An unlikely coalition of 17 prominent people has delivered to the federal government a blueprint to drive a national transition to clean energy.

The Leadership Forum on Energy Transition brings together CEOs of energy companies, scientists, academics, economists, bankers, lawyers, conservationists, broadcasters and a former Governor General of Australia.

The blueprint, presented today to Environment & Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, calls on the federal government to lead a national energy transition plan to shift Australia to clean energy by engaging across parliament and with all levels of government, communities, workers and businesses.

“A nation powered by clean energy is not only possible, it is necessary to protect our beautiful and fragile island continent from dangerous climate change and provide reliable, secure and affordable energy for all Australians,” the blueprint says.

“A planned transition to clean energy will bring healthier lives and economic certainty. It will unleash billions in investment and create jobs. Without leadership, the transition will still happen, but it will be chaotic and unfair, with jobs lost and energy disrupted.”

The federal government’s plan should drive a transition to clean energy by 2050, or sooner, to limit dangerous global warming and meet Australia’s international obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Australia’s coal-fired stations are some of the most polluting and least efficient in the world. Many are well past their use-by dates; five of our generators are more than 35 years old.

The plan should establish rules, policies, regulations, markets and a basis for investment to power the transition. It must be founded on a just transition for workers and communities.

The blueprint details eight foundational actions that should form the basis of Australia’s national plan to drive a clean energy transition:

  1. Update the electricity market to speed up a clean energy transition 
  2. Facilitate and accelerate the inevitable closure of coal plants
  3. Accelerate the uptake of clean energy and support the development of new technology
  4. Create an attractive sustainable investment environment for clean energy
  5. Ensure a just transition for communities and workers
  6. Protect vulnerable Australians 
  7. Make Australia’s buildings and businesses much more efficient users of energy
  8. Dramatically reduce transport emissions 

The blueprint includes an introduction written by journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks AO, outlining the energy challenge facing Australia.

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

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