Natural gas: part of the problem or part of the solution?

In the last couple of weeks, the G7 countries have committed to decarbonisation of the global economy this century and the global gas industry has argued that natural gas can contribute to this objective in ways that coal cannot. Can clean burning gas be part of the solution but as a fossil fuel also be part of the problem?  This Policy Pitch seminar discussed an issue of critical importance to Australia, shortly to become the world’s biggest exporter of gas.


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.

Tim O’Grady is General Manager Public Policy and Government Engagement at Origin Energy, responsible for developing and advocating for energy, resources, carbon and general policy positions across Origin’s portfolio of business interests.  Tim has over 25 years experience in the energy industry with senior positions in policy, strategy and wholesale and retail energy markets.  Tim holds degrees in engineering, mathematics and business.

Professor Robert Clark AO FAA FRSN was appointed Chief Scientist in Residence within the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of New South Wales in 2014. He was formerly Professor and Chair of Energy Strategy and Policy at the University of New South Wales from 2012. Prior to this role he was the Chief Defence Scientist (CDS) of Australia and Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation from 2008-2011. Most recently he was a co-author of a report to government on a study of shale gas in Australia and co-author and editor of the book ‘Transport Fuels from Australia’s Gas Resources: Advancing the nation’s energy security’.

Anna Skarbek is the CEO of ClimateWorks Australia, leading the organisation’s work in analysing emissions reduction opportunities and partnering with business and government in unblocking barriers to their implementation. Anna is an experienced investment banker, policy adviser and qualified lawyer. Before ClimateWorks she was working in London’s carbon markets as Vice President of Advisory with Climate Change Capital, a specialist investment manager and advisor dedicated to raising and deploying capital for low carbon activities. Anna’s prior career in Australia included senior policy adviser to the Victorian Deputy Premier, investment banker in Macquarie Bank’s energy and utilities team, and solicitor with the national corporate law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques.