Beyond Zero Emissions was established in 2006 out of a concern that the stated climate change goals of other environmental organisations at the time contradicted the scientific literature. Policies these organisations were calling for if realised would see atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, thereby causing devastation from global warming.

Luckily, this has now begun to change, with the grassroots climate action movement, made up of over 200 groups across Australia adopting a policy of 100% renewable energy for Australia by 2020, and recognising that the current science is explicit in saying that there is already to much carbon in the atmosphere. Some of the bigger environment groups are also moving in this direction.

From its inception, Beyond Zero Emissions' goal has been to help facilitate a timely transition to a zero carbon future where atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are reduced to a safe threshold. The group focuses on the research, education and promulgation of scientifically-based policy and technology solutions in order to realise this transition.

The group was established by Matthew Wright and Adrian Whitehead with the guidance of Phillip Sutton.  At the same time Matthew and Adrian also established the Zero Emission Network.

In 2008 the Climate Emergency Network was formed by a number of climate groups in Melbourne concerned that groups taking climate change science and solutions seriously needed a way to coordinate.  Beyond Zero Emissions is a proud member of the Climate Emergency Network.


Monthly discussion group

As a result of our endorsement of the latest scientific findings that there is already too much atmospheric greenhouse gas and that it must be reduced to below current levels in order
to decrease the probability of sudden, irreversible and catastrophic global warming, Beyond Zero Emissions initiated and runs a monthly discussion group that allows for the exchange of information and ideas to transform Australia into a zero carbon economy as quickly as possible.

On Monday the 7th of April, 2008, we presented our inaugural discussion group meeting entitled, 'Transition to a Zero Carbon Future' where we outlined our "Coal Switch" philosophy in which the state of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 50% in 3 years.

Held on the first Monday of each month at 6.30pm at Kindness House (Fitzroy, Victoria) or at the University of Melbourne (Carlton, Victoria) the discussion group hosts presentations by experts in climate science and solutions, with each presentation followed by a Q&A session with audience members.

Guests have included:

  • Ian Dunlop, former head of the Australian Coal Association
  • Dr. Geoffrey Will, expert on Dye solar cells - the next generation in solar technology
  • Brendan Mackey, Director of the ANU Wild Country Research and Policy Hub
  • Dr. Keith Lovegrove, Head of the ANU Solar Thermal Group
  • Phil Hart, member of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO)
  • Adam Bandt, federal member of parliament
  • and more...


Zero Carbon Plans

From Beyond Zero emissions preliminary working paper "Coal Switch",  a plan to reduce Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in 3 years, a decision was made to both broaden and deepen the scope of the emissions reduction plan by developing a blueprint for the transition to a decarbonised Australian economy by 2020.

This plan is called Zero Carbon Australia 2020 (ZCA) and it was started as an initiative of Beyond Zero Emissions and the Climate Emergency Network, (CEN) with generous support from Climate Positive. ZCA is now a research collaboration between Beyond Zero Emissions and the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute.

Work on the plan commenced in early 2009 and encompasses stationary energy, transport, housing and construction, land use, industrial processes and replacing coal export revenue. Version one of the ZCA Stationary Energy Plan was launched in 2010 and the ZCA Buildings Plan was published in August 2013.

The plan draws on the enormous wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise of like-minded individuals from the community.


Politician and Corporate Education

Since 2007, Beyond Zero Emissions has widened the scope of its education with an ongoing series of meetings with state and federal politicians, and their representatives, to educate on existing solutions for the decarbonisation of the Australian economy. The organisation also regularly does presentations for corporate groups, such as the CEO Institute and many public and community group talks.

We have an active media team that enables our work to be accessed by the public.