Professor Ross Garnaut presents: 'The Superpower Transformation: Making Australia’s Zero-Carbon Future'

Image showing event details, also available on website


The Melbourne Energy Institute and Melbourne Climate Futures at the University of Melbourne hosted the launch of The Superpower Transformation: Making Australia’s Zero-Carbon Future, a new publication edited by Professor Ross Garnaut.

Professor Ross Garnaut outlined the book’s practical plans to turn Australia into an economic superpower of a post-carbon world.

A follow-up from the bestselling Superpower: Australia’s Low Carbon Opportunity (2019), the new book includes insights from experts Professor Mike Sandiford, Professor Ligang Song, Professor Frank Jotzo, Isabelle Grant, Susannah Powell, Dr Dylan McConnell, and Associate Professor Malte Meinshausen.

With an introduction by Danielle Wood, CEO of the Grattan Institute and opening remarks by Associate Professor Ben Neville, Deputy Director - Strategic Partnerships and Community Impact at Melbourne Climate Futures. Presentations were followed by Q&A with the audience and contributing authors, and a networking session.

Date: Wednesday, 5 October 2022 
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm 
Venue: The Lab + Launch Pad, Mezzanine Level, Melbourne Connect, 700 Swanston St


Prof Ross Garnaut speaking at the launch

Danielle Wood speaking at the launch

Stack of books Book signing

Attendees at the launch

Photos by Greta Robenstone


Book cover image

“In his bestselling Superpower, renowned economist Ross Garnaut showed that Australia – rich in resources for renewable energy and for capturing carbon in the landscape – could become an economic superpower of the post-carbon world. Now, in The Superpower Transformation, he turns that idea into a practical plan to reshape our nation.

Garnaut outlines new evidence that stronger and earlier action on climate change would be good for jobs and incomes, including in the old gas and coal communities and in rural and regional Australia. He looks at the challenges for the new federal government: how Australia can meet the objectives set at the Paris and Glasgow climate conferences – and the growing costs of not doing so. He shows that our national decisions matter greatly for the world.

With contributions from Mike Sandiford, Ligang Song, Frank Jotzo, Isabelle Grant, Susannah Powell, Dylan McConnell and Malte Meinshausen, as well as a major essay from Garnaut himself, The Superpower Transformation covers electricity, hydrogen, steel, exports, carbon capture in the landscape and more. It reveals the rich endowments of five resources that give us the most to gain economically: ‘The new opportunities are much larger than the old.’

Over the past nine years, Australia has consistently acted against its national interest. This compelling book shows how to change that, so that the nation becomes a confident leader of progress towards zero net emissions.”

Our nation’s most prophetic economist’ — Ross Gittins


Ross Garnaut

Professor Ross Garnaut
Honorary Professor of Business and Economics 
University of Melbourne

Ross Garnaut is the professorial research fellow in economics at the University of Melbourne. In 2008, he produced the Garnaut Climate Change Review for the Australian government. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Dog Days, Superpower and Reset.

As an economist his career has been built around the analysis of and practice of policy connected to development, economic policy and international relations in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. He has held senior roles in universities, business, government and other Australian and international institutions. He is Professor Emeritus within the University of Melbourne in Business and Economics. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences and a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia. In addition, Ross is a Distinguished Life Member of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society and also an Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Ross was Head of the Economics Department and Division of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University for over a decade from 1989. He played leading roles from the mid-seventies until 2009 in building the Australian National University’s capacity in research and graduate education on Southeast Asia, China (including as Chairman of the China Economy and Business Program from its foundation in 1989 to 2009), and South Asia. He is the author or editor (alone or jointly with others) of 48 books in addition to numerous influential articles in scholarly journals and books on international economics, public finance, and economic development.

Ross has been a Director of ZEN Energy since 2015.


Danielle Wood

Danielle Wood
Chief Executive Officer 
Grattan Institute

Danielle Wood is the CEO of Grattan Institute, where she heads a team of leading policy thinkers, researching and advocating policy to improve the lives of Australians. She also leads Grattan’s Budgets and Government Program.

Danielle has published extensively on economic reform priorities, budgets, tax reform, generational inequality, and reforming political institutions. She is a sought-after media commentator and speaker on policy issues.

Danielle was previously Principal Economist and Director of Merger Investigations at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Senior Economist at NERA Economic Consulting, and Senior Research Economist at the Productivity Commission. She holds an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Adelaide and two Masters degrees, one in Economics and one in Competition Law, from the University of Melbourne.

Danielle is the former President of the Economic Society of Australia, and was the first woman to lead the organisation in its 95 years. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia and a Research Fellow of the Women’s Leadership Institute.

She is a member of the Parliamentary Budget Office Expert Advisory Committee, the Commonwealth Bank CEO Advisory Council, and the PWC Future of Work Committee. She is also the Australian reviewer for the international Open Budgets Survey.

Danielle is a passionate advocate for women in economics and was the co-founder and first Chair of the Women in Economics Network.


Associate Professor Ben Neville
Deputy Director - Strategic Partnerships and Community Impact
Melbourne Climate Futures

Ben is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management & Marketing, Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. Ben researches and teaches in sustainable business and society, including corporate social responsibility, business ethics, ethical consumption and social entrepreneurship. He is a Section Editor of the Corporate Responsibility (Theory and Qualitative) section of the leading international academic Journal of Business Ethics. At the University, he serves as the Gourlay Fellow of Ethics in Business, and the Sustainability in the Curriculum Fellow for the Faculty of Business and Economics. Ben is also the Coordinator of the Governance, Policy and Markets Stream in the Master of Environment, Chair of the University's Fair Trade Steering Committee.


Professor Ross Garnaut also delivered a keynote address the following day at the Climate Futures Summit, hosted by Melbourne Climate Futures.

More info 〉

Climate Futures Summit visual

Receive the latest in energy news from across the University Subscribe here