The CCT research group helps society understand and address the far-reaching challenges that climate change poses in the context of other complex societal and environmental changes and issues. Motivated by a commitment to social, environmental and climate justice, our work aims to foster positive transformational change towards more genuine sustainable development at multiple scales and in diverse localities, including cities and regions. It facilitates critically reflexive, trans-disciplinary exchange between theory and practice by coproducing research with practitioners, policymakers and communities.

We work across and within four broad themes:

Adaptation governance and practice

Climate change adaptation requires adaptation of governance, institutions and policies across all sectors and levels of government. CCT researchers work at the research-policy interface to help policy-makers, organisations, businesses and communities make sense of and act effectively on the adaptation challenge, providing high level insights about the scope of the challenge, strategic advice about the risks, opportunities and tensions, and practical tools to accelerate adaptation action.

Sustainable and just transitions

How can we transition society onto a more sustainable and social just pathway, what approaches are different groups already taking and how can they be assisted? These are key questions for the CCT group. In particular, CCT researchers are involved in working with stakeholders to transition energy systems onto a lower carbon basis and reconfigure production systems using circular economy principles in a way that improves social justice, climate adaptation and other sustainable development outcomes.

Disasters, development, and resilience

Preventing, responding to and learning from disasters is a key activity in the context of climate change. Focused on the social drivers of disasters, notably urban planning, CCT researchers use qualitative and quantitative analytical tools and insights to help improve Disaster Risk Reduction efforts and position them within climate change adaptation. Their work aims to help develop approaches to potential disasters that foster socio-ecological resilience, justice and the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Regenerative social-ecological systems

In the face of climate change and other pressures it is increasingly apparent that it is not enough to just protect social-ecological systems; they need to be made more regenerative. CCT researchers are working with stakeholders to help rethink, reboot and redesign agriculture and natural resource management in ambitious ways that celebrate the turn to catchment and landscape scale interventions, soil health, resilience thinking, strengthened rural-urban relations and transformational climate change adaptation.

Projects

Reducing climate risks and greenhouse gas emissions by transforming human biosolids into biochar

2018–2020

We are working with RMIT scientists and engineers to help water utilities, the Environment Protection Authority and the Victorian Government reduce climate change risks and produce new resources.

Rethinking Research Impact

2019–2020

This research project contributes towards a more sophisticated, reflexive and contextualised understanding of research impact.

Enhancing Networks for Resilience Stage Two

2017–2018

This project investigates the role that the Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership could play in supporting learning and networking for disaster preparedness.

Adaptation for Recovery for East Gippsland Shire Council

2016–2017

The project aims to deliver both immediately tangible outputs for the affected communities, as well as longer-term, less easily quantifiable outcomes that will likely contribute to the communities’ overall resilience.

Labour Nature Relations in Australia: Experiments in Collective Agency by Workers in the Climate Change Era

2019–2022

In an economic hegemony underwritten by the burning of fossil fuels – the fossil fuel regime – meeting the challenge of climate change will alter patterns of production and consumption and have far-reaching consequences for workers.

The Adani Controversy: Contesting coal and climate change through scale

2017–2019

We conducted an intensive analysis of over 3000 news media reports, complemented by interviews with key stakeholders from the environmental movement, to explore representations of the Adani controversy

Green Job Guarantee Policy Development

2019–2020

Working with the Australian Unemployed Workers' Union, we are exploring the possibilities of a Green Job Guarantee in the Australian context.

Research and Advice on Sector-Based and Cross-Sector Climate Change Adaptation

2018–2019

The Victorian Government Climate Change Act 2017 has identified seven sectors (or ‘systems’) that are impacted by or have an important influence on the State’s capacity to adapt to climate change.

How Well Are We Adapting

2017–2020

A climate change adaptation monitoring, evaluation and reporting tool, designed with and for Victorian local governments.

Enhancing urban resilience to climate change impacts and natural disasters: Honiara

2019 (ongoing)

The overarching aim of this project is to enhance the resilience of the city and its inhabitants to current and future climate impacts and natural disasters.

Policy@RMIT

2017–2020

Policy@RMIT (P@R) aims to study and enable collaborations between researchers and policy practitioners in co-producing research that supports evidence-informed policy in addressing major policy and societal issues.

State-wide strategic framework to support Victoria’s regions to adapt to climate change

2018–2019

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) sought independent expert advice to co-design a long-term state-wide strategic framework to support Victoria’s regions to adapt to climate change.

The Climate Change Exchange

2019 (ongoing)

The Climate Change Exchange is a project that is establishing a collaborative climate change research-practice network to meet the knowledge sharing, capacity building, and research needs of various government and policy stakeholders.

Can cities be liveable and sustainable? a comparative study of Melbourne and Dhaka

2018–2022

The PhD project is informed by an interpretivist theoretical approach, to look at the comparative case studies of Melbourne and Dhaka. The findings will be informed by semi-structured interviews, secondary document analysis, and a literature review.

Linking the work of RMIT academics on climate change with that of civil society

2017–2020

This project provides links between RMIT academics working on climate change with civil society groups and individuals whose work has a similar focus.

Climate Adaptation Australia

2017–2019

The project investigates the framings and practices of local governments, community groups and NGOs as they seek to create local adaptation strategies.

Tarnagulla Community Resilience Action Plan

2018–2020

This project aims to develop a Resilience Action Plan with and for the Tarnagulla community.

Questioning the role of market-based instruments for conservation on private land

2018

This project explores the tensions, assumptions and challenges of private land conservation in the context of neoliberal environmental governance.

HEET: Housing Energy Efficiency Transitions

2018–2021

This project aims to provide an analysis of housing retrofit and its links with household energy costs.

Emergency volunteering 2030: Adapting the sector

2017–2020

This co-designed project is a collaboration with the University of Western Australia and key emergency management organisations for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

Enabling sustainable management of our natural resources under a changing climate

2017 (ongoing)

This project is co-producing climate change adaptation pathways plans and action in natural resource management.

Enabling east Gippsland Councils to Integrate Climate Risk and Adaptation in Local & Regional Strategies

2016–2017

Developing a regional framework to consider climate change impacts and adaptation options across six regional local governments, led by East Gippsland Shire Council.

Balmoral Fire Connect

2016–2017

The Balmoral Fire Connect bring together leaders from community by working in partnership with Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre and CFA to track the flow of information and the changed practice in the community.

Collaborative stewardship of natural resources under a changing climate

2015

An exploration of a pathways approach planning for climate change adaptation of natural resources in the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment.

Enhancing networks for resilience

2016 (ongoing)

Developing an understanding of how social networks influence social resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

Exploring the socio-institutional dimensions of transformative adaptation

2016

This project aims to better understand drivers and limitations of ‘new forms of governance and practice’ in different policy sectors, and the implications of these insights for theories of adaptation and learning in public policy.

Key People

Lead researchers

Associate Professor Lauren Rickards

Associate Professor Lauren Rickards

Convener of Climate Change Transformations Program

Dr Karyn Bosomworth

Dr Karyn Bosomworth

Convener of Climate Change Transformations

Program Researchers

Higher Degree Research Students

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Events

Past Events

Climate Update 2020 – Melbourne

12 March 2020, 5:30PM-7:30PM

Co-hosted by ANU and RMIT University, Climate Update Melbourne will present an overview of how our climate is changing, how it is impacting us, and how we need to respond.

Past Events

Living in a climate of change: Shaping cities to adapt to uncertain futures

19 February 2020, 5:30PM-7:00PM

Join RMIT lecturers and researchers to discuss how we can shape the future of our cities

Past Events

Can we achieve climate justice at emergency speed?

11 February 2020, 5:45PM-7:45PM

Join leading climate change researchers to consider how we can rapidly transition toward climate justice.

Past Events

Energising Rhythmanalysis with Professor Gordon Walker

2 December 2019, 5:00PM-6:30PM

Rhythm thinking, climate change and low carbon transition

Past Events

The biopolitics of Indigenous adaptive capacity in Australia’s changing climate

17 October 2019, 12:30PM-2:00PM

Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are widely viewed as particularly vulnerable, but also particularly resilient, in the face of the impacts of climate change.

Past Events

Digital sustainability practices: Urban digital technologies in the Anthropocene

21 November 2019, 12:30PM-2:00PM

This seminar questions the assumptions underlying such practices and argues that more needs to be done to ensure the digital is sustainable, rather than a contributing agent to the Anthropocene

Past Events

Regional policy, regional innovation: Implications of European experience for Australia

13 August 2018, 12:30PM-2:00PM

What can Australia and other countries in the Asia Pacific region learn from the European experience?

Past Events

Urban climate change experimentation

24 July 2018, 12:30PM-2:00PM

This seminar draws on two examples of climate experimentation in Berlin and Philadelphia to examine how urban climate experiments seek to govern futures in the present, and the political implications of this process, by understanding them as heterotopic sites.

Past Events

Eco-Suburbia: Low Carbon Futures

13 June 2018, 5:00PM-7:00PM

Join us for an evening with renowned Australian environmental designer and permaculture co-originator David Holmgren together with Professor Ralph Horne and Associate Professor Anitra Nelson as they posit model futures and intervene in the current debate.

Past Events

Climate Change and the Law: A Public Panel

29 August 2017, 6:30PM-8:00PM

Coming from different areas of law, our four eminent speakers will discuss the relationship between law and climate change in their particular area focusing on the ways law might currently be a hindrance to climate change action and ways it is or could be a powerful, positive tool.

Past Events

Flammable regions, climate change and urban sprawl: how the American West was spun

20 July 2017, 1:00PM-2:30PM

This seminar considers the interrelationship between regional characterisations of fire-prone landscapes including scientific portrayals of wildfire and their associated risks.