Climate Change Reports

Key reports

Finding reliable information about climate science can be challenging. Here we compile the key reports that have underpinned climate action in Australia and internationally.

If you know of any key reports that are missing from our list, please contact us and let us know.


IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

by the IPCC

Summarises our understanding of the current state of the climate and our role in the observed changes. Includes what we think is going to happen, provides climate projections for regions and sectors and discusses how we could limit climate change. 

Summary for Policymakers, 2019. In: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems

by the IPCC

Summarises fluctuations in greenhouse gas emissions in land-based ecosystems. Looks at land use and sustainable land management in relation to reducing the impacts of climate change and adapting to what is coming, as well as desertification, land degradation and food security.

Technical Summary, 2019. In: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems

by the IPCC

Considers the dynamics of the land-climate system, including desertification vulnerability, and the urgency of tackling land degradation across all ecosystems through restoration and sustainable land management to improve climate change mitigation and resilience, and to ensure food security.  

IPCC, 2019: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

by the IPCC

Assesses observed and projected changes to the ocean and cryosphere (i.e. the poles and mountains — where water is frozen) with climate change, and their impacts and risks. Focusses on resilience, and the potential and limitations of risk management options and adaptation measures.

Emissions Gap Report (2019)

by the UNEP

Compares where greenhouse gas emissions are heading, against where they need to be in order to meet the 1.5°C and 2°C temperature targets of the Paris Agreement. It also highlights the best ways to close the gap.

CAS report

Climate Action Summit Report (2019)

by the UN Secretary-general

Summarises outcomes of the 2019 Climate Action Summit which reinforced 1.5°C as the safe temperature limit for this century and net zero emissions by 2050. Urges countries to accelerate work on their short-term (2020) and mid-term (2030) emissions reductions commitments.

Global warming report

Special report Global Warming of 1.5C (2018)

by the IPCC
Written by 91 scientists and policy experts and details what impacts we’d see in a world warmed to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. At 2,000+ pages, it’s quite a tome so you can read a more easy to understand summary here.
Paris Agreement

The Paris agreement (2015)

by the United Nations

A commitment made by every nation to cut their emissions (called ‘nationally determined contributions’) in order to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.


Rising to the Challenge: Addressing Climate and Security in our Region.

by the National Climate Science Advisory Committee

Contends that Australia’s national security is threatened by the risks of conflict presented by climate change and the federal government’s financial support of the fossil fuel industry. Concludes that rapidly and decisive climate change action is necessary for maintenance of our region’s collective security.

Climate science for Australia's Future Report

Climate science for Australia's future (2019)

by the National Climate Science Advisory Committee

Details 10 strategic actions for the Australian government to adopt in order to enhance, coordinate and deliver climate science for Australia’s benefit.

Australia's emissions projections

Department of Environment and Energy | Australia's emission projections (2018)

by the National Climate Science Advisory Committee

The Federal Government’s own data shows Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase over the next decade, confirming that Australia is not on track to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target.

Parliamentary report

Climate change - reducing Australia’s emissions (2016) [Parliamentary Library Briefing Book]

by the Australian Government

Briefing written for Senators, MPs and their staff ahead of the 45th Parliament. Finds that while Australia seems to be on track to meet its 2020 emissions reductions target, achieving the 2030 target may prove challenging. Calls for further funding of the Emissions Reduction Fund (budget had already been two-thirds spent) and other policies to achieve targets.

Australia's climate change target 2030

Australia's 2030 climate change target (2015)

by the Australian Government

Details the Australian government’s commitment to reduce emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

The Garnaut Review

Garnaut Climate Change Review (2011)

by Ross Garnaut

Re-examines the case for climate action in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and developments by major countries to reduce emissions and prepare for a low-carbon future. Explains why Australia’s contribution is vital to the national interest, why Australia matters to the global effort, and what mix of policies would enable Australia to contribute its fair share without damaging prosperity.

Garnaut Climate Change Review (2008)

by Ross Garnaut

An independent study of the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy. Recommends that Australia implement an emissions trading scheme as well as push internationally for carbon dioxide equivalent concentrations of 450 ppm, which would commit Australia to reductions of 25% on 2000 levels by 2020, and 90% by 2050. Also recommends that up to $1 billion be made available for matched funding for investment in reducing emissions in coal.