Veterinarians for Climate Action

We mobilise the veterinary profession and broader animal care community to tackle the climate crisis within and beyond our sector.


OUR VISION: A world where we have halted the climate crisis to secure a shared future for animals and people.
OUR MISSION: We mobilise the veterinary profession and broader animal care community to tackle the climate crisis within and beyond our sector.
OUR APPROACH: We provide opportunities for vets, vet nurses, veterinary support staff and the broader animal care community to tackle the climate crisis both within and beyond veterinary practice. We help clinics reduce their emissions, support our members to educate and engage people within their own circles of influence, and advocate for policies that reduce Australia’s climate pollution at local, state and federal levels.

OUR OBJECTIVES: We mobilise the veterinary profession and animal care community to advocate for and take climate action. Our objectives are for the veterinary profession and animal care community to:
reduce our emissions as much as possible
exercise our political power for climate action
inspire the people we engage with to advocate for and take climate action.

OUR STRUCTURE: We have one full-time staff member who is responsible for executing the day-to-day of our organisation, and who in turn supports and is supported by multiple volunteer teams. Veterinarians for Climate Action is a Company Limited by Guarantee and is registered as a charity with the ACNC. We are governed by a Board of Directors, which is in turn elected by a group of approximately forty formal members. Our Board of Directors is responsible for providing leadership and direction to us and bears ultimate legal responsibility.

OUR FUNDING: We exist primarily as a result of generous donations from people like yourself. To supplement this, we also apply for various grants and have sponsorship opportunities for our ClimateSmart hospital sustainability program. (sourced 9/1/2022 from

The beginning
In August 2019, a veterinarian posted a question to a Facebook group. A few weeks later a team of six had formed and we knew that the idea had merit, but what could we do? Were we satisfied with being a Facebook page or an AVA Special Interest Group? Did we want a loose collective of people who did media work, or should we lobby politicians directly? A month later we’d agreed to aim high and establish a professional, staffed climate advocacy organisation; Vets for Climate Action. Our organisation owes our gratitude to the incredible dedication of our founders; Ben Cox, Jeannet Kessels, Angela Frimberger, Gary Beilby, Ghundi Rhoades and Katrin Swindells. Later, Tiffany Jacobs also played a significant role in getting us established. Jeannet, Angela and Gary became our founding Board members. Ben would go on to become our founding CEO, working tirelessly to establish the organisation and secure funding. It was more than six months before we could pay him, and we thank him for his amazing passion and energy in getting this organisation started! By Christmas we had a website, we were registered as a charity and on Boxing Day, Gundhi wrote an opinion piece that gathered attention around the world. Vets for Climate Action was off the ground!

The year of 2020 – Scaling Up and Our First Wins
2020 was a year of establishment and setting up the foundation for our success. At an organisational level we were focusing on developing our strategy, securing funding and empowering teams of volunteers. By the end of the year we had grown to approximately thirty volunteers across three or four teams. We had several significant wins across the year. These included:
Professor Peter Doherty, the only veterinarian to win a Nobel Prize, offered to become our Patron
We established a MOU with the Australian Veterinary Association, agreeing to work together on climate
We held a weekend strategy camp, from which our first volunteer teams formed
We held multiple online seminars to educate the animal care sector on the impact of climate on animal welfare.
We formed a team of 18 former Chief Veterinary Officers who gathered a lot of attention when they wrote a letter to the Prime Minister calling for action.
We made multiple media appearahces and submissions to various government portals.

Towards the end of 2020 we secured a donation sufficient for us to hire a second staff member, and a few months later we welcomed Alix Foster Vander Elst to her role of Campaigns and Communications Director. Read our 2020 Annual Report here.

The Year of 2021 – Consolidation and Impact
In 2021 we revisited our Strategic Plan and focused on seeing the veterinary and profession and animal care community to:
decarbonises as much as possible;
exercise their democratic power for climate action, and;
inspire the people we engage with to advocate for and take climate action

To reach these goals we restructured our volunteer teams, creating a new Industry and Policy Teams. Meanwhile, our volunteers continued to make an impact:
We coordinated a huge social meadia outreach project for zoos and animal organisations across the country
We continued our work in media and submissions to government
We visited the halls of Canberra calling for action
We continued to jump onto opportunities to create change, such as during the hearings for Zali’s climate bill, the release of IPCC’s AR6 report and the flooding in NSW.

In June we secured funding to hire our third staff member, this time to run our ClimateSmart* hospital sustainability program (now known as The Climate Care Program). By August 2021 our volunteer teams had grown to more than fifty active individuals, and we continue to expand every day.

Note: This descriptive text was copied from the Group's website. Some website links may no longer be active.

More Information


Group Status:

Years Active: , , , ,

Geographic Range of Activity:


Climate Act Now




Website: Veterinarians for Climate Action

Facebook: Veterinarians for Climate Action

Instagram: Veterinarians for Climate Action