Climateworks CEO Anna Skarbek has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Australian Government’s Net Zero Economy Agency.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen made the announcement on Wednesday.

The Advisory Board will support Agency Chair, the Hon Greg Combet AM, to design and establish the recently legislated Net Zero Authority.

Anna was named alongside nine other Advisory Board members with expertise in workplace relations, energy markets, regional development, First Nations engagement and economic development. 

‘I look forward to making a contribution to the establishment of the Net Zero Authority, as a member of the Advisory Board,’ Anna said.

‘Our work at Climateworks Centre shows the enormous economic opportunities for communities and industries in a coordinated energy transition.’

‘Coordination and collaboration’

Climateworks has previously publicly welcomed the creation of the Net Zero Authority.

‘Collaboration and coordination is key to ensuring emissions reduction at the pace and scale needed,’ Anna said.

‘The Net Zero Authority will be a crucial element in ensuring Australia’s industries, regions and communities are positioned to prosper in a decarbonising global economy.’

Climateworks Centre CEO Anna Skarbek smiles at the camera. Green background.
Climateworks CEO Anna Skarbek

Anna and Climateworks have a long history of engaging with industrial and place-based transitions and co-investment approaches to decarbonisation. 

Most recently, this includes the development of evidence-based recommendations for the effective establishment and operation of Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts (REIPs), which can kickstart supply chain decarbonisation, leading to benefits for regional communities.

In February, the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative released a report prepared by Climateworks and CSIRO which lays out a pathway to net zero emissions for industrial supply chains through significant investment and co-ordinated action. 

The Initiative, co-convened by Climateworks and Climate-KIC Australia, involved companies representing around a fifth of Australia’s industrial emissions and a third of the ASX100 market value.

This commitment to co-design and collaboration is a consistent feature of Climateworks’ approach to decarbonisation, as evidenced by our work with the Centre for Policy Development on the Climate and Recovery Initiative.

That Initiative brought together prominent leaders from government, business and civil society to identify the best ideas for aligning Australia’s COVID recovery with a transition towards a net zero emissions economy.

The first roundtable in 2020 discussed many issues relevant to the establishment of Net Zero Authority including planning the energy transition to protect the livelihoods of workers and communities, establishing a permanent process for transition, and creating co-investment funds for decarbonised supply chains.

‘Significant expertise’

The Government said the Advisory Board members were appointed for their significant expertise across a range of areas.

The complete list of appointees include:

  • Professor Ross Garnaut AC – Professor Emeritus in Economics at the University of Melbourne and Professor Emeritus, College of Asia & the Pacific at ANU;
  • Professor Paul Simshauser AM – CEO of Powerlink Queensland and Professor of Economics at Griffith University;
  • Anthea Harris – CEO of the Australian Energy Regulator;
  • Nicole Lockwood – Chair of Infrastructure WA, board member of NBN and former Shire President of Roebourne;
  • Kellie Parker – CEO of Rio Tinto Australia;
  • Michele O’Neil – President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions;
  • Professor Robynne Quiggin – Pro-Vice Chancellor of UTS and part of Steering committee for the First Nations Clean Energy Network;
  • Anna Skarbek – CEO of Climateworks, Director of the Green Building Council of Australia, the Centre for New Energy Technologies, Impact Investment Group, and Sentient Impact Group; 
  • Tony Maher – General President of the Mining and Energy Union;  
  • Laura Tyler – Chief Technical Officer, BHP.

The Agency will start work from July this year.  

It is the latest in a series of high-profile appointments for Anna, who last year joined the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero Asia-Pacific Advisory Board and in February was named as a member of the Expert Advisory Panel guiding Victoria’s revived State Electricity Commission (SEC).