Dr Paul Ebert
Group Director, Sustainability and Energy Transition Leadership
“We're witnessing and are part of one of the greatest global transitions in history.”
Paul is Group Director, Sustainability and Energy Transition Leadership and a co-author of From Ambition to Reality – our joint paper series in collaboration with Princeton University.
He started working in renewables 30 years ago when he was offered a scholarship to do a PhD in wind turbine aerodynamics. He joined Worley in 2008 as a renewables specialist and since then he’s helped build the business up, working in more than 40 countries.
“I’ve always been driven by environmental care, but I am pragmatic enough to know that energy is fundamental to humanity and brings enormous benefits. So, any change required to lower the environmental impact of that energy use is a journey,” he says.
It’s a monumental challenge, but we’ve just got to get on with it
Paul wants to achieve better global sustainability outcomes but admits the scale of what needs to be achieved is immense.
“Take the net zero challenge. The science is clear. Targets need to be in place around mid-century. We’ve had the debate on why we need to decarbonize, and there’s a lot of talk about what we need to do. But at some point, it needs to translate to the how, which is what our From Ambition to Reality series sets out to do.
“The message of the papers is about moving from talk to action. While, the political, strategic, and social issues are huge, it’s ultimately about building the assets of decarbonization. That will take radical changes in the way we develop and deliver them, or we will run out of time and lock in more extensive global warming.”
Paul admits the scale of change makes him uneasy as it’s a major departure from how we currently do things. But stresses it’s non-negotiable.
“We’ve got lots of designing and building to do, resources to mine, equipment to manufacture and deploy, and integration to occur. The papers highlight this challenge and then think radically but pragmatically about what the solutions will be.”
Keeping up the pace of net zero research and delivery
Paul acknowledges we don’t have all the answers now but believes we can find them through hard work, persistence and careful monitoring.
“We need to measure how well we’re responding and call out when we think we are failing to act. We must also constantly consider our theories, look for better ways to do things and challenge our own conclusions.
“It’s a huge task, but humans are smart. We can achieve amazing things and we should always be open to challenge and change.”