Forum of prominent Australians to prepare roadmap for a clean energy transition

UNSW is hosting the Leadership Forum on Energy Transition for Australia, an initiative of the ACF that brings together leaders from business, academia and the community to develop a clean energy blueprint for the nation.


Seventeen prominent Australians from business, academia and the community have come together to establish a Leadership Forum on Energy Transition for Australia.

The Forum, an initiative of the Australian Conservation Foundation, is being hosted by UNSW as part of the University’s Climate Change Grand Challenge. At the inaugural meeting of the Forum the members committed to producing a roadmap for a rapid transition to clean energy.

The Forum brings together an influential grouping of ‘unusual’ partners who recognise the significant dangers and disruptions to Australia that are already occurring and that will worsen as the globe continues to warm. 

The forum members accept the science of climate change and the evidence that the way energy is produced and consumed is a fundamental driver of global warming and that a fair and just transition to clean energy is essential for Australia’s future.

If Australia is to honour the international commitments made at the climate negotiations in Paris last year, all of those in leadership roles must contribute to tackling the problem of pollution from energy production in Australia.

Without a national plan to transition from emissions intensive energy to clean energy, the growth of clean energy in Australia will stagnate and forum members fear the nation’s contribution to international greenhouse pollution will continue to rise.

The forum will develop a blueprint for energy transition in Australia that is in the best interests of the Australian community, economy and environment; it will offer this evidence-based plan for transition to political decision makers.

To assist the next Australian government in leading the energy transition, the forum will produce the blueprint within 100 days of the upcoming federal election.

The Leadership Forum on Energy Transition is an initiative of the Australian Conservation Foundation and is hosted by UNSW. It includes the following leaders:

  • Professor Ian Jacobs (Chair)            
    President and Vice-Chancellor, UNSW Australia
  • Mr Geoffrey Cousins AM                  
    President, Australian Conservation Foundation
  • Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO          
    Former Governor-General of Australia
  • Ms Jillian Broadbent AO                    
    Chair, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Swiss RE Life and Health Australia 
  • Mr Andrew Vesey                              
    CEO, AGL Energy
  • Mr David Thodey                               
    Chair, CSIRO and former CEO, Telstra
  • Ms Maria Atkinson AM                      
    Co-founder of Green Building Council of Australia and board member, Australian Renewable Energy Agency                                             
  • Mr Mark Burrows AO                        
    Global investment banking and capital markets expert
  • Mr Alex Malley FCPA                        
    CEO, CPA Australia
  • Ms Sam Mostyn                                
    Chair, Australian Council of International Development and Citibank Australia, board member of Virgin Australia, Mirvac, Transurban and Cover-More                                       
  • Ms Indira Naidoo                               
    Journalist, TV presenter and author
  • Mr Martijn Wilder AM                         
    Partner, Baker and McKenzie and Chair, Australia Renewable Energy Agency and board member, Clean Energy Finance Corporation
  • Mr Miles George                                
    Managing Director, Infigen Energy and Chair, Clean Energy Council
  • Dr Simon Longstaff AO                     
    Executive Director, The Ethics Centre
  • Ms Anna Skarbek                              
    CEO, ClimateWorks Australia
  • Professor Merlin Crossley                 
    Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UNSW
  • Ms Kelly O’Shanassy                        
    CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation 

Forum member profiles available here.