Intelligence Squared Debates

View all events in this series

at Melbourne Town Hall

“A Tax Won’t Fix Climate Change”

It’s a debate with a decidedly apocalyptic ring: stand by while the dynamics of life on earth change irrevocably, or try to take action that may slow or halt the process - and in so doing possibly compromise our way of life. It’s a debate that challenges fundamental assumptions about evidence, responsibility and governance. And it’s a debate coming soon to the Melbourne Town Hall.

Few issues of recent times have divided Australia as much as how we should respond to climate change. The Gillard government’s proposed carbon tax is the most controversial policy proposal in at least a decade. Proponents struggle to convince the public of the link between a new, broad-based tax and climate change mitigation, while opponents recite their mantra: “A tax won’t fix climate change”.

This September, the carbon tax debate comes home to roost. The next Intelligence Squared debate will tackle the scaremongering, dispel the fictions and, one can only hope, end the confusion. Come and hear panelists from both sides of the divide: politicians, scientists, academics and stakeholders make their case and plead their cause.


Portrait of Sinclair Davidson

Sinclair Davidson

Sinclair Davidson is a professor in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Portrait of Adam Bandt

Adam Bandt

Adam Bandt is a Greens MP and the Federal Member for Melbourne. He was elected in 2010 when he made history by becoming the first Greens MP elected to the House of Representatives at a general election.

Portrait of Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright is the lead author of the award-winning Zero Carbon Australia Plan, and 2010’s Young Environmentalist of the Year.

Portrait of Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery is a scientist, an explorer, a conservationist and a leading writer on climate change. He has held various academic positions including visiting Professor in Evolutionary and Organismic Biology at Harvard University, Director of the South Australian Museum, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum, Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, and Panasonic Professor of Environmental Sustainability, Macquarie University. His books include the award-winning international bestseller The Weather Makers, Here on Earth and Atmosphere of Hope. Flannery was the 2007 Australian of the Year. He is currently chief councillor of the Climate Council.

Portrait of Stuart Allinson

Stuart Allinson

Stuart is a co-founder and director of Exigency, an independent, specialist energy and carbon market advisory firm. He is a member of the Coalition Advisory Council on Climate Policy.

Fiona O'Hehir

Fiona O'Hehir is CEO of Greenbank Environmental. She has a technical background in electronics and power conversion for the solar industry and has been involved in the clean energy space for many years.

Intelligence Squared Debates

The Intelligence Squared debates rage on in 2014 with a whole new range of topics as compelling as they are polarising. In these highly participatory debates, once both sides have had their say, the decision as to who emerges victor lies entirely in your hands.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

Presented in partnership with