Former CEO of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris AO, gave a passionate keynote speech looking at the issues of climate change and Australia’s private and public sector during The Australian‘s Strategic Forum 2020.
On the issue of climate change, Mr Liveris said “the debate is no longer the correct debate topic” and Australia needs to focus on affordable, risk management policies to reach the net zero by 2050 goal.
“This is not coal versus renewables. This is not fossil fuels versus green energy. This is an all-of-the-above energy emissions policy that includes a risk-managed and affordable transition,” Mr Liveris said during the forum.
“We need energy efficiency standards… the optimisation of the fossil fuel mix, the pursuit of safe and reliable alternatives such as hydro, solar, wind, batteries for storage and even nuclear.”
Mr Liveris added that Australia needs to give a “firm signal to the market” that the country is serious on climate change.
“A signal such as proactively enabling renewables to be a part of a redesigned national electrification market with no subsidies.”
Repurposing Australia’s private and public sector:
Mr Liveris went on to discuss Australia’s private and public sector, saying the private sector “has to deliver on its role in the social contract” and become more aware of its social responsibility to “drive purpose and community as much as profit.”
He later added that Australia struggles with bringing people in from the private sector and putting them into public sector roles.
“This struggle comes at the cost of the quality of public policy outcomes. Many in public service are not well-informed about demands on the private sector and there is resentment between the two sectors as well as ignorance and superstition,” Mr Liveris explained.
“Measures to deal with this include much more exchange between the two sectors and personnel, including swaps and internships at very high and low levels in the organisations.”
Going further, Mr Liveris says Australia has a “long history of high quality policy debate and innovation” and continues to be a “bold experimenter of new policy approaches.”
“This spirit is still alive and it needs to be focused on the redesign of our institutions and the re-invigoration of the policy mindset,” he said.
“The system needs to be designed to reflect the dynamics of technology and science. We need an education system that retrains Australians for meaningful and rewarding work.
“We also need to look at the new manufacturing paradigm… that translates Australia’s brilliant innovation engine into high quality products, jobs and values.”
An ambitious outlook on the future of Australia by proud Greek Australian bussinessman, Andrew Liveris.