Climate change and the public sphere: public understanding and reponses to future climate change

Climate change Australia Australian Capital Territory
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This report seeks to provide a policy relevant complement to the main body of work for the ‘Climate Change and the Public Sphere’ project.

It embodies the recommendations of citizens from the Australian Capital Region who have carefully examined a series of climate change scenarios for two specific sites in the region (ACT and Goulburn-Mulwaree), participated in an intensive three-day deliberative process, and developed their recommendations regarding what should happen in their region to prepare for the potential changes. While the scope of the research and the recommendations are regional in focus, it should be noted that the nature of the project outcomes also has implications for the governance of climate change at all levels of government.

The ‘Climate Change and the Public Sphere’ (CCPS) is a 3-year Australian Research Council-funded project that aims to gain a more in-depth understanding of how members of the public currently perceive and will potentially react to climate change. A key component of this project was a 3-day deliberative forum held in the Australian Capital Region. Based on the Citizens’ Jury format, the forum involved a group of 35 randomlyselected citizens who had already examined potential climate change scenarios during the interview phase of the project. These participants had the opportunity to hear from an array of experts, meet with local policy makers, talk through their concerns about the impact of climate change on the region, and collectively come up with some solutions. The event generated lively and constructive discussion and producing two important outcomes, as outlined below.

Authored by Simon Niemeyer, Kersty Hobson, Jacqui Russell, Imogen Ord-Evans, John Boswell, and Elaine dos Santos.

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