Macquarie University
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Environmental and climate policies in Australia and Russia: history, structure and discourses

posted on 2022-03-28, 14:55 authored by Anna Firsova
This thesis focuses on environmental and climate change policy formulation and implementation in Australia and Russia. The research has two interconnected aims: first, to examine the similarities and differences in socioeconomic settings and historical and current political contexts with regard to environmental protection and climate change in these two countries; and second, to explore how these contexts have influenced the countries' official reports on climate change. -- Addressing the first aim, this study explored historical context of the two countries starting from the early 1990s. This part employed comparative review and analysis based on examination of scholarly publications, legislation, government documents, mass media sources and NGO responses. The analysis has revealed a number of differences including top-down implementation of policies in Russia utilising command-and-control methods whereas in Australia, each State (Territory) implements policies with significant independence from the Commonwealth Government. Similarities between the countries identified are, for example, in deficits in the budget of local environmental authorities and in the presence of contradictions in legislation between national and regional levels of government. The research has also revealed cases of the so-called agency 'capture' where the Australian and Russian Governments have been 'captured' by big business, with state power serving the interests of the business elite. -- To address the second aim of the research, the Australian and Russian National Communications (NCs) submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat from 1994 to 2010 were examined. NCs have been generally overlooked in academic literature to date. In order to position the NCs within socioeconomic and political contexts for the periods of time in which they were prepared, a new method of 'substantive content analysis-assisted critical discourse analysis with identification of important discourses' specifically developed for this study has been applied. -- The research has revealed 'power relations', 'key tensions', and 'ideologies' contained in the texts of NCs. It also demonstrated that important discourses in NCs are influenced by, first of all, national political and economic circumstances, and also by social context at the time of reporting. However, it is found that while Australian NCs have been used as a tool to reinforce the nation's negotiating position, Russian NCs have been written in a more pro forma style.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Australia and Russia: how do their environmental policy processes differ? -- 3. After 20 years of creating Australian climate policy: was the proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme a change in direction? -- 4. A review of climate policies adoption in Russia: joint implementation in focus -- 5. Discourse analysis methods -- 6. Critical discourse analysis of Australian and Russian national communications: description and substantive content analysis -- 7. Critical discourse analyses of Australian and Russian national communications: interpretation and explanation -- 8. Conclusion and recommendations.


Bibliography: p. 339-362

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Faculty of Science, Dept. of Environment and Geography, Graduate School of the Environment

Department, Centre or School

Graduate School of the Environment

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Roslyn Taplin

Additional Supervisor 1

Vladimir Strezov


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Anna Firsova 2011.




Australia Russia (Federation)


1 online resource (362 p.) ill. (some col.)

Former Identifiers

mq:26986 1797792