and inspiration.
Developing a clear understanding of the climate crisis is incredibly empowering. It helps us to live our values, and allows us to navigate the climate movement, take action, and empower those around us more effectively.
So, go ahead! Download a podcast, browse through a report, or settle in for an evening with a great doco. Ask the 'dumb' questions, the hard questions, the big questions, and the little ones. There's no better time than right now to get clear on climate!
Our Top Picks
Start here to find the most important information about the crisis and the solutions from some of Australia and the world's leading voices, so you can get familiar with the facts.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation, providing authoritative, expert advice to the Australian public, politicians and many other groups about climate change and its solutions. The Climate Council is entirely independent and plays a lead role gaining climate change media coverage and campaigning for climate action in Australia.
What's on offer: Reports, media releases, videos, podcasts, explainers, and climate action resources including conversation and letter writing guides, tools to email politicians, petitions and more.
Why we love them: This is the place to find climate information specific to Australia.
Drawdown aims to help the world reach drawdown, defined as the point where greenhouse gases in the atmosphere decline. Drawdown has identified the world's top 100 existing solutions which we can utilise to reverse global warming.
What's on offer: All the information can be found in their engrossing book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (you might find it at your local library), but much of the information can also be found on the Drawdown website.
Why we love them: This is a great resource to learn about the big solutions needed to solve the climate crisis.
CarbonBrief is a UK-based website covering the latest developments globally in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. They specialise in clear, data-driven articles and graphics to help improve the understanding of climate change, both in terms of the science and the policy response.
What's on offer: Science explainers, interviews, analysis, and fact checks, as well as daily and weekly email summaries of newspaper and online climate coverage.
Why we love them: With the slogan 'clear on climate' CarbonBrief does a fantastic job of explaining complex climate topics and bringing data to life.
THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC)
The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options. The IPCC is the accepted global authority on climate change.
A key role of the IPCC is to generate comprehensive reports about the global climate crisis. An IPCC report is an assessment that collects and summarises current knowledge of climate change. IPCC reports are considered the leading reviews of climate change and are produced by teams of hundreds of scientists and specialists from a diverse range of disciplines.
Assessment Reports are comprehensive scientific reports published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014, while the next, the Sixth Assessment Report, will become available in 2021-2022.
In addition, to these Assessment Reports, the IPCC also produces Special Reports, which are detailed assessments of specific climate issues. Examples of recent Special Reports include Global Warming of 1.5°C, Climate Change and Land and The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.
Because of their scope, both kinds of IPCC reports can be long, dense, and can be difficult to approach as a non-expert. Before diving in, we recommend checking out this explainer by CarbonBrief, on How to read the IPCC reports.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report provides an annual update on the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
What's on offer: One report, once a year.
Why we love it: The report tracks global progress in addressing climate change with clarity and candour. These reports show us how far off track we are, and what needs to change.
The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) is an independent scientific tool that tracks government climate action against the targets set in the Paris Agreement. Including 32 countries responsible for around 80% of global emissions, CAT tracks the effect of current policies on emissions, the impact of pledges, targets and NDCs, and analyses fair share and comparability of effort.
Why we love it: A non-biased tool for assessing the impact of political decisions, able to cut through the spin - what's not to love?
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is an independent monitoring tool of the climate protection performance of countries around the world. The CCPI is intended to enhance transparency in international climate politics and enables easy comparison of climate protection efforts made by different countries.
What's on offer: One report, once a year.
Why we love it: Another incredibly valuable resource, indicating how Australian climate policy and climate action compare on the global stage (hint; it's not great).
A couple of our favourite websites pitched for the everyday.
Grist is an independent American-based online publication covering topics like clean energy, sustainable food, liveable cities, environmental justice, and a better economy.
The BBC Future's Smart Guide to Climate Change uses scientific research and data to break down the most effective strategies each of us can take to shrink our carbon footprint.
Must Watch Aussie Docos
Big Deal (2021) - Available on ABC iview! This documentary uncovers some of the dirty dealings of Australia's major political parties and what we can do as individuals and community members to create positive change!
2040 (2019) - explores what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet.
Fight for Planet A: Our Climate Challenge (2020) - in this three-part documentary by ABC, Craig Reucassel explores how we can all reduce our individual and collective carbon emissions.
The Reluctant Radical (2018) - after twenty years leading environmental organisations, activist Ken Ward turns to breaking the law as he battles the fossil fuel industry.
I am Greta (2020) - an intimate documentary about teenage climate activist of global renown, Greta Thunberg.
The Troublemaker (2020) - through the stories of two activists, this documentary delves into the ideas and emotions behind climate protest.
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (2020) - David Attenborough's first-hand account and witness statement of the monumental scale of humanity's impact on nature.
The Future We Choose: the Stubborn Optimist's Guide to the Climate Crisis, by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac (instrumental leaders of the Paris agreement), challenges us to choose between two scenarios for our planet with hope and determination.
The Uninhabitable Earth: a Story of the Future, by David Wallace-Wells, is a confronting book that explores what the world might look in the future as the climate crisis takes hold today, including famine, economic collapse, and lethal heat.
The Climate Cure: Solving the Climate Emergency in the Era of Covid-19, by Tim Flannery, flips the climate debate on its head, and exposes who is left standing in the way of action in Australia.
Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia, by Joëlle Gergis, answers the question - what did the climate look like in Australia's past and how is it changing as a result of global heating?
The Sustainable Hour - weekly episodes from Geelong with lots of guest speakers. The Sustainable Hour is one of Australia's leading programs focusing on the climate emergency and solutions.
The Guardian Full Story - Guardian journalists investigate the background behind the news in Australia and beyond. While this isn't a climate-specific podcast, many episodes have taken a deep dive into Australian and global climate and environmental stories.
National Climate Emergency Summit - talks given by researchers, activists, first responders, politicians, professionals, and many more, recorded at the live events.
Hot Mess by ABC Radio National - four episodes that delve into the politics, psychology, and science of climate change.
TED Talks Daily - fascinating talks about the climate and environment, from some of the world's most inspiring and expert voices.
Costing the Earth (by the BBC) - fresh ideas from the sharpest minds working toward a cleaner, greener planet.
Mothers Of Invention - a podcast on feminist climate change solutions from (mostly) women around the world.
A little bit American
Drilled - a true crime podcast about climate change and the fossil fuel industry’s insidious role.
Inherited - a podcast made by, and about, the youth climate movement.
Temperature Check - a podcast by Grist about the overlap between the climate crisis, social justice, and culture.
Not enough?! For even more podcasts check out this list by The Centre for Climate Safety.
Climate Change and the Outdoors
Learn more about the effect climate impacts are having on our favourite outdoor places in Australia and our ability to enjoy them here.
The Mountain Journal is an online publication covering the environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps.
Climate Council Reports
Game, Set, Match: Calling Time on Climate Inaction (2021) describes how climate change is affecting sport, including surfing and cycling, in Australia and how sport can also be a powerful force for change.
Icons at Risk: Climate Change Threatening Australian Tourism (2018), an essential read if you work in outdoor tourism.
Climate Action Meets Adventure
If you love adventure flicks, check out these epic documentaries that have paired outdoor pursuits and climate action!
Chasing Coral (2017) - divers, photographers, and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to reveal our disappearing reefs to the world.
Chasing Ice (2012) - the challenging, multi-year Extreme Ice Survey that chronicled the planet's rapidly melting glaciers.