Monash Progress Report 2022 – Goal 13
Monash University Progress Report 2022 on the Sustainable Development Goals
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
2022 Publications Performance View
Number of Monash Research Outputs: 218
Mean Field Weighted Citation Impact of Monash Outputs: 1.81
3 Year Rolling Mean FWCI of Monash Outputs: 2.19
ARC Centre of Excellence for the Weather of the 21st Century View
In November 2022 the Faculty of Science was awarded $35 million by the Australian Research Council (ARC) to lead the new ARC Centre for Excellence for the Weather of the 21st Century.
Based at Monash University and leveraging the contributions of more than 20 international academic, government and industry partners, the ARC Centre for Excellence for the Weather of the 21st Century will support seven years of transformative interdisciplinary research that aims to determine how Australia's weather will be reshaped by climate change; how this provides opportunities to utilise weather as a resource, and also to understand how weather risks change will impact Australia into the 21st Century.
Pacific Action for Climate Transitions (PACT) Research Centre View
Fiji National University (FNU) and Monash University formally established the Pacific Action for Climate Transitions (PACT) Monash-FNU Research Centre in May 2022.
PACT marks a step-change in climate change research, policy and capability across the Pacific. Jointly based at the two institutions (and overseen by Monash Business School), it will leverage the depth and breadth of transdisciplinary academic expertise across Monash University and expand research capability in Pacific Island countries through projects co-designed by and for specific Pacific contexts and policy challenges. The Centre will also provide training and capacity building for policymakers in Pacific Island nations.
Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future View
Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF), is a Monash Faculty of Science-led Antarctic research program, funded by the Australian Research Council as a Special Research Initiative. Established in 2021, SAEF’s mission is to understand the changes taking place across the Antarctic region – to its climate and its biodiversity – and develop innovative ways to forecast, mitigate and manage these changes. SAEF also seeks to collaborate with policymakers to identify conservation priorities and help make the right decisions for Antarctica’s future. The initiative is funded for seven years, to ambitiously push to protect the future of Antarctica, and the planet.
ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes View
Monash is a member of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, an international research consortium of five Australian universities and a network of outstanding national and international partner organisations supported by the Australian Research Council. The Centre works to improve our understanding of the processes that trigger or enhance extremes and build this understanding into our modelling systems. The improved predictions of climate extremes will help Australia cope with extremes now and in the future.
Planetary Health Division View
The Planetary Health Division at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine addresses the health of humanity in the context of dynamic social and environmental systems. By combining insights from many disciplines, the Planetary Health Division promotes an eco-social understanding of health, emphasising the importance of diverse perspectives in creating solutions to problems affecting global public health.
Housing environmental and occupational health researchers, infectious disease epidemiologists and many of the University’s global health researchers, the Planetary Health Division combines quantitative research and qualitative methods to capture the complete experience of health and healthcare across a number of community and workplace settings, including: Climate, Air Quality Research; Global and Women's Health; the Hazelwood Health Study; Infectious Diseases Epidemiology; and the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health (MonCOEH).
Core-Coralations is a major artwork undertaken by multidisciplinary artist Nicholas Mangan in the Department of Fine Art, Monash Art, Design and Architecture. The project is conducted through an Australia Council Fellowship and investigates the systems and narratives that produce ecological, political, economic, social and climatic instability. It focuses on Antarctic ice bubbles and bleached coral samples from far north Queensland to consider the effects of global climate change on ecological health. As well as mapping the correlations between these materials, the project explores the correlations between larger circulatory ocean systems and artificial heating and cooling systems, both of which condition air through thermal currents.
Measuring the Impact of Climate Change on Wheat Crops View
Researchers from the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics and Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability, Monash Business School, have collaborated with climate change consultancy Climate Comms, agriculture industry services group ORM and CSIRO to investigate the impact of climate change on wheat yields and farm profitability in Victoria’s major grain-producing regions in the Mallee and Wimmera regions. The project, which was funded by the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, demonstrated how high temperatures and low rainfall had the potential to make both crop yields and farm profits in the region more volatile.
Public Attitudes toward Climate Change in Italy View
Monash University European Research Foundation (MUERF) at Monash Prato and the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH) have received funding by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) to research the attitudes and attention of the Italian public toward climate change messaging.
As part of the pilot project, researchers examined the types of media audiences within Italy and their appetite for receiving climate information and how factors such as these varied at the regional and local level. The results will be used to inform the deployment of future climate change communication activities in Italy, and to help develop and implement actionable communication programs in close collaboration with the ECF.
Unit Statistics and Highlights View
In 2022, 165 units directly related to SDG13 were offered across Monash University, with a total enrolment of 10,436 individual students.
The units highlighted below are a small sample of the units at Monash relating to climate action:
Climate Justice Clinic View
The Climate Justice Clinic, a Monash Law School specialist clinic at the Monash Law Chambers, gives students practical experience of a wide range of legal work in a number of commercial law practice areas, with an overarching focus on climate justice. Students work with leading Australian environmental organisations, senior barristers working in Environment and Climate law, community organisations and campaign groups, and collaborate with community legal services throughout Victoria. The Climate Justice Clinic also helps students contextualise the clinics’ legal work within the broader climate justice movement, and features regular guest speakers from public and private sector law firms and environmental NGOs.
Climate Change and Business Risk View
Monash Sustainable Development Institute, ClimateWorks Centre and Monash Executive Education in Monash Business School have partnered to deliver a program on Climate Change and Business Risk. Developed for senior managers and executives in finance, risk, operations, strategy and corporate affairs, the course is designed with a commercial focus to help those enrolled develop, implement and interrogate their organisation’s approaches for incorporating climate change into strategy.
Monash Climate Change Communications and Research Hub Malaysia View
Monash University Malaysia opened a Malaysian node of the Monash Climate Change Communications and Research Hub (MCCCRH) in 2022. MCCCRH Malaysia is dedicated to researching climate communications in Southeast Asia. Applying research strategies from media studies, journalism, climate science, sociology, psychology, international relations, education, and political science, the team explores public attitudes towards climate change, and ways to better communicate the science and solutions to audiences. By partnering with mainstream media entities such as television networks and community news, MCCCRH Malaysia is to deliver trusted localised climate information to larger audiences.
Climate Notes View
Climate Notes is an emotive, interactive exhibition and performance work that explores and communicates how we feel about climate change through music, letter writing and moving images. Climate Notes (Dr Anna McMichael and Dr Louise Devenish from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, Faculty of Arts) premiered at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in 2022 and Mona Foma Festival in Tasmania and Adelaide Botanic Gardens in 2023.
Net Zero 2030 initiative View
The Net Zero Initiative is Monash’s strategy to transition to net zero emissions by 2030. Utilising ClimateWorks Centre’s research for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Project, the Net Zero Initiative is based on:
- Extensive energy efficiency measures within existing buildings;
- Energy performance standards for new builds;
- Campus electrification to switch completely from gas;
- Deploying on-site and off-site renewable energy sources;
- Innovative renewable energy use and storage; and
- Engaging with partners and communities to create a more sustainable future.
In 2022, Monash undertook the following activities to transition to net zero emissions:
- Continued its energy efficiency program, with over 50,000 LED lighting upgrades completed to date;
- Installed Australia’s first enroute offsite charging station at the Clayton campus bus interchange as part of the Victorian Government’s Zero Emission Bus Trial, in collaboration with ENGIE and ComfortDelGro Corporation (CDC) Australia;
- Continued upgrading gas-fired domestic systems with heat pump technology at the Clayton and Peninsula campuses;
- Implemented the Federal Microgrid Program, to translate findings from the Net Zero Initiative and Monash Microgrid to six regional Victorian precincts;
- Received $420,000 in funding from the Victorian Government’s Commercial Sector Innovation Fund to install 30 EV charging points across its campuses;
- Hosted multiple sessions of the “Realising Net Zero Buildings” professional development course in collaboration with the Green Building Council of Australia, and a Net Zero Immersion Day in collaboration with Monash Tech School; and
- Prepared a report on the decarbonisation status of Monash suppliers, and explored platforms and resources to support suppliers on their decarbonisation journey, as part of our Net Zero Supply Chain program to reduce scope 3 emissions.
Measuring Our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions View
Greenhouse gas emission from natural gas (Scope 1) and electricity (Scope 2) have reduced significantly since 2017, when Net Zero by 2030 was announced. In 2022, net emissions were 28 per cent below 2021 and 51 per cent below the 2015 baseline. An increase in the voluntary surrender of large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) purchased from the Murra Warra Wind Farm is a primary contributor to our emissions reductions.
In 2022, Greenhouse gas emissions attributed to Scope 1 emissions (natural gas used for heating and cooling) increased by 9 per cent, while Scope 2 emissions (electricity consumption) decreased 40 per cent compared to the previous year.
In 2022, our emissions intensity decreased by 29 per cent when compared to 2021 and is 64 per cent below the 2015 baseline.