Climate policy in 2016: The hard task of delivering on our international commitment

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In the lead-up to December’s Paris climate change conference, the Australian Government committed to the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. But how will we get there?  Much is at stake. Shayleen Thompson, CEO of the Climate Change Authority and Clare Savage from the Business Council of Australia joined Grattan Institute’s Tony Wood to examine the issues: How tough is the target and what are the merits of the various policies that might be used to meet this and future targets?


Shayleen Thompson is the Acting CEO of the Climate Change Authority. Shayleen has extensive experience in international and domestic climate change policy and programs with both state and Commonwealth governments. She has served as a lead negotiator on land issues for the Kyoto Protocol and has worked on the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the Government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and the Renewable Energy Target.  More recently Shayleen led work on the Carbon Farming Initiative and the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Clare Savage is the Executive Director of Energy Policy at the Business Council of Australia. Clare joined the BCA in August 2015 with the ambition of developing a suite of integrated energy and climate change policies. Clare has spent over a decade in the energy sector and has worked extensively on a range of issues including governance; climate change and renewables policy; electricity and gas market design; network pricing; and retail market regulation.Prior to joining the BCA, Clare held executive positions within Energy Australia spanning corporate strategy; business development; policy & government affairs; and public affairs. Clare also held a number of roles at the Energy Supply Association of Australia (esaa) including Chief Executive Officer.

Tony Wood has been Energy Program Director at Grattan 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.