Great Green Debate

Every year the Sustainability Learning Community holds an annual debate on an environmental topic at the Manning Clarke Centre. The debate is preceded by a formal dinner for the panellists, students, faculty and staff which gives students the opportunity to engage with professionals in the environmental field and students and staff with similar interests.

The Great Green Debate is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness on topical environmental issues which affect the Australian National University, the region and the broader Australian community. We are fortunate to have some of the finest intellects in the nation, and in some cases, the world, right here on our doorstep with ANU academics, CSIRO researchers and professionals within the various government departments in Canberra. As a result, there is never a shortage of quality speakers to choose from when organising this event, thanks to the vibrant and evolving community in which we are situated.

Typically, the Great Green Debate has been held on World Environment Day, although some years it is held in second semester to minimise conflict with exam periods and to recognise other significant occasions such as National Water Week.

2015 - What is your sustainability vision for Union Court?

  • Ben Gill
    President of ANU Students' Association
  • Professor Libby Robin
    ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • Chris Grange
    ANU Executive Director of Administration and Planning
  • Bart Meehan
    ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society, Visiting Fellow
  • Miriam Adams-Schinminger
    ANU Environment Collective and Fenner School of Environment and Society honours student.
  • Q&A moderated by Professor Peter Kanowski a forester of ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society.

2014 - Does Australia have to choose between the economy and the environment? Is it possible to have a just transition away from fossil fuels?

  • Scott Ludlam
    Greens Senator for Western Australia
  • Dan Musil
    Earthworker Australia
  • Jeff Bennett
    Professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and author of Little Green Lie
  • Robert Costanza
    Ecological Economist at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
  • Ishbel Cullen
    ANU Environment Collective and 350.org
  • Jon Altman
    Professor at the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences and former director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • Chair
    Genevieve Jacobs, ABC Radio Canberra

2013 - 80 per cent of fossil fuels must stay in the ground to avoid exceeding 2°C global warming. How should we respond to unburnable carbon?

  • John Hewson
    Liberal Party of Australia former leader
  • Matt Grudnoff
    The Australian Institute
  • Simon O'Connor
    Responsible Investment Association Australian
  • Janette Lindesay
    ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • Charlie Wood
    350.org
  • Tom Swann
    ANU Master of Climate Change student
  • Chair
    Shane Rattenbury, ACT Greens member for Molonglo

2012 - Should Coal Seam Gas play an important role in Australia's energy future?

  • Hugh Saddler
    Research Associate, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy ANU and Principal Consultant, Energy Strategies at Pitt & Sherry
  • Drew Hutton
    President of Lock the Gate Alliance
  • Matt Grudnoff
    Senior Economist at The Australia Institute
  • James Paterson
    Director of Communications for the Institute of Public Affairs Australia
  • John Williams
    Adjunct Professor in Public Policy and Environmental Management at the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and former commissioner with the NSW Natural Resources Commission
  • Lyall Howard
    NSW Policy Director for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
  • Chair
    Jeanette Lyndsay
    Associate Director Education & Deputy Director, ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society

2011 - The environment will never be prioritised over material desires

  • Dr Emma Aisbett
  • Dr Carleton Christensen
  • Dr Richard Denniss
  • Mr Don Anton
  • Mr Shane Rattenbury, MLA
  • Dr Michael Eburn

2010 - Water resources in Australia are a fundamental constraint to population growth

  • Mr Mark O'Connor
    Canberrra poet, author and environmentalist
  • Ms Catherine Moore
    Artist and local government councillor for Palerang Council
  • Peter Andrews
    Stud master, thoroughbred horse breeder and farmer from Bylong in the Upper Hunter Valley and developer of the acclaimed Natural Sequence Farming techniques
  • Dr Ian Prosser
    Science Director, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship
  • Su Wild-River
    Deputy Manager of ANUgreen, Certified Environmental Practitioner
  • Jenna Roberts
    PhD, Environmental Chemistry

2008 - The Role of Business in Shaping a Sustainable Future

  • Mr Tom Snow
    Executive Director, Canberra International Airport
  • Dr Royston Gustavson
    ANU College of Business and Economics
  • Mr Ramsay Moodie
    Director Corporate Affairs, Fuji Zerox Australia
  • Mr Graham Tupper
    National Liaison Officer, Australian Conservation Foundation
  • Panel Chair:
    Dr Robin Tennant-Wood
    Director, Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre

2007 - Securing Our Water Future: Social Change or Technological Innovation?

  • Senator Rachel Siewert
    Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia
  • Professor Quentin Grafton
    ANU Crawford School of Economics & Government
  • Professor Patrick Troy
    ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • Wendy McIntyre
    Australian Research Centre for Water in Society (ARCWIS)
  • Dr Tom Hatton
    Director, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Research Program (CSIRO)
  • Panel Chair:
    Professor Will Steffen
    Director, Fenner School of Environment and Society

2006 - That Australia's Response to Global Warming is Sufficient

  • Senator Gary Humphries
    Senator, Liberal Party
  • Dr Deb Foskey
    ACT Greens MLA
  • Associate Professor Janette Lindesay
    ANU School of Resources, Environment and Society
  • Professor Jeff Bennett
    ANU Crawford School of Economics and Government
  • Mr Tully Fletcher
    ANU Student
  • Ms Claudia Newman-Martin
    ANU Student
  • Chair: Professor Peter Kanowski
    Head, School of Resources, Environment and Society