September 05, 2023 • 2 min read

Chris Ashton speaks at the 2023 Energy Transition Summit

This year’s Energy Transition Summit was held in Sydney, Australia and our CEO Chris Ashton was invited to deliver the opening keynote.

The summit brought together senior industry shareholders to share management strategy, innovative tools, and solutions to navigate the challenges of the energy transition and accelerate the journey to net zero.

In his speech, Ashton detailed Australia’s opportunity to lead the way and the paradigm shift needed to meet the energy infrastructure challenge.

Worley CEO Chris Ashton standing on stage talking to a crowd at the Energy Transition Summit.
Chris Ashton speaking at the Energy Transition Summit

“The investment in lower carbon infrastructure needs to increase by around 3.5 times 2022 levels out to 2050. And the reality is that in this critical decade of action, we are falling behind,” said Ashton.

“Australia is well placed to be a leader in the energy transition. It has bountiful clean energy resources to smelt green metals for use both domestically and export. It’s a safe and attractive destination for investment with Federal and State Governments with net zero commitments, supportive policies and funding. And it has great proximity to the largest and fastest growing energy consumers in the world.”

Reimaging project delivery

However, Ashton stressed to deliver infrastructure at the pace and scale required to meet mid-century net zero, there needs to be a shift in how we approach delivery. 

“We are fast approaching an inflection point if Australia is to deliver a 43 percent emissions reduction by 2030 – less than seven years away,” he said.

“The traditional approaches of project feasibility, engineering, sourcing, and delivery will not work for this kind of scale. It requires a reimagining of the way we approach project delivery. Capital discipline timelines must be compressed while retaining the essential principles of value assurance to prevent project failures and a deceleration of climate change mitigation efforts.”

At the event, Ashton announced the release of the third instalment of our thought leadership series, From Ambition to Reality, with Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment.

This report, Steps to accelerate net zero delivery, identifies the five critical shifts we need to make.

Statistic Cards

“The path to net zero is possible. But no one company or government can drive this transformation on their own. We need to collaborate and partner like our lives depend on it. Because, they do,” said Ashton.

“We can work together to deliver a considered and just energy transition that secures Australia’s economic, social, and environmental wellbeing for future generations. 

“In our latest From Ambition to Reality paper, Worley and Princeton have outlined a number of commitments to champion change, including a summit in New York later this year to discuss how we act on energy infrastructure challenges, expansion of our industry leadership forums, continued investment in research, innovation and leadership and establishing the first renewable hydrogen working group in the EU.

“We’re calling on everyone – governments, institutions, our customers, suppliers, financiers, technology providers and civil society groups to put aside conventional practices and join us in committing to change.”

Download From Ambition to Reality and be part of the change to accelerate net zero delivery. 


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