21 October 2011 - 23 October 2011

The future of hydrocarbons as a global energy source

Chair: The Honourable John Manley PC, OC

(In partnership with Canadian Ditchley)

There is no shortage of either oil or gas in the ground for the foreseeable future, and if future usage is to decline it will not be because of problems of availability. However, the picture is less clear on the necessary expensive infrastructure required to move hydrocarbons around, because of a combination of geopolitics and local environmental concerns. There is also concern about the lack of a new generation of oil and gas engineers. Demand is hard to predict as ever, but is likely to rise as primary energy demand rises, driven by the growth in emerging economies and population increases. Dependency on hydrocarbons will therefore take a long time to change. Shale gas has radically changed the picture on the natural gas side. Demand and supply for hydrocarbons can be matched over time but the process will be bumpy, with oil prices in particular likely to remain volatile, within an overall upward trend. Participants agreed that efforts to reduce demand should nevertheless clearly be pursued, for obvious environmental reasons, with energy efficiency seen as the single biggest and easiest contributor to this. Market and regulatory solutions are both necessary, with well-designed regulations seen as fixing objectives, not methods, to encourage innovation. Price incentives are always valuable, but governments are sending contradictory signals when they talk about keeping utility prices low.

The overall aim has to be to combine affordable and secure energy supplies with the sustainability and indeed survival of the planet. Energy and environmental policies have to be looked at together in reality, not just given lip service. A global policy framework would be highly desirable but looks out of reach for now. Efforts to increase international cooperation nevertheless have to be stepped up urgently, involving both public and private sectors. Carbon capture and storage is one clear way forward, but available technologies are not being applied. Participants were frustrated that a realistic public policy debate was not happening, with politicians unwilling to face the hard choices and set out the facts, in the absence of a new and dramatic crisis. Recent global economic problems have not helped by relegating climate change to the sidelines as if there were a possible choice to be made between growth and environmental action. A new pitch to the public is required, based on realism and universal responsibility, but also a more positive long-term vision. Leadership and transparency are badly needed to restore trust.  We were not optimistic that much of this would be forthcoming in the short term, but our own constructive debate showed agreement was not impossible.


This Conference, hosted by Canadian Ditchley in Kananaskis, Alberta, was an opportunity to step back from polemics about oil and gas, and look dispassionately at the long-term challenges. While emerging economies were under-represented, we still had a diverse group of experts and policy-makers around the table.  One striking feature of the discussion, given this diversity, was the extent of common ground between those coming at the issues from very different viewpoints, helped by wise and expert chairmanship.  Inevitably, we spent as much time on the environmental issues, and the impact of energy choices and broader energy policies on climate change, as on hydrocarbons themselves.  The basic dilemma we were addressing was how to reconcile growing demand for energy, and unavoidable continuing dependence on fossil fuels for a significant part of this, with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move to an environmentally sustainable energy model.


Our starting point was the fundamentals of supply and demand.  There was a significant degree of consensus on the supply side.  The increasing ability to access large quantities of shale gas and tight oil, together with continuing discovery of new fields around the world, should ensure that we had enough natural gas for many decades to come, perhaps even several hundred years, and enough oil for the foreseeable future. Detailed estimates of reserves could be significantly wrong, as they had been in the past. It was also hard to be sure that all the oil needed could be extracted at reasonable prices. But the industry’s track record suggested we could have a reasonable degree of confidence in the oil being made available, as well as the gas. If there were issues about supply, therefore, they were not in the ground but above the ground, in areas such as geopolitics and lack of investment in infrastructure.


The demand side was less obvious in some ways. It was clear that primary energy demand would rise steadily for the foreseeable future in the big emerging economies, led by China, as well as by high population growth and continuing urbanisation.  High economic growth and rapidly expanding middle classes would push up energy needs – and we might well be underestimating the scale of this, as exemplified by the current extraordinary growth in the Chinese car market. But it was difficult to be sure how far attempts to control demand elsewhere would succeed and how far efforts in China to reduce energy intensity might also make a real difference.


How easily could balance between supply and demand be achieved? Predictions in this area, as in many others, had a very poor track record.  Past price forecasts had proved wrong on a particularly spectacular scale, and humility had to be the order of the day.  We were dealing essentially with human behaviour, which made for high levels of unpredictability and uncertainty.  Most participants thought that over time supply and demand could achieve a reasonable balance but it would be a bumpy process. Oil prices in particular were likely to rise further, albeit with blips and plenty of volatility, given the increasingly difficult and costly conditions for extraction of the supplies of ‘unconventional’ oil needed, for example from oil sands, very deep waters, and politically unstable source countries.  There could well be a much smaller ‘supply’ cushion in the future than in the past, when Saudi production had been the key variable, which could also increase short-term volatility.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) might well also try to use their market muscle and increasingly dominant position in the market to keep prices up, as they had in the past. 

On the gas front, the apparent abundance of supplies should mean that prices would fall over time, particularly in the markets where it was produced.  This was already happening, eg in the US and Canada, where gas was now just over $3 per MBTU, compared with $6 only a few years ago – and compared to much higher prices in much of Asia, for example Japan.  More pipelines and construction of further Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facilities should help to reduce the price disparities over time. Nevertheless there were uncertainties around the gas market too.  Estimates of the amounts of recoverable gas in shale gas fields differed wildly in some cases.  The most commonly used extraction technique, so-called ‘fracking’, was controversial in some countries, particularly in Europe, because of concerns about ground-water pollution and seismic effects.  Pipelines remained highly sensitive in some key areas.  Water shortages could at some stage become a limiting factor for gas extraction.


One big challenge was how to get oil and natural gas from where they were extracted to where they were needed.  Would the private or public sectors be willing to make the necessary huge investments in transport infrastructure, and would permissions/licenses to put in this infrastructure be forthcoming from the necessary authorities, given geopolitical sensitivities in some areas and domestic environmentally-based opposition in others?  Some thought this was a false problem.  Oil and gas were not in the end difficult products to move around and trade, relatively speaking, and if they were needed, the market would find ways to ensure supply.  Others were less sure, in particular whether the right decisions would be made in time.

Whatever the truth of this, high levels of investment would be needed.  To encourage this, governments needed to create stable business environments, including policy frameworks which helped companies take on and manage risk, incentivized efficiency and innovation, and eased key infrastructure decisions.  Greater transparency and reduction/eradication of corruption would be valuable steps in many countries.  Institutional investors such as pension funds should be encouraged to invest in the development of new technologies and vital infrastructure.  Serious concerns about the shortage of skilled personnel in the industry also needed to be tackled, as previous generations of engineers retired, with not enough young engineers yet coming through.  It was vital to rebuild academic programmes in petroleum engineering, geology and related disciplines.


In this context we looked at the role of National Oil Companies (NOCs).  They often had different priorities from International Oil Companies (IOCs) – stewardship of national resources rather than maximising shareholder value – which could lead to decisions lowering production in the short term.  But they were important in building indigenous technical capabilities.  The best way forward was through mutually beneficial partnerships: IOCs could provide necessary technology and help evaluate NOCs’ resource bases.  NOCs could ease access and diplomatic contacts.

Controlling demand

Against this background, what tools were available to control demand for hydrocarbons?  Increasing the use of natural gas, as an apparently more environmentally attractive alternative to coal and heavy oil, was in many ways a logical way to go, especially if its price did indeed fall.  Oil was less attractive, particularly the heavier oils which would provide a rising proportion of supply, and which would be costly to extract.  But in general, in the context of inexorably rising global primary energy demand, most participants thought structural dependence on hydrocarbons was unlikely to change significantly over the next 25 years, since the sunk investment in infrastructure was so huge, renewable energy sources still seemed to depend wholly or largely on subsidies, and nuclear power, post-Fukushima, looked unlikely to expand rapidly in the short term.

To control demand in these circumstances therefore meant above all controlling energy-intensity, even if increasing the market share of renewables should not be neglected either.  Achieving this would require a combination of market and regulatory mechanisms.  The first priority had to be energy efficiency, where tremendous gains could be made, in win-win ways.  It was puzzling that more progress had not so far been forthcoming.  But public engagement and acceptance were still lacking.  Consumers needed to be convinced of the advantages of energy efficiency, and enabled to make informed choices.

A combination of different measures was needed for efficiency in the built environment: easy access to ‘actionable’ data for corporate and individual consumers; action at the right time when capital stock was being renewed, with a focus on big buildings and at city level; greater sharing of best practices; high-profile projects to set the example (Empire State Building) etc.  On the transport side continued progress towards more efficient, less polluting engines and electric cars was being made but should be speeded up further. The commitment of industry to this still looked lukewarm.

Market v regulation

The relative roles of market mechanisms and regulation provoked much discussion.  Some took the view that market signals and incentives should be the main policy levers since regulations tended to be heavy-handed, and to have many unintended consequences through design flaws (eg the encouragement given to Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) use by poorly thought through emission standards regulations in the US some years ago).  Others believed that regulations could be well-designed and could force necessary action by manufacturers and consumers.  There was agreement that regulations should aim to set standards and objectives, not dictate methods, to encourage innovation and competition. 

On the market side, prices were the most obvious mechanism to influence behaviour, particularly through taxation.  However governments were often sending contradictory signals, encouraging energy efficiency but also trying to keep utility prices as low as possible, thereby reducing the incentives to be efficient.  It was also important to ensure that utilities had incentives to encourage efficiency by breaking the link between sales and profits in some way, as they had done in California.  In the end we desperately needed prices which reflected the true costs of production and consumption through pricing in carbon and other externalities.  Unfortunately this still seemed some way off.

Tackling energy and environmental concerns together

All participants recognized the need to bring energy and environmental policies together, in an integrated approach.  We had to reduce fossil fuel use, including hydrocarbons, for the sake of a planet seriously threatened by climate change, not because fossil fuels were running out or could become too expensive, or were bad for energy security.  The Stone Age had not come to an end because stones had run out but because better alternatives had been found.  The same should be true of the ‘Oil Age’.  We did not have to get all available supplies out of the ground if cleaner and more sustainable alternatives were available. The oil companies knew this as well as anyone.  However reducing dependence on hydrocarbons would inevitably be a long haul, and the public had to be persuaded of the real need for such a move.  Unfortunately the economic and financial crisis had relegated environmental concerns to second place because of the false choice so often presented between economic growth and environmental action, with the latter treated as a luxury which could be postponed to better times.  We came back to this dilemma repeatedly, including in our closing discussions.

A global policy framework?

International cooperation was clearly essential if progress on policies which balanced energy and environmental needs was to be made.  There was agreement that international action urgently needed to be reinvigorated. But it was less easy to say how.  The general view was that an overarching Global Policy Framework was simply a bridge too far for now.  There was insufficient appetite for it and not enough common ground to make early agreement possible.  Nevertheless, a broad vision of the necessary transformation of global energy systems should be developed, including common understanding on key and difficult issues such as equity between different countries and groups.  There was, however, no time to wait for this to happen before taking action, given the urgency of the problems.  Governments should be taking initiatives at national and regional level, and working closely with private sector partners to set standards, drive efficiency and encourage innovation, in order to create a mosaic of actions.  This kind of ‘messy-lateralism’ might fall short of perfection but was at least achievable.  Meanwhile there was in fact a lot more useful discussion and cooperation going on, for example under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others, than was visible on the surface.

No-one thought that creating a new forum or institution would be a good idea at this stage. Any effort to do so would be likely to distract from necessary practical efforts.  Similarly efforts to reach binding agreements involving all 190+ countries were unlikely to prosper.  The focus should therefore be on engaging the major producers and emitters, and persuading smaller groups of countries to take a leadership role.  Ideally the US would show leadership in this area, but this looked highly unlikely in the immediate future, given the state of the US policy debate.  China was also unlikely to lead for different reasons, despite the many things going on in China to encourage green industries and reduce energy intensity significantly. The EU could at least set the example, even if it was distracted by internal problems for the time being. There could also be an opportunity for other countries to step up to give a lead, such as Canada.

How to make progress

The overall goal should be to increase universal access to energy services on an affordable and sustainable basis.  Governments should be provided with a menu of choices to get there:

·         Carbon pricing (cross-sectoral, revenue neutral)

·         Renewable and clean energy portfolios

·         Eliminating subsidies on fossil fuels

·         R & D investments in efficiency, renewables, carbon capture and storage (CCS)

·         Removing barriers, for example to the development of vital infrastructure, or to trade in green technology

·         Practical carbon emissions reduction measures such as greater use of mass transport

While technology competition was bound to be an issue, exchange of information and multilateral technology cooperation should be encouraged as far as possible, involving both public and private sectors.  CCS held a lot of promise to tackle some of the policy dilemmas, but remained largely theoretical.  Technological solutions were available and urgently needed to be piloted and implemented.  Much greater real communication and engagement between governments, the private sector and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) would help, as opposed to wary circling of each other. The reality or appearance of collusion between governments and companies had to be avoided but governments could not take sensible decisions without the information which only companies had, including about the consequences of different policies. Meanwhile NGOs had real expertise to offer, not just advocacy.

Can we move faster, absent a new crisis?

Many participants tended towards pessimism on the prospects for significant progress in the near future in bridging the gulf between the parallel universes of efforts to meet growing energy demand at a reasonable cost, and the imperative to keep global warming to 2°C. Little was likely to happen until there was another major crisis, eg natural disasters on a much bigger scale, as predicted by climate change scientists, or some new combination of energy shortages/massive price rises.  Others argued strongly that we could not afford to wait for a crisis, since the issues became more difficult and the solutions more expensive all the time. We had to show the right determination to move towards the integrated and balanced policies which could alone address global energy needs in a sustainable way. Some key words came up again and again:

·         Leadership: this seemed to be in short supply in both public and private sectors.  If a genuine debate was to be started about the options and the public engaged, leaders had to step up and set out the facts objectively.

·         Transparency: without some generally agreed facts and data, and more common vocabulary, progress and public engagement were extremely difficult.

·         Trust: the public had lost faith in the pronouncements and views of governments, companies and experts alike.  Restoring this was critical, which was where transparency came in.

·         Long-term thinking: these were complex issues.  The time-scales of the solutions, measured in decades, sat ill with ‘quarterly capitalism’ and even shorter political deadlines and media pressures.  We had to find ways of reconciling these.

·         Vision: current narratives, on both energy and the environment, tended to focus too much on the problems.  People had to be inspired, and persuaded that there were worthwhile and achievable aims out there, to which they could make an effective contribution through their own actions.

·         Responsibility: everyone had to step up to the plate in their own sphere, including ordinary citizens. Leaving it to others was not good enough.

In other words we had to find new ways to ‘pitch the deal’ to the public and consumers so that they could see both their self-interest and the collective good.  This pitch had somehow to be simple enough to understand, and imaginative/creative, without glossing over the complexity of the issues.

In order to discourage the normal human response of just muddling through, it was important to keep the long-term realities in front of policy makers, for example the catastrophic consequences of a rise in global temperatures of 4°C. That was the value of modelling what the world might look like in 25 or 50 years time, even if we all knew we could not make accurate predictions.  Some participants pointed to examples of step changes in behaviour and policy, to suggest that muddling through was not always the inevitable response:  the French nuclear programme after the 1970s oil shocks, or radical Japanese policies to reduce oil dependence at the same time.  Others suggested that important developments were in fact taking place in the energy market, for example big investments in solar and wind energy.  While they appeared heavily subsidized compared to fossil fuels, that took no account of the many long-term ways in which fossil fuels had been and were being underwritten by public investment, or of the real cost of carbon emissions.

The case for high oil prices

A particular concern in the short term was that continued price volatility, particularly of oil, effectively prevented sensible policy-making. One participant suggested that past oscillation between price lows and price spikes had caused policy-makers to shift rapidly between complacency and panic, neither of which was a state helpful to rational policy choices.  More stable prices, even if high, would clarify the issues – it might even make sense to use taxation to ensure that they stayed high, though there was of course little or no support for that in the US.  There was a lot of interest in the idea of a floor price for oil. This would have the beneficial effect of not only reducing demand but also ensuring oil was used only where there was genuinely no good alternative (eg natural gas could be used for vehicles, but not for planes).  Moreover companies much preferred certainty, at least about the direction of travel (eg towards carbon pricing) to unpredictability.

Objective measurement

One practical suggestion for improving the quality of the policy debate was to measure the energy efficiency of various sources of energy, ie quantify the energy it took to extract and transport the fuel, build the equipment, generate the output etc, and compare that with the energy actually generated and made available.  This could be done independently of costs/prices and might produce some objective and interesting results.  Of course this would not help much if the environmental impact of different fuels and devices could not also be measured and compared, but there could be ways of doing this objectively too, for example measuring the energy required to capture and store the carbon emitted.  Participants were attracted by this core concept, while recognising that it would need to be refined a good deal.


One consequence of the underrepresentation of developing country voices was that the equity issue was little discussed.  For many countries it was still basic access to energy, or lack of it, which was the key concern.  Moreover, if energy demand in eg China and India went through the roof, as everyone attempted to live current western lifestyles, this would be totally unsustainable very quickly.  But the developed countries would be unable to complain effectively as long as they were not reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and changing lifestyles, themselves. In theory developing countries and emerging economies could ‘leapfrog’ existing technologies and move straight to cleaner energy solutions, but there did not look to be much chance of this in most cases.  They needed energy now, and would go therefore for today’s solutions, not tomorrow’s.


In the end, if we found it difficult to be optimistic about the prospects for rapid progress in the right directions, we were at least encouraged that the conference group had found such common ground, without huge difficulty. This suggested that the essential policy debate need not be as impossible as sometimes assumed. If we could not come together on climate change, the emphasis should be on clean energy, and the true costs of achieving this. All participants should go away determined to play their part in promoting this debate, while encouraging the actions which went in the right directions in the meantime.

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference.  No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.


Chair: The Honourable John Manley PC, OC (Canada)
President and CEO, Canadian Council of Chief Executives (2010-).  Formerly: Counsel, McCarthy Tétrault LLP (2004-09); Co-Chair, Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, Council on Foreign Relations (2005); Liberal Member of Parliament for Ottawa South (1988-2004); Deputy Prime Minister of Canada (2002-03); Minister of Finance (2002-03); Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-02); Minister of Industry (1993-2000).

HE Minister Youcef Yousfi

Minister of Energy and Mines (2010-).  Formerly: Ambassador to Canada; Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations; Minister of Foreign Affairs; President, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (1998-99); Minister for Oil and Energy; CEO, Sonatrach; Advisor on Petroleum Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Energy.

Ambassador André Mernier

Secretary General, Energy Charter, Brussels (2006-). Formerly: Belgian Diplomatic Service; Head of Energy Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2004-05); Ambassador to the Russian Federation, accredited to Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (2000-04); Ambassador to Switzerland (1996-99).

Mr Pierre Alvarez
Vice President, Corporate Relations, Nexen Inc.(2009-); Member, Board of Directors: Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Formerly: President, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (2000-09).

Dr Carl Calantone
Vice President Corporate Strategic Initiatives, TransCanada Corporation, Calgary.

Mr John Dillon
Vice President, Policy and Corporate Counsel, Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

Mr Jim Ellis
Deputy Minister, Alberta Energy (2011-). Formerly: Deputy Minister of Environment (2008-11); Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Management (2007-08); Executive Director, Alberta Environment Support and Emergency Response Team (2006-07); Officer, Canadian Army (1982-2005).

Dr Roger Gibbins
President and CEO, Canada West Foundation (1998-); Faculty Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary. Formerly: President, Canadian Political Science Association (1999-2000); University of Calgary (1973-1998): Professor of Political Science; Department Head (1987-1996).

Mr Ross Hornby
Vice President, Government Affairs and Policy – Canada, GE Canada, Mississauga, Ontario (2011-). Formerly: Ambassador of Canada to the European Union (2006-11); Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy and Public Diplomacy, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (2003-06).

Dr Wenran Jiang
Special Advisor on China, Energy Council; Project Director, Canada-China Energy and Environment Forum (2004-); Senior Fellow and Principal Writer, Canada-Asia Energy Futures Task Force, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada; Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta. Formerly: Director (2005-08) and Inaugural Mactaggart Research Chair (2008-11), China Institute, University of Alberta.

Mr Michael Keenan
Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy, Environment Canada (2009-).  Formerly: Vice-President, Leadership, Canada School of Public Service (2005-09); Director General, Economic Research and Analysis, Agriculture and Agri-foods Canada (2001-05); Director of Operations, Priorities and Planning, Privy Council Office (1998-2000).

Mr Vincent Klassen
Deputy Director, Policy Research, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Ambassador Claude Laverdure
Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottowa; Vice-President and Secretary of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation. Formerly: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs (1965-2007); Ambassador to France (2003-07); Prime Minister's Personal Representative for the G8 Summit (2002-03).

Mr Pierre Lortie
Senior Business Advisor, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (2006-). Formerly: President, Transition Committee of the Agglomeration of Montreal (2004-05).  President, the Canadian Ditchley Foundation, and a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.

Dr Stephen Lucas
Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Policy Integration, Natural Resources Canada. Formerly: Assistant Deputy Minister of Minerals and Metals, Natural Resources Canada (2006-09).

The Honourable Kevin Lynch
Vice Chairman, Bank of Montreal.  Formerly: Clerk of the Privy Council; Secretary to the Cabinet; Head of the Public Service of Canada (2006-09); Executive Director for the Canadian, Irish and Caribbean Constituency, International Monetary Fund, Washington DC (2004-06); Deputy Minister of Finance (2000-04); Deputy Minister of Industry (1995-2000). Chairman of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation (2010-) and a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation.

Ms Deborah Lyons
Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Canada to the United States of America.  Formerly: Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategy Policy and Planning and Chief Strategist, department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canada.

Mr David McLaughlin
President and CEO, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, Ottawa (2007-); Executive Director, Council of the Federation Advisory Panel on Fiscal Imbalance (2005-); Deputy Minister to the New Brunswick Commission on Legislative Democracy (2003-). Formerly: Chief of Staff to the federal Minister of Finance (2006-07); Chief of Staff to the Premier of New Brunswick (2003); Secretary to the Cabinet Committee on Policy and Priorities; Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (2001); Deputy Minister of Policy and Planning (1999-2003); Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister (1993).

The Honourable Diana McQueen
Minister of Environment and Water, Government of Alberta (2011-); Member of the Legislative Assembly for Drayton Valley-Calmar (2008-). Formerly: Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy and the Minister of Environment; Co-Chair, Climate Change Central; Member, Standing Committee on Resources and the Environment.

Mr Eric Noël
Senior Vice-President, North America, Oxford Analytica; Research Director, Policy Horizons Canada, Government of Canada; Visiting Expert on Global Trends, IESE Business School. A Member of the Program Advisory Committee of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation.

Mr David Robottom
Executive Vice President Law, Enbridge Inc.

Mr Peter Watson
Deputy Minister, Executive Council (2011-).  Formerly: Deputy Minister, Alberta Energy (2008-11); Deputy Minister of Environment.

Ms Annette Hester

Member, Transition Team of Premier Redford, Alberta; Senior Associate, Canadian International Council (2008-); Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC (2005-). Formerly: Executive Director, Latin American Research Centre, University of Calgary (2001-04). A Member of the Program Advisory Committee of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation. Author.

Ambassador Richard Jones

Deputy Executive Director, International Energy Agency, Paris (2008-). Formerly: American Diplomatic Service; Ambassador to: Israel (2005-08), Kuwait (2001-04), Kazakhstan (1998-2001) and Lebanon (1996-98); US Secretary of State's Senior Advisor and Co-ordinator for Iraq Policy (2005).

Mr Erik Lysen

Managing Director, Lysen Consulting .Engineer (2011-). Formerly: Managing Director, Utrecht Centre for Energy Research, Utrecht University (1998-2011); Manager, CATO, Dutch National Research programme on Carbon Capture, Transport and Storage (2003-09).

Ms Tzeporah Berman

Co-Director, Climate and Energy Programme, Greenpeace International, Amsterdam; Member, Green Energy Task Force, British Columbia. Formerly: Executive Director, PowerUp Canada; Co-Founder, ForestEthics.

Mr John Abbott

Executive Vice President, Heavy Oil, Shell Canada Ltd.

Mr Ed Crooks
Financial Times (1999-); US Industry and Energy Editor, Financial Times, New York (2010-). Formerly: Energy Editor, UK News Editor, Economics Editor, London; Economics Correspondent, BBC; Economic Analyst, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Dr Hamidreza Darabkhani
Research Fellow in Energy Processes, Cranfield University.

Sir John Holmes GCVO, KBE, CMG
Director, the Ditchley Foundation (2010-). Formerly: Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, The United Nations, New York (2007-10); HM Diplomatic Service (1973-2006).  A Member of the Board of Directors of the American and Canadian Ditchley Foundations.

Dr Angus McCoss
Exploration Director, Tullow Oil plc (2006-); Non-Executive Director, Ikon Science Limited; Advisory Board Member, Energy and Geoscience Institute, University of Utah. Formerly: General Manager Exploration, Tullow Oil; Americas Regional Vice President Exploration, Shell; General Manager Exploration, Shell, Nigeria.

Ms Sarah Puntan-Galea
Deputy Director, the Ditchley Foundation. Formerly: Political Attaché, British High Commission, Malta; Editor, Sunday Circle (Sunday Times of Malta magazine); Assistant Editor, The Sunday Times of Malta; Columnist, The Economic Update; Political Correspondent, The Independent of Malta.

Professor Jim Skea
Research Director, UK Energy Research Centre, Imperial College, London (2004-); Professor of Sustainable Energy, Imperial College (2009-); Founding Member, Committee on Climate Change; Vice-Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III. Formerly: Director, Policy Studies Institute; Director, Global Environmental Change Programme, Economic and Social Research Council.

Sir Robert Smith Bt MP
Member of Parliament (Liberal Democrat) for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (1997-); Member, House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change (2009-); Joint Vice Chair, UK Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Group. Formerly: Shadow Energy Spokesman (2005-06).

The Honorable David Garman

Principal, Decker Garman Sullivan and Associates, LLC, Alexandria, Virginia (2007-).  Formerly: Under Secretary of Energy, US Department of Energy (2005-07); Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy (2001-05).

Mr Ashok Gupta
Director of Energy Policy and Senior Energy Economist, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), New York; NRDC Representative, Mayor Bloomberg's Sustainability Advisory Board and Energy Policy Task Force.

Dr Liz Jolley
Vice President Exploration for the Americas, BP, Houston.

Mr Greg Priddy
Director, Global Oil, Eurasia Group.

Mr David Pumphrey
Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC. Formerly: Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Energy Cooperation, Department of Energy.

Mr Ted Roosevelt IV
Managing Director and Chairman, Cleantech Initiative, Barclays Capital, New York. Formerly: Managing Director, Lehman Brothers; Chairman, Lehman Global Council on Climate Change.