Civic crowdfunding and the Climate Council

By Kat Jenkins
from Multitude

Climate Commission public forum in Melbourne

Climate Commission public forum in Melbourne
Photo Climate Commission (Creative Commons)

The term ‘civic crowdfunding’ has become a buzzword in crowdfunding circles recently. In a nutshell, it is the act of taking a function normally funded or performed by local or central government, and providing it privately via crowdfunding. There are a number of examples popping up around the world, but it’s possible that the most interesting one comes from Australia.

In February 2011, the former Australian Government, under the leadership of Julia Gillard, set up the Climate Commission. They were to act as a conduit between the scientific community and the Australian people, with a mandate to be an “authoritative, independent source of information” about climate change.

Between their inception and September 2013, the non-partisan Commission launched a series of 27 climate reports, as well as undertaking speeches and community briefings on climate issues. However, after election in September 2013, the new Australian Government scrapped the Commission as part of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attack on the former government’s climate change legislation. But, of course, that’s not where the story ends.

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