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).
- Ben Parr, Carlos Young and Don Henry, ‘Brazil at a crossroads: a high or low pollution development pathway?’, Briefing Paper 6, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, August 2016. (Forthcoming)
- Ben Parr and Don Henry, ‘A new starting point: China’s eco-civilisation and climate action post-Paris’, Briefing Paper 6, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, June 2016.
- Ben Parr, Antonio G. M. La Viña and Don Henry, ‘Philippines climate change agenda: high vulnerability! high ambition?’, Briefing Paper 4, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, April 2015.
- Ben Parr and Don Henry, ‘India’s rapid transition: The Modi government’s climate change and development plan’, Briefing Paper 3, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, 23 November 2015.
- 'China moves towards ecological civilisation', Australian Institute of International Affairs, August 2016.
- 'Eco-civilisation' could help world meet Paris targets, Chinadialogue (Chinese), August 2016.
- ‘On alert: the Philippines and climate change’, Pursuit, April 2016.
- ‘Fossil fuel growth centre harks back to old ideas about climate costs’, The Conversation, 26 February 2016.
- ‘Beyond Paris’, Pursuit, 14 December 2015.
- ‘Why India needs to join a Paris climate deal’, Newsweek (US and Europe), 4 December 2015.
- ‘L’Inde plaide la cause des pays émergents’, The Conversation (French), 2 December 2015.
- ‘Australia is set to ratify the second part of Kyoto Protocol – but it’s not a done deal’, The Conversation, 1 December
- ‘Comment: Climate change and Modi's 'modern' India’, SBS News, 1 December 2015
- ‘Australia needs a fresh start on climate policy: authority’, The Conversation, 30 November 2015
- ‘India builds for future with climate plan’, Pursuit, 26 November 2015.
- ‘India is focused on energy and poverty, but it can still sign a global climate deal’, The Conversation, 25 November.
- ‘India update: rapid transition on climate?’, MSSI Blog: Paris Climate Summit , 23 November 2015.
‘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