ClimateWorks project wins Eureka Prize

25 August 2010

Anna Skarbek
Anna Skarbek

A roadmap for reducing carbon emissions developed by ClimateWorks Australia, a non-profit partnership between Monash University and The Myer Foundation, has been awarded a Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change.

The Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia provides a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent on 2000 levels at an annual average cost of just $185 per household.

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka prizes reward excellence in the fields of scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism and communication.

Australian Museum Director Frank Howarth said The Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia provided the first economy-wide picture of how Australians can substantially reduce their carbon emissions using existing technology.

"The plan's sophisticated economic and policy analysis highlights positive steps that everyone from industry leaders to individual householders can begin taking today," Mr Howarth said.

The plan lays out 54 carbon reduction opportunities, from adjusting air-conditioners to putting a price on carbon. The ClimateWorks blueprint deliberately looks at the steps that will have least impact on Australian lifestyles and prosperity.

Response to the plan has been strong with financial institutions, industry groups and non-profit organisations already signalling a willingness to implement the recommendations.

ClimateWorks Chairman John Thwaites, Deputy Chairman David Shelmerdine and Executive Director Anna Skarbek accepted the prize at the awards ceremony attended by over 800 of the country's top thinkers, politicians and celebrities in the Randwick Pavilion at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse.

"Winning this Prize provides a national platform from which we can promote our findings that action on climate change is achievable now, and at a lower cost than many realise," Ms Skarbek said.

"It also allows us to celebrate the collaboration between philanthropy, academia, business and government that created this work. We know that our work has already been utilised widely in each sector, and we expect that the recognition of the Eureka Prize will assist us to share the Low Carbon Growth Plan findings and methodology with more Australians, including at the regional and local level."

The $10,000 Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change is awarded to an individual, group or organisation for work that proposes solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. It is sponsored by the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW).

A number of Monash University researchers were also nominated for Eureka prizes including Dr Wouter Schellart, Associate Professor Leslie Yeo, Dr Deborah Zion, Associate Professor Bebe Loff and Associate Professor Rebekah Brown.