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IQ2 Debate: It's too soon to ditch fossil fuels

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Sydney Town Hall

483 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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It’s the biggest debate humanity has to settle. Do we ditch fossil fuels for renewable energy right here and now or transition over time?

Every minute we delay could mean dire consequences for our future and the climate. Yet a hasty switch could see unreliable and expensive options rolled out.

We need an energy quadfecta that gives us lower emissions, dependability, security, and affordability.

In many ways, efforts to transition to this are already underway. The last few years saw a huge shift from coal and oil to gas, which is still a fossil fuel but far greener. Residential rooftop solar panels have been subsidised. South Australia is now exporting electricity generated by wind and sun. Is it too little, too slow?

Consumers, the Australian government, and the energy and mining sectors all recognise the world needs to move away from coal, oil, and gas. But do we do it today or in stages over a few years or decades?


IQ2 covers the biggest issues of our times, building a bridge between ideological extremes to deliver smart, civil and engaging debate. This year IQ2 Australia celebrates its tenth anniversary – there's never been more important time for respectful conversations about the issues that matter.


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THE PANEL

FOR

Cecile Wake is Shell Australia’s vice president of commercial, overseeing the company’s national oil and gas investments. She has 20 years’ experience in mining, oil, and gas sectors around the world. Cecile says the world has a moral imperative to transition away from fossil fuels and that work is already underway, but we can’t simply ditch them overnight.

Josh Manuatu is the president of the national Young Liberal Movement of Australia. He has worked as a policy and media advisor for federal parliamentarians and ran his own communications and workplace advisory firm. Josh argues Australians like renewables but don’t want to pay for them. He urges against haste in favour of a planned, staged transition to affordable and reliable energy options.

AGAINST

Ketan Joshi is a science communicator who worked in the renewable sector for eight years, first as a data analyst, then in communications and advocacy. He has published work in The Monthly, Gizmodo, Cosmos and others, and now works in data science communications at CSIRO. Ketan says we're overdue for the full-scale ditching of fossil fuels, and the delays are unforgivable.

Lisa Cox is The Guardian AU’s environment reporter. She has been working on a special series called ‘Our wide brown land’ which has investigated overlooked environmental issues in Australia. Lisa argues ditching fossil fuels is becoming more urgent and can no longer be delayed. She says we have the urgent need, technology and ability to switch to renewables today.

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Sydney Town Hall

483 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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