Professor Flannery is an Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist and global warming activist. He was the Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission, a Federal Government body providing information on climate change to the Australian public. On 23 September 2013 Flannery announced that he would join other sacked commissioners to form the independent Climate Council, that would be funded by the community.
Flannery was named Australian of the Year in 2007 and is currently a professor at Macquarie University and holds the Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability there. He is also chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, an international climate change awareness group. His sometimes controversial views on shutting down conventional coal fired power stations for electricity generation in the medium term are frequently cited in the media.