Energy Futures public forum - Delivering net zero: Challenges and opportunities of the next industrial revolution

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The Forum, Melbourne Connect
700 Swanston St, VIC



An economy-wide transformation to net-zero emissions is a national commitment. It will require the planning, building and financing of infrastructure at a scale and pace unprecedented outside wartime.

The Melbourne Energy Institute and Grattan Institute on 14 December 2022 hosted a public seminar on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The expert panel included MEI Director Professor Michael Brear, Grattan Institute’s Energy and Climate Change Program Director Mr Tony Wood, and Ms Zoe Whitton, Managing Director of specialist climate change consultancy Pollination. The panel discussion and audience Q&A was moderated by the ABC’s Ms Patricia Karvelas.

Date: Wednesday, 14 December 
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm 
Venue: The Forum, Mezzanine Level, Melbourne Connect, 700 Swanston Street, and online.


View the recording


Professor Michael Brear
Director, Melbourne Energy Institute 
University of Melbourne

Michael Brear is a mechanical engineer and the Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI) at the University of Melbourne. MEI facilitates the University’s research on the technical, economic, environmental and social impacts of energy.

Michael is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Combustion Institute, Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Energy. He previously established the University’s multi-disciplinary degree, the Master of Energy Systems. Prior to commencing at the University of Melbourne, Michael worked for ICI Australia (now Orica), and then undertook graduate studies at Cambridge University and post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr Tony Wood
Director, Energy and Climate Change Program 
Grattan Institute

Tony has been Director of the Grattan Institute’s Energy Program since 2011 after 14 years working at Origin Energy in senior executive roles.

From 2009 to 2014 he was also Program Director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation, advising governments in the Asia-Pacific region on effective deployment of large-scale, low-emission energy technologies. In 2008, he was seconded to provide an industry perspective to the first Garnaut climate change review.

In January 2018, Tony was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly in the areas of energy policy, climate change and sustainability. In October 2019, Tony was elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Ms Zoe Whitton
Managing Director 

Zoe Whitton is Head of Impact at Pollination Group, a specialist climate change investment and advisory firm. Zoe assists companies and investors to navigate the impacts of climate change and to build new businesses and products which are transition aligned. She previously led the award-winning APAC ESG Research team at Citi, advising institutional investors globally on climate change and sustainable development. Earlier in her career Zoe covered ESG and climate change at Credit Suisse and at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and served as a youth delegate to the UNFCCC. She serves on the boards of the Investor Group on Climate Change and the Centre for Policy Development, and on the Steering Committee of the Australian Climate Governance Initiative. She is also member of the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute’s Technical Advisory Group, and the Sydney Environment Institute’s Advisory Group.

Zoe has won numerous awards for her research and work on climate finance and risk, and regularly contributes to the wider conversation on sustainable finance by commentating in the Australian and international press along with various publications.


Ms Patricia Karvelas
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Patricia Karvelas is a prominent and highly respected Australian journalist, television and radio host, podcaster, political journalist, and commentator.

Patricia began her professional career at the ABC and SBS 20 years ago, and has since worked across every medium across the Australian media landscape. She currently presents the agenda-setting RN Breakfast on ABC Radio.

Patricia previously presented RN Drive, from 2015 until 2021, and the past three years she has hosted Afternoon Briefing, one of the most popular programs on the ABC News Channel, which aims to explain and explore daily national affairs news through cut through interviews, panels and her own pointed commentary.

Patricia also co-hosts the ABC’s popular and premier weekly political podcast —The Party Room with Fran Kelly. She previously hosted and produced the program Karvelas on Sky News, as well as National Wrap on ABC news — weekly programs which focused on federal affairs and policy.

Patricia has also worked in several senior roles in print media, working for The Australian newspaper where she was the paper’s political correspondent in the Canberra press gallery. She was also employed as The Australian’s Victorian Bureau Chief and Editor, and Senior National Affairs Journalist.

Patricia has also filled in as host of The Drum and Insiders and frequently appears on a range of ABC television and radio programs. She has also worked as a reporter at triple j and producer in ABC Local Radio.

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