Australia can be competitive and remain a major export economy as the world decarbonises. But the transition challenges are real, and the solutions go beyond what a single player can achieve alone.

On Tuesday 24 August, Climateworks hosted the second in its Briefing room series for 2021, with an expert panel discussing the net zero transition for the industry system.

The panel, hosted by Climateworks Chair John Thwaites, included:

  • Rob Kelly, Industry Lead and Program Director of the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative at Climateworks Australia
  • Dr Chen Ji, a Principle in Rocky Mountain Institute’s China Program
  • Hannah McCaughey, Group Executive Transformation and Technology at APA Group

The event was produced by Written & Recorded. You can watch the full episode below.


Dr Chen Ji
Principal at RMI China program

Dr. Chen Ji is a principal at RMI China program, currently working on harder-to-abate sectors’ energy transition with a particular focus on strategy development, technology and finance innovation. He has been working in the field of energy and climate change for more than 10 years. He is also advising a few industry funds and cooperates in the energy space. Before joining RMI, he had worked in the Chinese central government agency, consulting and investment firms and think tanks. He was the core negotiator for technology transfer representing the Chinese government in the Paris Agreement UN negotiation. He has led and participated in numerous consulting and research projects that influence business decision-making and national policymaking. Dr. Chen obtained his PhD in Energy and Environment Economics from Dundee University (UK), MSc in Environmental Economics and Management from York University (UK), and BEng in Building Environment and Equipment Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Hannah McCaughey
Group Executive Transformation and Technology at APA Group

Hannah is responsible for APA Group’s Transformation and Technology division, which enables APA to effectively respond to the disruptive forces of decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation.

The division drives the identification of emerging energy market opportunities while delivering business transformation, continuous improvement initiatives and technology solutions.

Prior to joining APA Group, Hannah performed senior executive roles in infrastructure and utilities, and has led multiple whole-of-business transformations focused on delivering better customer outcomes and sustainable operational excellence.

Rob Kelly
Industry System Lead at Climateworks Australia

Rob Kelly is Climateworks Australia’s Industry Lead and Program Director of the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative. This Initiative brings together some of Australia’s largest corporations to accelerate action towards achieving net-zero emissions in supply chains by 2050 across critical ‘hard-to-abate’ industrial sectors.

Rob previously led the pathways and investments program, and the natural resources and energy stream of CSIRO’s Australian National Outlook 2019, which developed a strategy for Australia to realise a more inclusive, resilient and prosperous economy

Prior to Climateworks, Rob worked at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, analysing the potential for carbon offset schemes in Australia. He also worked with KPMG as a senior accountant, specialising in audit and advisory.


Professor John Thwaites AM
Chairman at Climateworks Australia

John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Climateworks Australia.

John is Chair of Melbourne Water and a Director of Fair Trade Australia New Zealand. He is also Chair of the National Sustainable Development Council. He is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”). John was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he held various Ministerial portfolios including Health, Planning, Environment, Water and was Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. In these portfolios he was responsible for major reforms in social policy, health, environment and water.