Delightful April weather saw Ditchley looking at the links between energy policy and climate change. Our diverse group ranged widely in the search for coherent answers, helped by wise and energetic chairmanship. Energy was far from the only issue with implications for the global environment. Agriculture and water policies were also hugely important for example. Nevertheless, it was clear that climate policy and energy policy were in many ways two sides of the same coin. We were not at all convinced that the world was yet taking the problem of global warming seriously enough, or acting with the required urgency and coherence in the energy field. But there was still a lot to play for, and plenty of interesting things happening at micro level.
While there was awareness of the climate risks in much of the developed world, this was not currently translating into effective action. Developing world awareness was lower overall, but the priorities there in any case tended to be development and energy access, not climate action. That helped explain the continuing huge investments in coal in countries like China and India, which in turn meant the chances of reducing emissions enough to avert 2° C of warming were poor, even if the developed world were much more active than looked likely to be the case. We were therefore pessimistic about the prospects for decisive climate action until the bad consequences of warming were much clearer, at which point it would be too late.
We thought some kind of agreement at the Paris COP 21 meeting likely. It would be rightly criticised as inadequate, but could still be a useful signal and catalyst for greater bottom-up action. Meanwhile, action which would help the climate could often find more support if it were presented as for other reasons, such as improving the quality of life, health benefits, and reduction of pollution. Cities had the key role to play here as rapid urbanisation continued and culture among the young changed, for example against individual car ownership. We noted that it was important to make clear that the aim was not to stop use of energy, but to switch to clean sources of energy.
We acknowledged that fossil fuels would not run out for many years. The arguments against their use had to be reframed accordingly. We were interested in the recent campaigns aimed at persuading investors to take their money out of fossil fuel companies, for both moral and economic reasons (the risk of stranded assets). They had had little impact so far, but that could change. We were divided about whether such campaigning tactics were the right way forward. Gas was needed as a transition fuel, and the oil companies might respond better to offers to work together to move towards a carbon-neutral world.
We rejected claims that a low carbon economy meant a low growth economy. The evidence was against this. This argument also ignored the greater eventual cost of inaction over climate, including on energy production itself, and the wealth-creating potential of moving to lower carbon alternative energy policies. The problem was more that change would create substantial and powerful losers, always more vocal and focused than the winners. This problem needed to be tackled, not ignored. We did not think that current lower oil prices would last long or be a game-changer, but there would be some short term disadvantages, for example for investment in renewables. Low oil prices were also an excellent opportunity to get rid of highly damaging and perverse subsidies on fossil fuels.
Governments had more power to change behaviour and habits than they often seemed to think, through the regulatory framework they set in areas such as building standards, emissions limits for cars, and energy efficiency. There was still plenty of low-hanging fruit in these areas. But it was important for governments to act with the grain of markets and money, not against them. The single most important – and effective step – a real game-changer – would be introduction of a global carbon price and cap and trade scheme. We recognised that this was not going to happen for the foreseeable future, but any local and limited steps in this direction would still be well worthwhile. More credible international statistics and a central bank of carbon would also help a lot.
Against this background, how far could we rely on technology to save us? We should certainly not assume this would happen, even though there might be geo-engineering technologies which could help to reduce warming as a last resort. No-one could predict now which energy technologies would really change the global game, or whether we would see linear progress, or disruptive leaps, on the model of recent IT experience. It therefore made sense to pursue all the options, while taking steps to encourage innovation. We recognised that we needed innovation in our systems at least as much as in more technical areas, and that we also needed new financial tools.
Many technological areas of promise were mentioned and are listed below. Better electricity storage methods were a particular holy grail. Carbon capture and storage had seemed promising, and indeed vital given continued coal use, but was now seen by some as a dead end. Was there an alternative? More broadly, it was not all about high tech answers. Energy efficiency remained the best single way of reducing emissions in the short term, and things like better cooking stoves in the developing world could also make a big difference.
If we were gloomy at times, we were by no means despairing. Future leaps forward were by definition impossible to predict now. We had to go on trying everything and working on our leaders to show the political will which was needed, above all. We still had the power to shape our own future. What would our children and grandchildren say about us if we failed to do so?
The politics of climate change and energy
Our starting point was whether there was yet sufficient public and political awareness of the climate risks we were running through mostly ‘business as usual’ policies. The answers were mixed. In many developed countries, particularly in Europe, there was a high degree of public awareness of the problems. However, awareness was not the same as action. There was little sign that politicians were looking at these issues with the necessary degree of urgency – they clearly preferred not to talk about them wherever possible, and there was little real ‘postbag’ pressure on them. In North America and Australia, the situation was even less encouraging in some ways, particularly the suspicion with which international climate change experts were regarded by important parts of the establishment.
In the developing world, the situation was different but not particularly positive either. Public awareness was often relatively low, even though many developing countries were likely to be among the principal victims of the effects of climate change, and indeed were already feeling these effects. Government efforts were focused on economic development and on trying to ensure genuine access to energy for the mass of their populations. Countries like China, India, and many others, were investing heavily in infrastructure to achieve these goals. Although they knew that investing in clean forms of energy would be better for the environment, they did not believe they could prioritise this over affordability – hence the continuing huge investments in coal production and cheap coal-fired power generation in both China and India, for example. There was little or no chance of this changing in the next 10 years or so, and the plants now being built would have a life of 25-50 years.
This continued investment in coal was agreed to be the single biggest emissions challenge the world faced. It was also a huge challenge for the developed world: how could developing countries be persuaded not to make the mistakes the developed world had made, without such messages seeming hypocritical, especially when unaccompanied by serious money or technology transfer? One answer was that the developing countries simply needed to follow their own long-term interests – but this sort of message seemed unlikely to work in the short term.
On the energy front, the biggest overall change in recent years had been the gradual realisation that fossil fuels were not going to run out for the foreseeable future, illustrated particularly clearly by the dramatic change in the US energy picture resulting from fracking. This meant that the arguments against the use of fossil fuels and in favour of cleaner forms of energy had to be framed differently, with more emphasis both on the environmental arguments, as well as on more sophisticated economic and life-style arguments. We had to ask ourselves what kind of world we really wanted.
What were the chances of mobilising public and political opinion in either developed or developing countries to insist on more urgent action? Most participants were not optimistic. To put it simply, most people were not yet frightened enough of the consequences of climate change to want to take the risks of a rapid move away from fossil fuels or to force their governments to do so on their behalf. For the moment, the desire was more for affordable energy than for clean energy. This would only change when the climate consequences began to be felt in earnest. This might not be many years away, but would almost certainly come too late to do much to mitigate the worst of the risks, and to limit the warming effect to the agreed aim of 2° C (which, our chair reminded us on more than one occasion, was an obligation on governments, not just a target).
Some around the table argued that this analysis was too fatalistic and passive. We still held our destiny in our own hands, and should seek to shape the outcomes. If the world actually agreed to stop using fossil fuels, or to make their use genuinely carbon-neutral, it could do so within a relatively short space of time. The real issue was one of leadership and political will. Both were in extremely short supply for the moment. People would follow if a clear path forward was shown to them. Moreover, there needed to be greater realisation that climate change would force change in the energy system in any case.
We were also agreed that the messages about climate change should not just be about fear and inevitability, which were ultimately disempowering for people. People wanted and needed to be able to act, and to feel that they could make a difference – and in many countries they had shown they were ready to act if the right incentives were available, e.g. by taking up schemes to fit solar panels to their own roofs. Renewable energy was popular in general, despite campaigns against onshore wind turbines, and the continuing need for subsidies in many cases. This kind of support and momentum needed to be encouraged and built on, even if the actions concerned were relatively small in the great scheme of things.
We spent some time discussing the apparently growing phenomenon of public campaigns designed to persuade investors not to put or leave their money in fossil fuel companies because of the effect of fossil fuels on the climate. These campaigns were primarily about the moral choice involved, and aimed at stigmatising the companies concerned. But the arguments also had a clear economic dimension: the assets of fossil fuel companies would ultimately be “stranded”, i.e. unburnable, because of the risks to the world, and were therefore being wrongly valued. Such campaigns were relatively minor for now. Huge amounts of investment were still going into fossil fuels. Asset prices had not so far been significantly affected. However, they could well gain more traction over time. Long-term investors such as insurance companies were already, for example, starting to look seriously at whether they were valuing fossil fuel-related assets correctly.
Views were divided over whether these campaigns were a good thing. Some argued that they were a valuable way of alerting public opinion (and the companies concerned) to the existential dangers we all faced, and should be encouraged, even if they were something of a blunt instrument. Others believed that they were not well-targeted – it would make more sense to focus on coal companies, rather than international oil majors. The vital role of gas as a bridge fuel to a lower carbon world was also being ignored. It would be better to engage the major companies in discussion and to persuade them to become part of the solution, not part of the problem, than to turn them into enemies. This was, for example, the approach of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund. Oil companies were already aware that they were under pressure in the longer term and would have to change their approach radically to favour carbon neutrality. Campaigners would therefore ultimately find that they were pushing at an open door if they pitched their messages right.
We also talked a lot about the desirability of not always linking necessary actions exclusively to climate change objectives. Clean energy was vital for reducing pollution, improving health and making city life more sustainable and liveable (particularly important given the accelerating pace of urbanisation all over the world, and the increasingly unacceptable consequences of traffic congestion in many big cities). These benefits were in some contexts more politically mobilising and acceptable than climate change objectives. Life-style changes could in the same way have considerable climate change benefits: the sharing culture (fewer private cars, more public transport); better urban planning; preference by the young for electric or gas-powered vehicles etc. Cities and their policies would be key players in the future, even more so than now.
Prospects for the Paris COP 21 meeting
No one thought that Paris would produce a game-changing agreement. Indeed most participants thought that we should accept that no such big political solution was on the horizon, and adapt our aims and policies accordingly. Solutions would ultimately have to be bottom-up, not top-down. Most environmental campaigners would probably dismiss any agreement in Paris as inadequate and another failure by the international community, which would not stop 2º C of warming. They would have a point.
Nevertheless, if there were some kind of agreement, as seemed likely, and meaningful national emissions targets on the table, this would have a number of important plus points. It would create a degree of transparency about emissions control around the world, and could have a catalytic effect on various kinds of climate action well beyond what was actually agreed. If there were a kind of upward ratchet effect on targets, as was hoped, that could be extremely important over time. Meanwhile, the prospect of agreement in Paris was already having positive effects at various levels in the public and private sectors. Paris should not therefore be talked down too much.
The economics of climate change and energy
The starting point here was agreement that, whether or not GDP was the right measure for human development, the equation between a low carbon economy and a low growth economy was false.
Recent evidence included China’s economy growing much faster than its greenhouse gas emissions, and OECD countries growing while keeping their emissions more or less constant. Moreover, the argument that low carbon meant lower growth simply ignored the economic cost of inaction over climate change, which would, over time, be much higher than the cost of action, however hard this was to prove definitively now. It was of course important, for credibility reasons, not to suggest that climate-related action had no costs attached to it, but they should certainly be seen as limited in the greater scheme of things, even in the short term. The basic point was that climate action could and should be wealth-creating, not wealth-destroying.
The real problem was therefore not the risk of lower growth, but that climate/energy action created clear winners and losers. As always, the losers were more aware of their potential losses than the much bigger group of winners were of their gains. They were also much more vocal than the winners, often representing powerful vested interests and lobbies. These losers, for example those who could be left with stranded fossil fuel assets, constituted a serious obstacle to change in energy policy, including technological change, in a way that had not been true in the case of radical change in the IT sector. Moreover, for most people, energy change would not bring about the same degree of obvious personal benefit that IT change had done, for example through the advent of smart phones. The lights already went on perfectly well for most people, at least in the developed world. There was therefore a less obvious self-interest at stake. The longer term benefits would certainly be profound, in terms of sustainability and quality of life – and this should be the message – but they were more general and harder to perceive.
To help bring along the developed world losers, the question was how to promote the necessary adjustments and adaptation, and reduce their potential losses. This issue should not be dodged. However, it was also important to bear in mind once again that, even where major existing infrastructures and assets in the developed world would lose their value, the process of replacing them would create jobs and growth. In the developing world, the opportunity to leapfrog old technologies and bypass previous mistakes should be a major incentive.
One fundamental question in all this was how much could be left to the market, and how much had to be done by governments. This was not of course an either/or situation. But we were agreed that governments had great power – more than they sometimes seemed to think – to affect what happened in the market, particularly through the regulatory framework they set. They could mandate change. This was obvious in some areas: energy and emissions standards for buildings and vehicles drove companies to conform, and could make a huge difference over time. There was still vast scope for improvement in energy efficiency of the built environment, with low-hanging fruit still waiting to be plucked. It was hard to explain why this process had been so slow.
Governments had much influence in other areas too, for example to drive fuel choices through targeted taxation and subsidies, whether directly carbon-based or otherwise. In many ways, the most important step was to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies, which were still huge globally, and perverse. Low oil prices presented an excellent opportunity to do so. The time would no doubt come when renewables did not need subsidies, but we were not there yet, in most cases.
The single most effective step, according to most around the table, would be to introduce carbon pricing internationally. This could not be said too often. A global cap and trade scheme would be transformational. Most participants recognised that this was pie in the sky for now. It was nevertheless vital to keep ramming home the message that until we priced carbon correctly to take account of the externalities, we were fiddling whilst Rome burned. Meanwhile, the best should not be the enemy of the good. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme, for all its weaknesses, had shown the way, and a number of other local schemes were now in operation. These needed to be built on.
One fundamental problem was lack of trust in the current measurement of emissions. A credible international institution to monitor and attest to emissions, providing open data, was desperately needed. A “central bank of carbon” was also needed, to intervene when the market failed for one reason or another, as was bound to happen, and to help ensure equality between developed and developing countries.
At various points in the conference, we debated the impact of the current relatively low price of oil on the economics of energy and climate change. The general view was that the current oil price level was a blip, and would not have a profound or lasting effect. Moreover, any realistic path towards climate change mitigation had always had to factor in a period of low oil prices as demand for oil declined. So we might as well get used to it now.
But that still left room for plenty of debate about the short-term effects. One was inevitably a depressive impact on investment in renewables. Another could be greater readiness to use fossil-fuel driven transport (although we did not think that lower oil prices would lead to much greater use overall – for example it would not make a comeback as a source of power generation). A third, already mentioned, was more positive: the opportunity to cut or remove subsidies for oil and oil derivatives in developing countries. Several, including India, had already successfully seized the moment. Diverting such subsidies straight to renewables could be particularly valuable.
How did the oil price affect the price and use of gas? This was particularly important because, as was accepted by almost all around the table, gas was the vital transitional fuel towards low-carbon energy as the fossil fuel which produced least emissions. Gas prices were obviously linked to oil prices, but this was less and less true, especially in some markets. On the whole there was a degree of optimism that the shift to gas would not be damaged by low oil prices.
In this context, there was some discussion about the eventual route out of gas – it was all very well to regard it as vital for the transition but when would this transition end, and how? Locking ourselves into gas for the long term would not be sensible, since it was only helpful relative to other fossil fuels. The general view seemed to be that this question was unanswerable for now, and the moment concerned still far enough away that there was no urgent need for an answer.
We had a related debate about whether our overall long-term aim should be carbon-free energy or carbon-neutral energy. Again there was no simple answer. Carbon-free energy would no doubt be better in principle, but we did not necessarily have the luxury of this choice, certainly not at this stage. Both objectives could be aimed at in different ways and in different contexts.
We agreed also that we should not aim at reducing energy use for its own sake. Developing countries needed lots of energy to develop, and developed countries had plenty of reasons to go on needing plenty of energy. While it made sense to use energy sparingly and well, particularly while it came from mostly polluting sources, a low-energy world taking us backwards in many ways was not necessary. There was nothing wrong with energy use as long as the sources were clean and sustainable. It would be much more attractive for the public to frame the issue in that way than to suggest that energy-dependent ways of life in the developed world would have to change radically, or that people in the developing world would have to manage without significant energy use.
Geopolitics and energy
We did not spend a lot of time on this but we recognised that the impact of geopolitics on energy and on calculations about reliable and diverse sources of supply could be profound. Concern about reliance on Russian gas in Europe was the most obvious example of this. Dependence on Russian gas could be reduced by diversifying sources of gas supply and by building more and better infrastructure, rather than shifting from gas back to coal. We needed to be careful that, in trying to avoid political problems of one kind, we did not finish up creating problems of a different kind which were as bad or possibly even worse. The worst of all worlds was to fail to think through the issues in a coherent and integrated fashion. This seemed too often to be the case.
Technology to the rescue?
In some ways, the most interesting part of our discussions concerned technology. Would it come to our rescue and, if so, how and when? No-one thought we could afford to sit back and wait for this to happen. The climate risks were too great, and we were doing the damage now. No-one claimed to know which future technologies might be best and how they should be chosen. Indeed, there was a consensus that we should not be trying to pick technological winners – above all governments should not try to do that, since they were historically so bad at it. We did not need a return of Gosplan at this stage in our history. However, we should also be careful to ensure that we were not blocking winners, and that we were encouraging progress and momentum towards solutions where they became evident. The economic and financial incentives should be properly aligned.
It was quite possible that some of the technological breakthroughs and innovations we needed had already happened, but that their implementation had not yet been taken forward properly, or the economic circumstances were not yet propitious (fracking was an example of a slow-moving technology). It was also impossible to know yet whether technological progress would be linear and incremental, or whether some new disruptive technology would come along to turn previous assumptions and behaviours upside down, as had happened in the IT world.
It was claimed during the discussion that there could in fact be a geo-engineering answer to climate change in the shape of the spraying of particles into the troposphere to reduce the warming effect of the sun, and thus counter the effect of greenhouse gases, with an impact analogous to that of volcanic eruptions. The technology to do this was more or less there already, the cost would not be astronomical, and modelling suggested the process could actually work, including reversing damaging changes to wind and sea currents, although it would not of course reverse pollution or ocean acidification.
There would be vast problems about any such course of action: potentially devastating unintended negative consequences; the international consent to and governance of such a process; the fact that it would not solve the underlying problems but simply treat the symptoms, and would need to be repeated for many years; and, above all, that advertising such a solution now could undermine the efforts to change our policies which were so desperately needed. No-one thought such a response was actually desirable. But there was agreement that research into such technologies was needed: if we were heading for 2° C warming or worse, as we almost certainly were, and the impacts of this began to be not only damaging but genuinely catastrophic, something like this might be valuable to have in the back pocket as a last desperate resort to buy at least some time.
In the meantime, we were agreed that we needed to pursue all the technological options open to us, and to promote innovation and experimentation through R&D and capacity-building as much as we could, in both the public and private sectors. We were also agreed that innovation was not just about technology. Arguably, we needed innovation and integration in our systems for dealing with these problems more than we needed new technologies. Our current approaches were inadequate, incoherent and irrational. Our institutions, international and national, were also poorly adapted to the complexity of the challenges we faced. We had to do better in these areas, and the need for improvements was urgent.
With these important background considerations uppermost in our minds, the following technology-related points were made, in no particular order:
- Bringing developing country power plants to the same degree of efficiency as developed country plants would have a huge beneficial effect, and was perfectly achievable at reasonable cost. This was low-hanging fruit.
- Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) had long been seen as a vital step towards being able to use fossil fuels, particularly coal, without destroying the planet. But progress towards its commercial use had been disappointing, to say the least. Some were now inclined to regard it as a blind alley, given the still impossibly high costs, and the unresolved problem of where to store the captured carbon. Others still saw it as the only way in which coal could safely continue to be used, and thought the coal companies (and other energy companies) had failed to spot the interest they had in making it work, in terms of preserving the value of their assets. One vital step could be to find commercial uses for the c02 captured. This was by no means out of the question.
- Japan had developed technologies to reduce emissions substantially from its coal-fired power stations and steel plants. These were seen as too expensive for developing countries to take up for now, but that would not necessarily be the case in the future.
- Decentralised power generation looked to have great potential. Small-scale solar power looked like the answer for much of Africa, for example. Even in the developed world, people liked the sense of local empowerment/involvement from small-scale power. It could not be the answer to all problems, but should certainly be vigorously pursued.
- Demand side management of energy could be much better – and utilities should be much more centrally involved in this. Utilities were, in fact, still part of the problem, not part of the solution, because of the perverse economic incentives which ruled their behaviour. Doing something about this was urgent.
- Further progress in the energy efficiency of cars was another obvious way forward for which there was still plenty of scope. Combined with culture changes among the younger generation in their use of individual cars in urban settings, this could over time produce a big difference to oil demand.
- Effective large-scale electricity storage was a holy grail. This was partly about better batteries, but many other storage options were being actively pursued, and several had real potential. Storage solutions which could overcome the intermittency problems of some renewables would make a real difference. Distributed storage was a promising avenue.
- Nuclear power was controversial for many and would remain so, not least because of its initial capital cost, and the problems of decommissioning and waste storage. But its value in providing base load power, with low fuel cost, could not be ignored. Small modular reactors (SMRs), on the lines of those in submarines, had great potential, though their civil use was still some time away.
- LNG use in heavy transport – on land, air and sea – could make a lot of difference to oil use. Marine emissions in particular had hardly been considered or changed so far.
- Better energy efficiency remained the easiest way forward, with the quickest benefits, particularly in the built environment.
- Smart grids were not the answer to all our prayers, but still had considerable potential.
- The internet of things also held great promise in some areas, for example through remote management of energy-consuming devices.
- It was not all about high-tech solutions. Wood’s role in many developing countries should not be forgotten. Similarly better cooking stoves could both save energy and deliver major health benefits. Biomass and biofuels could be hugely important, in Africa above all.
- Replacing traditional light bulbs with LEDs would save huge amounts of energy.
- High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) lines to deliver remote renewables to demand centres, e.g. solar power from the Sahara to Europe, was already being looked at. The technology seemed perfectly feasible.
- Capturing solar energy in space and delivering it to earth by laser was an interesting concept.
Another related area where innovation was desperately needed was financing. New financial tools to promote innovation, new technology and cleaner energy were desperately needed. It was vital to work with the grain of money and profit, not against it. Viable climate change and energy solutions had to be, and could be, viable business solutions too. A new capital market was waiting to be born, but the process was much too slow so far.
There were some interesting signs of new activity around, including from investment banks and private equity companies. This was a drop in the ocean for now. The return on capital from such investments was still seen as too low and uncertain. So governments would need to go on helping at the early stages, and then encouraging the private sector to take up the running. But we might be closer to a tipping point in all this than we currently realised, as the major investors began to look harder at where long-term value might lie. Meanwhile, there was a need to sort out the multiple confusions which existed about the nature and use of the climate finance available, and to ensure that enough money was flowing to energy-related solutions.
Although our discussion was at times on the gloomy side, we were never close to lapsing into despair. We were reminded regularly that the world rarely moved in linear ways, that the future remained unpredictable, and that we should never underestimate the power of ideas and the right narrative at the right time. What looked impossible now, politically or technologically, could suddenly become common practice and move very quickly. But that should not be an excuse for lack of action now to promote clean energy and help mitigate the risks of climate change. Otherwise, our children and grandchildren would ask with justice why we had failed to avert disaster even when we knew the risks and had enough of the solutions in our own hands.
This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.
CHAIR: Mr Tom Burke CBE
Chairman, E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism; Environmental Policy Adviser, Rio Tinto plc; Visiting Professor, Imperial and University Colleges, London; Member, External Review Committee, Shell; Fellow, Energy Institute. Formerly: Senior Advisor to the Foreign Secretary's Special Representative on Climate Change (2006-12); Council Member, English Nature (1999-2005); Environmental Advisor, BP plc (1999-2001); Director, Green Alliance (1982-91); Executive Director, Friends of the Earth.
Professor Gordon Clark
Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment; Saïd Business School; School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford; Professorial Fellowship, St Edmund Hall, Oxford; Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Melbourne; Visiting Professor, Stanford University; Andrew Mellon Fellow, US National Academy of Sciences; Visiting Scholar, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, University of Marburg.
The Hon. Robert Hill AC
Counsellor, Dragoman, Melbourne; Adjunct Professor in Sustainability, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney; Chairman, Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, University of New South Wales. Formerly: Chancellor, University of Adelaide (2010-14); Chairman, Australian Carbon Trust (later Low Carbon Australia Ltd) (2009-12); Australian Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the United Nations in New York (2006-09); Member of the Australian Senate (1981-2006); Leader of the Government in the Senate (1999-2006); Minister for Defence (2001-06); Minister for the Environment and Heritage (1998-2001); Minister for the Environment (1996-98).
Mr Dougal McInnes
Acting Assistant Secretary, Climate Change Branch, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2013-). Formerly: Director, Strategic Analysis, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (2011-13); Head of Policy, CNRG International, Geneva and Melbourne (2008-10); Analyst, Office of National Assessments (2004-07).
Dr Katja Yafimava
Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies; expert at UNECE Group of Experts on Gas; expert at EU-Russia Gas Advisory Council; Visiting Research Associate, Oxford University Centre for the Environment.
Mrs Clarissa Lins
Founding Partner, Catavento, Rio de Janeiro (2013-); Chair, External Review Committee, Shell plc; Formerly: Executive Director, Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development (2004-13); Head of Corporate Strategy, Petrobras (1999-2002); Advisor to the CEO, Brazilian National Development Bank (1995-99); Chief of Staff, Finance Ministry/Secretariat of Political Economy (1993-94).
Mrs Annette Hester
Project Coordinator, Energy Innovation Centre, InterAmerican Development Bank, Washington, DC (2012-); Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC (2005-). Formerly: Member, Transition Team of Premier Redford, Alberta (2011-12); Senior Associate, Canadian International Council (2008-11); Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (2005-10); Executive Director, Latin American Research Centre, University of Calgary (2001-04). A Member of the Program Advisory Committee of The Canadian Ditchley Foundation.
Dr John Barrett
President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Nuclear Association (on leave from Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development). Formerly: Ambassador of Canada to Austria, to the United Nations in Vienna and to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Chair, IAEA Board of Governors (2009-13); Permanent Representative to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, Vienna; Ambassador to the Slovak Republic (2012-13).
Dr Jason Blackstock PPhys, MPA
Head of Department, and Senior Lecturer in Science and Global Affairs, Department of Science, Technology Engineering and Public Policy, University College London; Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo. Formerly: Senior Fellow for Energy and Environment, Centre for International Governance Innovation.
Professor Normand Mousseau
Professor and University Research Chair in Complex Materials, Energy and Natural Resources, Department of Physics, University of Montreal. Formerly: Co-Chair, Quebec's Commission on Energy Issues (2013-14).
Mr Edward Whittingham
Executive Director, Pembina Institute, Calgary (2011-); Faculty Member of Leadership Development, The Banff Centre (1990-); Advisory Council Member: World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas (2014-); Network for Business Sustainability, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario (2006-). Formerly: Advisory Council Member: Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business, Schulich School of Business, York University (2011-14); Alcoa Foundation Conservation and Sustainability Practitioner Fellow (2007-08).
Dr Xin Li
Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (2013-). Formerly: Research Fellow, Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds.
Dr Pierre Brender
Deputy Head of Unit, General Directorate for Energy and Climate, French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.
Mr Ka-Ho Yu
Researcher, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University; Research Associate, European Centre For Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS), King's College London; Research Fellow, Center for International Energy Security Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Science; Guest Lecturer, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Mr Manan Bhan
Louis Dreyfus Weidenfeld Scholar, Centre for the Environment, University of Oxford.
Mr Vikram Singh Mehta
Executive Chairman, Brookings India, New Delhi; Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution. Formerly: Chairman, Shell Group of Companies, India; Managing Director, Shell Markets and Shell Chemical Companies, Egypt (1991-94); Advisor for Strategic Planning, Oil India Ltd (1984-88); Senior Economist, Phillips Petroleum, London (1980-84).
Dr Anupama Sen
Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies; Fellow, Cambridge Commonwealth Society; Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge; Region Head, Asia Pacific Desk, Oxford Analytica.
Mr Hiroyuki Tezuka
General Manager, Climate Change Policy Group, JFE Steel Corporation; Chairman, Working Group on International Environmental Strategy, KEIDANREN; Visiting Researcher, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo (2014-); Member, Private Sector Advisory Group, Green Climate Fund (2014-). Formerly: Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution; Chief Washington, DC Representative, NKK Corporation; Assistant to the CEO, National Steel Corporation.
Mr Doug Vine
Senior Energy Fellow, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Arlington, Virginia. Formerly: Senior Analyst, Point Carbon Thomson Reuters, Washington, DC (2008-12); Energy Trading Analyst, Genscape, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2007); Energy Market Advisor, Meridian Energy, Wellington, New Zealand (2004-06).
Dr Tatiana Mitrova
Head, Oil and Gas Department, Energy Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences; Member, Governmental Commission, Russian Federation on fuel and energy complex; Member of the Board of Directors, E.ON-Russia JSC; Member, Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy; Member, Valdai Club. Formerly: Head of Global Energy, Skolkovo Energy Centre (2011-12); Head, Center for International Energy Markets Studies, Energy Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences (2006-11).
Mr Per Klevnäs
Research Director, New Climate Economy; Senior Project Manager, Stockholm Environment Institute. Formerly: Expert, Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice, McKinsey & Company; Senior Consultant, NERA Economic Consulting.
Mr Craig Bennett
Director of Policy and Campaigns, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Board Member, Friends of the Earth Europe; Policy Fellow, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge; Senior Associate, formerly Deputy Director, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; Member, Net Positive Advisory Board, Kingfisher plc; Chair, Environment and Climate Change Panel, Customer Engagement Forum, Anglian Water. Formerly: Director, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.
Dr Mallika Ishwaran
Senior Economist, Group Strategy, Royal Dutch Shell, London. Formerly: Deputy Director, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Senior Economist, UK Cabinet Office; Senior Economist, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Economic Advisor, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs; Regulatory Economist, Government of Virginia, USA.
Lady Barbara Judge CBE
Chairman, Institute of Directors (2015-); Chair, Energy Institute, University College London; Chairman Emeritus, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority; Chairman, UK Pension Protection Fund (2011-); Deputy Chairman, TEPCO Reform Committee and Chairman of its Task Force on Nuclear Safety; Director, NV Bekaert SA (Brussels); Adviser, Statoil (Norway); Director, Magna International (Canada). Formerly: Executive Director, Samuel Montagu & Co. Ltd; Director, News International; Commissioner, US Securities and Exchange Commission. A Governor and a Member of the Programme Committee and Business Committee, The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr John Knight
Statoil ASA (2002-): Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Business Development (2011-). Formerly: Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategy (2004-09); Senior Vice President, International Production and Development; Energy Investment Banking (1987-2002).
Mr Paul Newman
Chairman, ICAP Energy (2014-); Non-Executive Director, J. C. Rathbone Associates Ltd (2008-); Freeman of the City of London. Formerly: Managing Director, ICAP Energy Ltd (1990-2014); Prince's Council, The Prince's Charities (2009-12); Non-Executive Chairman, ICAP Shipping Ltd (2007-11); Co-Founder (1993), ICAP Charity Day; MC Fellow, St Antony's College, University of Oxford (1989-90); Trustee Director, Epilepsy Research UK; Patron, Barts Hospital Appeal. A Governor and Member of the Council of Management, and a Member of Finance and General Purposes Committee of The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Jeremy Oppenheim
Senior Partner and Director, Sustainability and Resource Productivity, McKinsey & Company.
Dr Trevor Sikorski
Head of Natural Gas and Carbon, Energy Aspects, London (2013-). Formerly: Director, Carbon and Natural Gas Research, Barclays Capital (2008-13); Chair, Carbon Index Committee, Barclays Capital (2008-13); Head, Cross-commodity and Long-term Carbon Research, Point Carbon (2006-08); Senior Analyst, European energy markets, Global Insight (2003-06) and PwC.
Sir Martin Smith
Founder (2007), Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford; Partner, Beaumont Partners, Oxford (2009-); Chairman, Worldwide Healthcare Trust (2006-); Chairman, GP Bullhound Ltd (2005-). Board Member or Trustee: Energy Works (2014-); Oxford Capital Partners (2009-); Formerly: Deputy Chairman, Science Museum (2000-10); Founder and Deputy Chairman, New Star Asset Management (2001-09); Head, European Investment Banking, Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (1997-2000); Founder and Chairman, Phoenix Securities (1983-2000); Deputy Chairman, South Bank Centre (1992-97); Chairman, Bankers Trust International (1980-83). A Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
Sir Crispin Tickell GCMG KCVO
Formerly: Director, Policy Foresight Programme, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford (2006-10); Chancellor, University of Kent (1996-2006); Chairman, Climate Institute of Washington, DC (1990-2002); Member, British Government Task Force on Urban Regeneration (1998-99); Warden, Green College Oxford (1990-97); British Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York (1987-90); Permanent Secretary, Overseas Development Administration (now DfID) (1984-87); British Ambassador to Mexico (1981-83). A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Tim Yeo
Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Suffolk South (1983-2015); Chair, Energy and Climate Change Select Committee (2010-15); Chair, University of Sheffield Energy 2050 Industrial Advisory Board. Formerly: Chair, Environmental Audit Committee (2006-10); Minister of State for the Countryside and Environment.
Mr Jason Bordoff
Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy, and Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (2013-); Member, Council on Foreign Relations; Member, National Petroleum Council; Consultant to the National Intelligence Council; Board Member: New York Energy Forum and Association of Marshall Scholars. Formerly: Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change, National Security Council.
Mr James Cameron
Non-Executive Chairman, Climate Change Capital, London; Chairman, Overseas Development Institute; Infrastructure UK Advisory Council, HM Treasury; Ecomagination Board, GE; Advisor to Climate Bonds Initiative; Trustee, UK Green Building Council and the Carbon Disclosure Project; Commissioner, London Sustainable Development Commission. Formerly: Green Investment Bank Commission; UK Prime Minister's Business Advisory Group (2010-12); Counsel and Founder and Head of Climate Change and Clean Energy Practice, Baker & McKenzie.
Mr Jason Crabtree
Chief Executive Officer, Rationem, Washington, DC; Co-Founder, Distributed Energy Management; Technology and Energy Entrepreneur. Formerly: Rhodes Scholar, University of Oxford; Captain, US Army (2008-14).
Mr Andrew Darrell
Chief of Strategy, Energy and Finance, Environmental Defense Fund, New York. Formerly: Member, New York City Sustainability Advisory Board.
Ms Stella Thomas
Founder and Managing Director, Global Water Fund, New York, Oxford, Zurich; Policy and Development Consultant on water and climate issues related to health, economic, ecological and social risks; Expert Advisor on human and national security, political and business risk, around water management and governance.
Mr Joel Kenrick
Consultant, The Boston Consulting Group. Formerly: Head of Public Affairs, WWF-UK (2012-13); Special Adviser to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (2010-12); Climate Change Policy Advisor, Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (2012) and Confederation of British Industry (2008-09).