An optimistic view of the PM shifting the energy portfolio, from women in STEM

An optimistic view of the PM shifting the energy portfolio, from women in STEM

Could there be room for optimism in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to move the Energy portfolio into a new Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources?

Sarah Moran, the CEO of high impact advocacy group Girl Geek Academy, thinks so. 

Alongside her co founders, she’s penned this (slightly tongue in cheek) letter to the PM, suggesting what he could do next. 

Their work aiming to get one million women and girls in STEM now intersects heavily with environmental and energy work. There’s opportunity in this space — fo those who are willing… 

Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison,

As a STEM leader who is passionate about living in an inhabitable planet, I applaud your plans to move the Energy portfolio and emissions evaluation into the new Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Some are calling this a stealth move to remove emissions evaluation from those with responsibility for environmental outcomes. However, as an optimist I would like to spotlight the important opportunities you have enabled through this radical step.

1. Thank you for recognising that Tech, Innovation and Energy are important allies. With less than a decade left to arrest our climate change death spiral, the solutions to emissions impact must be accelerated and can only come from our tech and innovation community – working side-by-side traditional industry.

These innovations will now be empowered by the rigorous assessment of our scientific community, ensuring that what we apply our precious resources to the right solutions – solutions that will significantly impact climate change and environmental outcomes.

2. Thank you for recognising that Science and Energy belong in the same room. The previous decoupling of scientific facts from decision making on our emissions policy has not only been a contentious issue – it has hijacked the policy discussions, delaying urgent policy outcomes by several years

With Science and the Energy now cohabiting, we can arm decision makers with the scientific expertise to make informed policy decisions.  Afterall, climate change outcomes should never have been a matter of belief or ideology, but rather than a matter of robust science.

With scientific funding having shrunk dramatically in recent years, this may also help minimise the waste of precious scientific resources and ensure a direct and empowered audience for any scientific concerns.

3. Thank you for recognising that STEM and tech will power future industry. Globally, it’s now well acknowledged that new jobs are largely being created by technology companies. Many studies demonstrate this.

4.  Thank you for ensuring that future emissions evaluation will occur hand-in-glove with scientists – who are best equipped to assess the veracity and impact of any emissions reduction.

Girl Geek Academy are embracing energy and tech’s friendship by driving a 100% electric red Nissan Leaf in 2020. You’re welcome to join us for a spin anytime.

Yours sincerely in good faith,

Girl Geek Academy Co Founders Sarah Moran, Lisy Kane, Tammy Butow, April Staines, Amanda Watts

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