Following the trend of the last several years, climate change will be a key political issue in the year 2011. The Gillard government’s Multi-Party Climate Change Committee and the quest for a comprehensive climate change policy will drive the debate in Australia. On the international front, the UNFCCC process and seemingly endless negotiations will once again spark interest and argument. And that’s just what we know.

The Real Ewbank was launched in 2010 to compile my writing on these matters. To kick off 2011, I thought I’d share with you the most popular posts of the last year. I’ll be back with more analysis of domestic and international climate change politics soon, but for now, thanks for reading!

1. Campaigners to Make Climate a Key Issue in Last Days of Election

This report looks at the environment movement’s efforts to influence the 2010 federal election in the dying days of the campaign. Environment Victoria’s Victoria McKenzie-McHarg talks about the Walk Against Warming demonstration, and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s Lucy Manne discusses the PowerShift conferences. The piece also discusses barriers for getting climate change on the election agenda.

2. The Greens’ High Stakes Strategy in Melbourne

This post analyses The Greens’ campaign for the lower house seat of Melbourne. We now know that Adam Bandt’s it’s time-type strategy paid off. The same can’t be said of Bandt’s party colleagues who failed to pick up a seat in the Victorian state election.

3. Dealing with the Electoral (un)Importance of Climate Change

A dispassionate assessment of polling data revealed climate change was a low priority issue in the lead up to the 2010 federal election. This opinion piece looks critically at the limitations of the frequently used  ‘pollution frame’ and presents an alternative model for framing climate change initiatives.

4. The Gang of Four: New Politics and Climate Consensus

After the inconclusive federal election result, some commentators presented climate change as an issue that will challenge a more inclusive and consensus-based politics. I explore the limits of this assessment and argue that investments in renewable energy projects have excellent potential of winning the support of Green and independent representatives.

5. Australia Needs a Solar Snowy Mountains Scheme

In the wake of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s decision to delay the emissions trading scheme, this opinion piece presents a plan B for action. In it I argue that a nation-building project with the scale and vision of the scale of the Snowy Mountains Scheme is the fresh approach needed to drive Australia’s transition towards a clean energy economy.

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