Stories—

The Pears Report

‘The Pears Report’ is a regular column written by Pears for ReNew magazine – a quarterly publication produced by the Alternative Technology Association. ReNew is Australia’s leading magazine on practical sustainable living that showcases innovations in sustainable building practice and renewable energy technology. 

Renew also demonstrates technology in action and provides practical knowledge for people wishing to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. This provides a stepping stone for local climate change initiatives by building awareness of solutions that are accessible to individuals and community groups. 

For example, Pears’ recent columns have addressed topics like the fragility of Australia’s traditional energy grid in times of peak energy demand, as well as the feasibility and trend towards diversified and distributed energy systems. He has also recently explored the difficulties faced by vulnerable households in accessing sustainable energy options and ways to overcome this.  

In 2016, 75 of Pears’ best columns were published as a collection by the Alternative Technology Association. ‘The Pears Report: Reflections on two decades of energy and climate policy’ celebrates two decades worth of “detailed, accurate and thoughtful” contributions to ReNew magazine – and to building and bridging the Australian public’s knowledge and understanding of climate mitigation and adaptation. 

Each of Pears’ columns appears alongside a series of articles reviewing evolving perspectives on key themes, such as energy efficiency, efficient appliances (stars, schemes and standards), building and energy policy, energy market reform and climate policy. 

The Pears Report sits within the formal/subjective quadrant of ‘knowing’ climate adaptation at the local scale. Each column is backed up by formal/objective forms of knowledge such as scientific research and data.

Climate knowledge builder/broker

As a regular contributor, Pears has written a column for every edition of ReNew since 1997. He has used the column as a ‘bridge’ to examine the complexities and absurdities of climate and energy policy in Australia. 

As one of Australia’s leading climate and sustainable energy experts, Alan Pears is well-versed in building and bridging local climate change knowledge. Since the 1970s, Pears has worked tirelessly as a thought leader, expert advisor, advocate and educator to progress Australia’s agenda for sustainable energy solutions. 

Pears’ work has challenged the dominant political discourse and the current energy system by highlighting sustainable alternatives. His work has explored energy efficiency of buildings, environmental ratings and regulation, green building and appliance innovation, and commercial and industrial energy management. 

As an expert and policy critic, Pears is regularly called upon by print, television and radio media to provide commentary on a range of energy-related issues – from the cost savings of energy efficient buildings to broader critique of national climate and energy policy.

In 2009, Pears was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his “service to the environment through the development of policy and design in the fields of energy efficiency and sustainability and through public awareness programs”.

Pears’ commitment to critiquing the status quo and willingness to share his knowledge and insights across different sectors and levels of government embodies the democratisation of knowledge – a central tenet of the ‘building and bridging the knowledge base’ theme. This is particularly evident in ‘The Pears Report’.