Opposing View or Rising Tides

Explore the impact and influence of the Biden Administration on Australia's legislative and climate policy settings.

Ahead of the Earth Day Summit on April 22, where it is expected that President Biden will focus on persuading major emitters to strengthen their commitments to reduce global warming, our panel of experts speculate on what this could mean for Australia. They explore the need and options for reframing domestic legislation and policy, as vehicles for driving a more sustainable Australian economy.

Moderator: Linh Do

Linh has a background in climate change action, where she is equally comfortable organising in social movement spaces or covering the United Nations as a journalist. She is currently inaugural Director of the Leaders for Global Sustainability program at the University of Melbourne. Linh is also an alumnus of the University and outside of listening to audiobooks and podcasts, can be found eating ice cream or practicing yoga. Her written work and photography has appeared in Al Jazeera, Sydney Morning Herald and the Washington Post.


Professor Jacqueline Peel

Jacqueline is a professor in the Melbourne Law School and the inaugural Director of the University's multidisciplinary climate initiative, Melbourne Climate Futures. She is a world leading expert in climate law, including use of the courts to achieve policy and social change on the issue.

Amongst many other roles, Jacqueline is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. She has made extensive contributions to public and policy debate on climate and energy transition issues, including through her work with the International Law Association's Committee on Legal Principles on Climate Change and the Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law.

Professor Peel has a PhD in law from Melbourne University, a Masters from NYU where she was a Fulbright Scholar and a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws (Hon I) from the University of Queensland.

Professor Jacqueline Peel on Find an Expert

Richie Merzian

Richie Merzian is the inaugural Climate and Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute. Richie is a former Australian Government representative to the UN climate change conference and worked at the Department of Climate Change and the Department of Foreign Affairs for almost a decade on both domestic and international climate and energy agendas.

While at the Australian Government, he was the lead negotiator on adaptation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and helped coordinate the Green Climate Fund Board during Australia's tenure as Chair. Richie helped co-found the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) in 2006 and trained as a Climate Reality Leader in 2007 with former Vice President Al Gore.

Richie is currently on the advisory Committee for the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University (ANU). Richie has degrees in Law and Economics from Sydney University.

Luke Menzel

Luke Menzel is CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council, a not-for-profit membership association for businesses, universities, governments and NGOs.

Luke is a passionate advocate for the crucial role of energy efficiency and smart energy management in delivering healthy, comfortable buildings, productive competitive businesses and net-zero emissions economy. He is Vice-President of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council and the Lead Chair of the NSW Government's Green Globe Awards.

Dr. Anna Kosovac

Dr. Anna Kosovac is a Visiting Fellow at the Connected Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne. Her research considers the role of risk perceptions on decision-making in environmental governance (particularly in the field of water).

Dr. Kosovac has worked with various organisations such as the Global Covenant of Mayors, UN Habitat, ICLEI (Cities for Sustainability) and C40 to develop Climate Change Research Strategies for their 9000 city members. She also has over 9 years' experience working in the water public sector in engineering, policy and strategy roles.

Dr Anna Kosovac on Find an Expert

Climate Conversations

Australia in 2029: A Hypothetical Future is a part of Climate Conversations, a series of webinars that will take place across 2020 and 2021. Each conversation will address the challenges and opportunities of climate change that we, as individuals or communities, have the capacity to address.

Climate Conversations