The race is on to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. On Tuesday 24 November our expert panel discussed where climate ambition is strongest globally, which countries and companies are leading the way, and how others can catch them.

The in-depth discussion featured UN High Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping (head of the international Race to Zero coalition), Climateworks Australia’s head of national programs Amandine Denis-Ryan, Fiona Wild (Vice President, Sustainability and Climate Change at BHP) and Peter Bailey, Principal at the Arup Group, hosted by award-winning science journalist and author Tanya Ha, currently Director of Engagement at the specialist science communication agency Science in Public.

You can now watch the full panel below.


Nigel Topping
UN High Level Climate Action Champion

Nigel Topping is the UN’s High-Level Climate Action Champion, appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020. Nigel works alongside the Chilean High-Level Climate Action Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz. The role of the high-level champions is to strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Nigel was most recently CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, following an 18-year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing.

Amandine Denis-Ryan
Head of National Programs at Climateworks Australia

Amandine is Head of National Programs at Climateworks Australia, which was founded in 2009 as a partnership between Monash University and the Myer Foundation to help bridge the gap between climate research and action. Her work includes helping governments and businesses develop pathways and strategies for net zero emissions, unblocking barriers to implementation across all sectors of the economy and building capacity in current and future leaders to support the transition. Prior to this, Amandine oversaw research and analysis across the breadth of Climateworks’ projects.

Before joining Climateworks, Amandine worked as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company.

Dr. Fiona Wild MAICD
Vice President, Sustainability and Climate Change of BHP Billiton

Fiona has over 20 years’ experience in multinational oil and gas and resources companies. Born in Liverpool, UK, she holds a degree and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh.

Fiona joined BHP in 2010 as Senior Manager, Environment and was appointed to the role of Vice President, Environment and Climate Change in February 2013. In April 2016, Fiona was appointed to a new role as Vice President, Sustainability and Climate Change. Fiona led the development of BHP’s Climate Change Portfolio Analysis report, an industry-leading analysis that describes the impact of both an orderly and rapid transition to a low carbon future on the valuation of the company’s portfolio. She advises the Board and senior management on emerging environmental and climate change trends and represents BHP in engagements with national and international stakeholders, including NGOs, academics, industry associations, governments and investors.

Fiona holds several Board positions, including Director of IETA, represented BHP at the International Council of Mining and Metals and is Deputy Chair of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. In December 2015, she was appointed to the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, reporting to the G20. The Task Force released its recommendations in June 2017 ( which serve as a template for how financial and non-financial companies should disclose climate-related information to ensure financial risk can be better measured and managed.

Peter Bailey, Principal at Arup

Peter is an accomplished CEO, Company Director, and Engineer with a proven record of business and engineering design leadership. Peter was educated at the University of Sydney and has enjoyed a successful 30+ year career with global engineering consultancy Arup working internationally across Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia. He has worked with many of the world’s leading architects on projects of international significance.
Peter was a member of the global Arup Group Board from 2012-2019, and Region Chair for Australasia from 2011-2018. He was responsible for driving the alignment of Arup’s business with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. His vision is for Arup to meaningfully and demonstrably contribute to a sustainable future through a deeper understanding of social, economic and planetary needs, and the development of practical, innovative solutions.


Tanya Ha
Award-winning science journalist, best-selling author and environmental advocate. She is currently Director of Engagement at the specialist science communication agency Science in Public

Tanya is Vice President of Science & Technology Australia and serves on the boards of Diversity Council Australia and Westernport Water. She is also on the advisory groups of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, the Wave Energy Research Centre, and Science Gallery Melbourne. She has served on the boards of Sustainability Victoria and Keep Australia Beautiful.

Tanya has a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) and a Master of Environment. She is best known for her popular environmental guidebooks Greeniology and Green Stuff for Kids, and her media work, including reporting for ABC’s Catalyst. In 2010, she won a UN Association of Australia media award for environmental reporting.


Presented by Climateworks Australia and the British High Commission

In the lead up to COP26 the pressure is on to bring new ambition to emission reduction targets. This series of three events looks at how we can realise our decarbonisation potential and drive cleaner economic growth. We focus on energy and industry transitions through clean technology and how business, cities and governments can join the race to net zero. Hear from experts across the pond and on home ground, as they unlock the possibilities.