You might also like
Enacting a clean energy revolution mandates overcoming political opposition from oil, gas and coal industries. To that end, policy makers and activists may have more strategies in their arsenal than they originally thought.
This was one of the main take-aways from an event dedicated to the research findings of Dr Christian Downie’s latest book ‘Business Battles in the US Energy Sector: lessons for a clean energy transition’, a trailblazing study of corporate players in climate and energy politics.
During the event ‘Overcoming fossil fuel resistance to climate action: lessons from the US’ which was co-hosted by ANU RegNet and the ANU Climate Institute, Dr Downie presented insights gained from almost one hundred interviews with senior executives and lobbyists in the fossil fuel and renewable industries in the U.S.
Among the strategies he presented was making the disclosure of carbon-related financial information a legal prerequisite for all corporations and exploiting divisions within and between fossil fuel industries to build coalitions for climate action.
“What this would do is make it hard for the oil and gas sector to invest in new infrastructure. And of course the more we limit new investment, offshore oil development, gas pipelines, what we’re actually doing is making it easier in the near term to transition to the energy sector,” he said.
“If you want to regulate coal, there are differences between coal producers and electricity utilities, oil producers and oil refineries, they have very different commercial interests. The splits between can be very important, ” he added.
The Shadow Minister Assisting for Climate Change, Pat Conroy and Australian Conservation Foundation CEO, Kelly O’Shanassy joined Downie in the panel discussion, both agreeing that the future may see very different campaigning on climate change policies.
Dr Downie’s seminar and new book was featured in an article by Australia Energy Daily.