About

Rebecca was a Policy Analyst with a focus on the key ingredients for an effective transition to a resilient, low carbon economy. Rebecca provided policy support to researchers exploring: how to manage a just transition, climate legislation and governance, and whole-of-economy approaches to building climate resilience in developing communities.

Background

Prior joining the policy analysis team, Rebecca worked in the renewable energy branch within the New South Wales Government in Sydney, Australia, managing a range of projects aiming to remove barriers to the growth of the large scale renewable energy sector in Australia. A particular focus included facilitating the development of new transmission infrastructure to allow the connection of new renewable energy assets on the scale needed to replace retiring coal generators.

Prior to this Rebecca worked as a Legal and Communications Advisor to the Least Developed Countries (LDC) negotiation group in the climate negotiations. This included providing advice on the negotiation of the Paris Agreement ‘rulebook’, and supporting initiatives such as the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative.

Rebecca has a Bachelor of Economics and Laws from the University of Tasmania, as well as a Bachelor of Civil Law (Masters of Law) and an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Her MSc dissertation explored how to scale up access to decentralised renewable energy in least developed countries.

Research interests

  • Effective policy-making and capacity building approaches for country-driven sustainable development
  • Long-term, strategic policy-making to facilitate a timely, fair and equitable shift to a low carbon economy
  • Climate legislation and governance

Policy

Policy - 2020

The Philippines is highly exposed to natural hazards including typhoons. This report, finding that financial aid tends to be heavily focused on response to hazards rather than preparedness and resilience, investigates why further disaster risk policy intervention may be required at the local level and provides guidance to policymakers. Read more

Policy - 2019

This submission was made to the Environment Agency's consultation on its draft strategy for flood and coastal risk management in England, and draws on the Grantham Research Institute's work and expertise over many years in this area. Read more

This paper is a submission to the second review of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and Damage under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place at COP25 in December. The submission looks at the Loss and Damage policy debate, how it relates to other international frameworks and efforts in the areas of mitigation, adaptation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development, and identifies how the WIM can be most effective. Read more

This paper summarises the Institute's submission to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ call for evidence on policy direction to prepare the UK for flooding and coastal erosion, drawing on a decade of work by the Grantham Research Institute with the insurance industry and policymakers addressing issues around climate change and adaptation. Read more

News

News - 2019

Rebecca Byrnes and Swenja Surminski outline progress of actions taken under the Warsaw International Mechanisms on Loss and Damage - which is designed to help countries deal with the harm caused by climate change - and how to enhance its effectiveness, as the COP25 climate conference gears up to reviewing the mechanism in December. Read more

News - 2018

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