Climateworks Australia’s Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia has been awarded the Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change, at an event dubbed the ‘Oscars of Australian science’, held in Sydney last night.

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research & innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism & communication.

The Climateworks’ report was described by the Australian Museum as a ‘national can-do carbon plan’.

“The Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia provides the first economy-wide picture of how we can substantially reduce our carbon emissions using existing technology,” says Frank Howarth, Director of the Australian Museum.

“The plan’s sophisticated economic and policy analysis highlights positive steps that everyone from industry leaders to individual householders can begin taking today.”

Climateworks Chairman John Thwaites, Deputy Chairman David Shelmerdine and Executive Director Anna Skarbek accepted the prize at the awards ceremony attended by over 800 of the country’s top thinkers, politicians and celebrities in the Randwick Pavilion at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse.

“Winning this Prize provides a national platform from which we can promote our findings that action on climate change is achievable now, and at a lower cost than many realise,” said Ms Skarbek.

“It also allows us to celebrate the collaboration between philanthropy, academia, business and government that created this work. We know that our work has already been utilised widely in each sector, and we expect that the recognition of the Eureka Prize will assist us to share the Low Carbon Growth Plan findings and methodology with more Australians, including at the regional and local level.”

The $10,000 Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change is awarded to an individual, group or organisation for work that demonstrates a commitment to pursuing innovative solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. It is sponsored by the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW). The prize was judged by an independent panel against criteria focused on its innovation and its impact.

The Australian Museum praised the Climateworks’ Plan for being the first carbon reduction plan for all Australians – from investors and economists to commuters and homeowners – and showing how energy efficiency and economic prosperity can coexist.

The Museum also noted that the application of the cost curve methodology to determine the direct costs for investors of applying carbon reduction measures was an innovation that has been praised by industry groups for its business relevance, particularly in those areas where the calculations show reforms will bring not only carbon reduction but cost savings.

Climateworks’ Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia identifies 54 opportunities across the Australian economy that together can reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 2000 levels for at net cost of less than $185 per household each year. Based on detailed economic and policy analysis, the Plan presents these opportunities as a roadmap of action, identifying the actions required to reduce emissions, the barriers to their implementation and the tools to overcome these barriers.