How will the world get to net-zero emissions? Who is responsible for meeting rising energy demand while tackling climate change? Is the energy industry part of the problem or the solution? How much are we willing to change to help reduce emissions?

These were just some of the questions at The Great Energy Debate. Hosted by tech journalist Georgie Barrat, the event was focused on two countries that have been at the frontline of the global climate discussion throughout 2020 – Australia and India. The debate went live from a virtual studio to ensure all social distancing protocols were followed and counted with an esteemed panel of experts joining from Australia, India, the Netherlands and the UK.

Just like in the previous editions, questions and topics discussed at The Great Energy Debate were submitted by engineering students and social media (Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram).

In 2020, The Great Energy Debate was hosted in collaboration with University of Western Australia and Queensland University of Technology.

To keep the conversation going, just use #EnergyDebate on Twitter or share a comment on the LinkedIn event.

The Great Energy Debate returned in 2020
The Great Energy Debate returned in 2020


Maarten Wetselaar

Maarten Wetselaar

Maarten, Shell’s Integrated Gas and New Energies Director and Executive Committee member, has worked in various roles since joining the company in 1995. He holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Groningen and a post doctorate degree from VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Maarten Wetselaar

Simon Holmes à Court

Simon began his career as a software engineer in Silicon Valley during the first dotcom wave, then spent more than a decade in precision farm water management. Simon built Australia's first community-owned wind farm, Hepburn Wind, in Central Victoria. He is a director of the Smart Energy Council, senior advisor to the Energy Transition Hub at Melbourne University and writes regularly about the transformation of Australia’s energy sector.

Ozak Esu

Dr. Arunabha Ghosh

Dr. Arunabha Ghosh is a public policy professional, adviser, author, columnist, and institution builder. As the founder-CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, he has led the council to the top ranks as one of Asia's leading policy research institutions; and among the world’s 20 best climate think-tanks in 2013 and 2016. He was involved in conceptualising and designing the International Solar Alliance and is a founding board member of the Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN).

Ozak Esu

Claire O’Neill

Ranked as one of Bloomberg’s global “Green 30 for 2020”, Claire is the managing director at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Claire implemented the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy, formed the Green Finance Taskforce, negotiated the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal and brought forward legislation committing the UK to be a Net Zero emissions economy by 2050. During her political career, Claire served as COP26 President-Designate.


Georgie Barat

Georgie Barrat

Tech journalist and host of the Gadget Show, Georgie comes back to host TGED after being the “London correspondent” in 2019. Georgie reports for ITV Tonight, Good Morning Britain, ITV Weekend and is a regular on James Martin’s Saturday Morning and The Jeremy Vine Show. She is passionate about women working in technology and encourages more girls to be involved in STEM.

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