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It’s official: the vast majority of Australians want us to lead the world’s climate change solutions and most support a national target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Australia Institute’s Climate of the Nation 2020 report. But what does net zero look like and how do we get there?
In a panel discussion presented by Powerhouse Museum at the 2021 Sydney Science Festival, leading Australian scientists and policy experts will outline a road map for achieving carbon neutrality across agriculture, energy, industry and transport over the next decade. Moderated by festival programmer Catherine Polcz, the panel will also highlight the opportunities for economic growth and innovation through the transition to net zero.
Rowan Foley is the founder and chief executive of the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation, a non-profit organisation that connects Aboriginal communities supplying carbon credits with councils and businesses seeking to offset their carbon pollution. The foundation trains Indigenous rangers who lead the projects, deploying cultural burns and other traditional land management techniques to earn carbon credits. Foley comes from the Wondunna clan of the Badtjala people – Traditional Owners of Fraser Island.
Lesley Hughes is a professor of biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity and Development) at Macquarie University. Over four decades as a research ecologist, she has studied the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems and the implications for conservation. Professor Hughes is a founding councillor of the Climate Council of Australia and a Lead Author of the 4th and 5th reports for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Science communicator Ketan Joshi has a decade of experience in the renewable energy industry, ranging from data analytics to communications. He has worked for corporations, government and NGOs, building a large Twitter following along the way. Joshi has also written for a range of media outlets, including The Guardian, Cosmos and The Monthly.
Renewable energy engineer and inventor Chris McGrath is co-founder and chief executive of solar technology developer 5B. The Sydney-based company is a technology provider for a giant solar farm and storage facility near Tennant Creek; the $22 billion project led by Sun Cable is the world’s biggest solar-powered infrastructure system. McGrath is also a part owner of the 2.3-megawatt Mount Majura Solar Farm in the ACT.
Moderator Catherine Polcz is the programmer of the 2021 Sydney Science Festival and 100 Conversations, the Powerhouse’s new climate change exhibition opening in November 2021. Originally trained as an ecologist and botanist, she now leads strategic and creative science programming across Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory.