Our history

Our vision

Our vision is of a resilient Australia, prospering in a zero emissions global economy, participating fully and fairly in international climate change solutions.

Our History

The Climate Institute was established in 2005, inspired by a clear understanding that the climate change challenge demands a whole-of-society response.

Recognising the urgency and the scale of action required, our founders came to realise that, while important, individual actions were not enough in themselves to address climate change. To move Australia forward to a more sustainable future position, there was an obvious need for collective action across all sectors of society and all nations.

Concerned that Australia was blocking effective action globally, and doing too little at home, they wanted to find ways to credibly inform and help re-shape public debate. They saw a need for an authoritative expert voice that could speak not only to the risks and threats to Australia from inaction, but also to the opportunities that would arise from early action.

Their objective was to create a lean, fit-for-purpose, organisation that would not simply produce reports that sit on the shelf and gather dust – but one that would make sure the evidence and ideas got to the people best placed to make a difference. 

And so, The Climate Institute was born.


The Institute was originally set up for five years under funding provided by the Poola Foundation's Tom Kantor fund. Then, after that initial period, the climate policy landscape in Australia had become so fraught that the need for The Climate Institute’s effective, evidence-based approach to research, policy advice and advocacy to continue was considered to be vital. With the benefit of extended funding, we forged ahead with our important work and have now been operating for over a decade.

The Climate Institute is scheduled to close 30 June 2017. 

Over a decade of achievement

Since our inception, The Climate Institute has firmly established its position as a leading, authoritative, expert voice on the development of public and corporate policy solutions for addressing the issues associated with climate change and energy transformation.

Our research has not just highlighted the risks of escalating climate change, by incorporating and communicating the latest scientific developments. We have also worked to highlight the economic, social and environmental opportunities in taking early action. Consequently, our research has been used in key policy debates and by governments across the spectrum. We have partnered with community and business groups to work toward and encourage these successful, sustainable, effective policy outcomes for our country.

Throughout the sweeping changes in governments and climate change policies in Australia over the last decade, we have not wavered. We have continued to collaborate and consult closely with governments, government departments and agencies to encourage properly directed and accountable policies and climate diplomacy for Australia – befitting its position as an effective middle power in global affairs.

We have pioneered examination and accountability of climate and carbon risk within the investment chain, over the long term, particularly in relation to managers of retirement savings and, more recently, in the housing and development sector.

We have also underpinned this work by conducting annual research into Australian attitudes toward science, policy and action on climate change and energy. This research has also assisted in driving our ongoing efforts to innovate and increase the effectiveness of the way we communicate. And we are committed to tracking our impact for continual improvement.

While we remain aware of the ever-growing global and domestic challenges in mitigating climate change and transforming the energy sector, we are proud of our achievements thus far and committed to our strategic goals for the future.

Find out more about what we do and what others say about us.

Our strategic priorities: economic transformation, international accountability and societal leadership.
As The Climate Institute celebrated 10 years of operation, we looked back at our achievements.
The Climate Institute's Annual Review for 2015-2016.
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Level 15, 179 Elizabeth St.
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel   +61 2 8239 6299
Fax   +61 2 9283 8154
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