There is a need for greater and higher-quality climate communication and education (CCE) in Australia and globally. With escalating climate events around the globe, combined with volatile political landscapes, a rise in populism and evidence denial undermining governmental responsibilities to climate action, CCE is central to countering political and ideological barriers.
The Climate Communication and Education (CCE) theme responds to these contexts. Effective CCE can provide reliable knowledge about climate change effects and mitigation, and also is central to countering denialism and mobilising climate action, both socially and politically. As a relatively new field critical to our climate futures, increased research and collaboration can help advance and share approaches to CCE across sectors and regions.
CCE is recognised as a priority in the UN Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and is an established area of focus for state, national and intergovernmental policymaking. It is multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional, and draws on the many ways that humans connect with and respond to the climate crisis. Quality CCE incorporates culturally and regionally-specific knowledge, exploring how climate change will be felt in local regions and in daily lives. It is most effective when it addresses both mitigation and adaptation; focusing on concrete and feasible steps and actions. CCE must also address climate justice, and the disproportionate impacts experienced in the Global South, for women, for Indigenous communities and other minorities.
The work developed and shared through the Melbourne Climate Futures CCE theme aims to increase understandings of climate change and further engagement and climate action. If you are interested in becoming involved, or you would like to receive updates from the CCE theme, please contact the theme leads, or subscribe to our mailing list.
Professor Marcia McKenzie, Professor of Global Studies and International Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Early career researcher co-lead
Stephanie Wescott, Postdoctoral Scholar, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Grants and resources
Projects and Initiatives
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education Project
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education Project is an international partnership project that aims to increase the quality and quantity of climate communication and education globally to advance climate literacy and action. The MECCE Project is a partnership of over 100 scholars and organisations, including an Advisory Committee comprised of the IPCC, UNESCO, UNFCCC, and UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report. It provides global data to support country benchmarking, target setting, and progress in quantity of climate communication and education (CCE), as well as enhanced understandings of what constitutes quality CCE.
Research outcomes so far include 50 Country Profiles of country-level action on CCE, to identify gaps and areas for improvement. The Project has also funded the first phase of 30 Case Studies, to understand quality CCE policy and/or practice in various local, regional and global contexts. MECCE is also working on monitoring and increasing the quantity of CCE, drawing on and developing a range of data sources to support indicator development. To date, the MECCE Project has reviewed over 150 existing data sources that could support global CCE progress monitoring and reporting.
The MECCE Project’s Regional Hubs offer networking forums in Africa, Australasia, Europe and the Americas. The Hubs meet regularly to get input on Project methods, and to mobilise results and outputs through regional activities. The MECCE Project’s Interactive Data Platform enables users to analyse and visualise the project’s data.
Led by Marcia McKenzie and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and partner contributions. Other University of Melbourne team members include Julie McLeod, Jeana Kriewaldt, Rhonda Di Biase, John Quay, Geordie Zhang.
Climate Change Policy and Planning in School Education in Victoria
A new ‘Environmental Sustainability in Schools’ policy for Victorian schools is under development through a research-policy making partnership between the Department of Education and Training (DET) and researchers from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at the University of Melbourne. The ‘Environmental Sustainability in Schools’ policy will provide support for Victorian schools to advance sustainability and climate change action. The policy builds on the extensive history of sustainability education policy and practice in Victoria, including Sustainability Victoria’s ResourceSmart Schools initiative, and the work of a large network of government and non-government organisations who support Victorian schools to operate more sustainably.
Led by Marcia McKenzie and funded by a Climate Accelerator Research Grant from Melbourne Climate Futures at the University of Melbourne. Other team members include Julie McLeod, Jeana Kriewaldt, Rhonda Di Biase, Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran, Ben Neville, Jane Dyson and Rebecca Spratt.
Policy Actors and UN Policy Programs on Climate Change Education
Led by Marcia McKenzie and funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Other University of Melbourne team members include Postdoctoral Scholar Stephanie Wescott.
Read a recent blog post on the project here.
Parched is an interdisciplinary project that brings together historians, artists, writers and media experts to explore the different cultures of drought in Victoria. How we tell the stories of drought across the state, whose voices are heard (or absent) and how that may be changing.
Concentrating on four Victorian regions and their NSW borderlands— Mildura, Bendigo, Albury/Wodonga and Shepparton—this project aims to expand our knowledge of how we can better adapt to the environments on which we depend.
This project will contribute to resources for responding and adapting to the impacts of environmental change on rural and regional centres, and involve the wider community through a public program of collaboration with regional galleries, media, and community organisations. Over fifty oral history interviews will result in an oral history archive to be loved with the State Library of Victoria.
Funded under the Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative. Team members include Linden Ashcroft from The University of Melbourne, and Katie Holmes, Lawrie Zion, Sue Martin, Jacqueline Millner, Thomas H. Ford, Karen Twigg and Rochelle Schoff from La Trobe University.
2. How can researchers, practitioners and activists contribute to a new ecosystem of learning around issues of climate justice and meaningful action?
3. What do we, as a community, need to do to transform education, policy and practice for our climate futures?
After the initial workshops, the Climate Superpowers website was developed through an iterative process of feedback amongst the researchers, young co-designers and the young artist engaged to produce artwork for the website. The resulting website consists of a quiz which generates a profile of the user’s climate superpowers, and then directs them to a set of ‘secret missions’ they can take on using their superpowers. The missions are based on the workshop data, and are presented in four categories: learning about climate change, self-care, everyday actions and transforming society.
This project was funded by a Climate Research Accelerator Grant from Melbourne Climate Futures at the University of Melbourne. Led by University of Melbourne researchers Phoebe Quinn and Katitza Marinkovic Chavez, with advisory support from Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Janet Stanley, Lisa Gibbs, Karen Block and Claire Leppold.
MAGICC is a climate model that converts emissions pathways into temperatures in order to communicate climate impacts to the public. With a long history over 30 years, MAGICC was developed by many individuals across the globe, and is affiliated with numerous institutes. The model has been used in IPCC ARC, IEA WEO 2021 and the UNEP GAP Report.
Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Change Communication and Education (MECCE) Project Interactive Data Platform (IDP)
In November 2022, the MECCE Project launched an Interactive Data Platform (IDP), with the support of the University of Melbourne’s MDAP team, in conjunction with COP27. The IDP is an online interactive tool designed to support countries to benchmark and target-set on climate communication and education (CCE), otherwise known as Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). The platform will provide data and stories of CCE to help increase the quantity of quality CCE globally. The IDP is a way to explore CCE and ACE global nine global indicators, 50 country profiles, and case studies, as described below. The Interactive Data Platform is possible thanks to an ongoing collaboration with the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform and the University of Melbourne’s eResearch Group.
▪ SWISP has an upcoming Festival of ideas which will be held over 3 days (21-23 November) at studioFive (UNITWIN partner and UNESCO Observatory of the Arts) in Melbourne, with the 4th day (27 November) being at the University of South Australia (preceding the AARE 2022 Conference) in Adelaide. There is also a call for papers open now.