Climate Energy College

About Us

The Climate & Energy College is an international team of early career researchers. The College conducts climate and energy systems research in an interdisciplinary environment, advancing knowledge and informing responses to the complex challenges of climate change. 

We are a world-class research hub located at the University of Melbourne collaborating with leading Australian and German research institutions. Our research is centred on Climate Change and Energy Transitions.

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News & Upcoming Events

  • A comment on Australia's stance in the world on ABC News 24, 29 Nov 2018

    Watch the interview on Australia's stance in a world that struggles to meet its Paris Agreement commitments, let alone 1.5C or 2C. A number of opportunities are missed at the moment within the policy vacuum in Australia.

  • Our recent study on Paris Agreement featured in global media

    Our recent study in Nature Communications by our PhD researcher Yann Rubiou du Pont and College Director Malte Meinshausen was recently featured in media around the world.

  • Potential and risks of hydrogen-based e-fuels in climate change mitigation

    Tuesday, 27 July 2021 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm

    Falko Ueckerdt starts with structuring the current hydrogen debate (in particular in Germany and the EU). Then he goes through key techno-economic aspects that determine the role of hydrogen-based e-fuels, particularly compared to a direct electrification. This includes green hydrogen electrolysis expansion (available quantities), energy efficiencies, climate mitigation effectiveness, as well as direct and abatement costs. Falko briefly discusses blue hydrogen and other options of bridging the low mid-term availability of green hydrogen. In his conclusions he argues that societies' hydrogen expectations should be focused on no-regret sectors. Broadly betting on (future) hydrogen, while neglecting available direct electrification technologies (and domestic renewable expansion), risks further fossil fuel dependence (new lock-ins).

  • Development of a Sea Ice Emulator: A Progress Update

    Tuesday, 13 July 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Arctic sea ice is a complex yet fundamental component of the Earth system, and is a sensitive indicator of global climatic changes. Since the satellite record began in 1979, the Arctic ocean has received increasing attention due to the rapid decline of sea ice coverage (Niederdrenk and Notz, 2018). This has raised concerns regarding the future state of Arctic sea ice and the subsequent implications of its continued decline. Both passive satellite observations and global climate models used in the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, unanimously show continued year-round reductions in Arctic sea ice throughout the 21st century. The prediction of unprecedented Arctic sea ice loss has led to the clear consensus that the continued rate of Arctic sea ice reduction will present far-reaching, severe implications to atmospheric and oceanic systems. However, the nature and scale of the response to Arctic sea-ice loss and the mechanisms involved remains uncertain. CMIP6 models currently produce a wide spread of sea ice area projections and fail to plausibly simulate sea-ice area evolution to changes in global mean surface temperature. This limitation is exacerbated through the computational expense of current models preventing numerous runs over multi-centennial timescales and scenarios. In this PhD confirmation seminar Siân Chilcott will discuss how a sea ice emulator can be used to gain a new understanding into the behavior of complex CMIP6 models; and how such a tool will provide insight into why model projections differ from observations and what the dominant drivers of sea ice loss are. This project aims to make sense of the wide spread of CMIP6 projections in order to produce a plausible set of sea ice area projections.


    Australian-German Climate and Energy College University of Hamburg

    Siân Chilcott is a joint PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne and the University of Hamburg, under the supervision of A/Prof Malte Meinshausen and A/Prof Dirk Notz. Siân completed an integrated masters (MSci) in Earth Sciences at University College London. During this time Siân carried out research at the UCL Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM), here she developed an interest in Arctic sea ice and its role in the climate system.

  • Australia's Paris Agreement Pathways

    CoverMarch2021us2.jpg SHIFTING THE BURDEN: Australia's emissions reduction tasks over coming decades Climate Targets Panel, March 2021 ABOUT THIS REPORT This is the second report of the Climate Targets Panel. Earlier this year, we published our findings about Australia’s required emissions reduction targets if we are to do our fair share in limiting global warming to well below 2° and 1.5°...

  • Penny Whetton Memorial Fund

    Donate to support climate science in honour of Dr Penny Whetton Penny Whetton was an outstanding leader as a climate scientist and a great advocate for and communicator about the need for powerful action on climate change. Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne, has established the Penny Wheton Memorial Fund. Your donation in memory of Penny will directly support our students and will...

  • Keeping under 1.5°C: are we doing enough to avoid dangerous climate change?

    The University of Melbourne Climate and Energy College presented a panel of experts to discuss the implications of this important report for Australia and the World.

  • Already started your PhD at Melbourne?

    Have you commenced your PhD journey at the University of Melbourne in the area of climate change or the energy transition?

Web tools and Projects we developed

  • Open-NEM

    The live tracker of the Australian electricity market.

  • Paris Equity Check

    This website is based on a Nature Climate Change study that compares Nationally Determined Contributions with equitable national emissions trajectories in line with the five categories of equity outlined by the IPCC.

  • liveMAGICC Climate Model

    Run one of the most popular reduced-complexity climate carbon cycle models online. Used by IPCC, UNEP GAP reports and numerous scientific publications.

  • NDC & INDC Factsheets

    Check out our analysis of all the post-2020 targets that countries announced under the Paris Agreement.