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ACT names new environment commissioner

Dr Sophie Lewis is the new ACT commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment replacing the interim commissioner, Dr Margaret Kitchin.She was the 2019 ACT Scientist of the Year in recognition of her research on climate extremes and their specific relevance to Canberra.

Dr Lewis is responsible for preparing State of the Environment reports, conducting investigations into environment-related matters, advocating for the environment and raising environmental awareness.

The minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, said Lewis would bring a strong focus on climate change to the position given her research background in this field, and knowledge and love of Canberra.

“Dr Lewis has extensive experience in researching Australia’s changing climate extremes, including as a lead author with the International Climate Change Panel assessment reports that are used worldwide to develop policies around climate change.

Dr Lewis described the ACT as a world leader in addressing climate change in particular, however she acknowledged that there is still a lot to be done to address the challenges and vulnerabilities around our environment and sustainability.

I’m keen to be involved through the Commissioner position, “she said.

“As we have seen with our recent extreme heat, drought and fires, climate change is a huge challenge now and for our future as it will continue to impact on our environment at local, national and international levels,” she added.