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Dr Ben Parr

Ben Parr is a Research Fellow with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute on the ‘Road to Paris and Beyond’ project. This project examines the climate policies and climate diplomacy of some of the key developing countries important to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.  He works closely with Public Policy Fellow on Environmentalism, Professor Don Henry and the relevant domestic branches of the Hon Al Gore’s not-for-profit, The Climate Reality Project.

In March 2015 Ben completed his PhD in political science at the University of Melbourne. His thesis examined the climate policy discourses of the government and fossil fuel industry in Australia, and their relationship to climate diplomacy, during the period 2006-2009. He argued that the shared government-industry discourse about protecting Australia’s industrial competitiveness has had a more decisive influence in shaping and legitimating Australian climate policy than the direct lobbying tactics of the fossil fuel industry, aka ‘the greenhouse mafia’; while the different foreign policy traditions of Australia’s major political parties - as alliance-focused versus internationalist - help to explain variation in domestic climate policy and climate diplomacy.

In 2011-12 he worked for a period of thirteen months as Research and Personal Assistant to Professor the Honourable Gareth Evans AC QC. In 2009-10, he worked for eleven months as Research Assistant to Professor David Karoly. This research examined public opinion on climate science as expressed through contributed items – letters-to-the-editor and opinion editorials – to major Australian newspapers. He has also undertaken short-term research duties on climate policy for Professor Robyn Eckersley (PhD principal supervisor) and Associate Professor Peter Christoff (PhD associate supervisor). 


Briefing Papers




Recent Presentations
Countries Key to Achieving a 1.5C Paris Agreement: Political and Policy Directions’ at;

  • ‘The Seventh Oceanic Conference on International Studies’, University of Queensland, 5 July 2016
  • ‘The Second International Young Scholars Forum’, Sun Yat-Sen University, China, 19 June 2016  
  • ‘The Fifth Oxford Young Scholars Conference on Contemporary China: Continuity and Reform’, University of Oxford, UK, 23 May 2016
  • ‘Climate Conversation Series’, University of Melbourne, 17 May 2016