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Safeguarding the Environment – Driving Change: Consumer Advocacy on Electric Vehicles

Profile of Australian Communities Foundation
Hosted by Australian Communities Foundation
25 May 2021

Road transport emissions are rising rapidly in Australia. Without fuel emissions standards, incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs), or a strategy for the adoption and regulation of EVs, this concerning trend will continue.  

Victoria has recently introduced a $100 million short-term plan aimed to incentivise and fast-track the transition to EVs, but it is standing by its tax on electric vehicles. This is likely to impact consumers and the policies of other states.

Join us to hear from our expert panel, moderated by Eytan Lenko (CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions and Director, Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network), joined by Ellen Roberts (National Director, Solar Citizens), Behyad Jagari (CEO, Electric Vehicle Council) and Richie Merzian (Climate & Energy Program Director, The Australia Institute) as they discuss the current context, and the campaign to push States to implement comprehensive EV strategies to drive uptake of EVs.

The time for comprehensive Electric Vehicle strategies is now.

SPEAKERS

FACILITATOR: EYTAN LENKO
CHAIR OF BEYOND ZERO EMISSIONS

Eytan Lenko has a successful business and entrepreneurship background and is a long-running advocate for strong action on climate change. Eytan was a founder of Outware Mobile, one of Australia’s fastest-growing tech companies which was acquired in 2017.

He is the Chair of Beyond Zero Emissions, an Australian-based, internationally recognised climate and energy solutions think tank that brings engineers and scientists together to research and plan for Australia’s transition to zero emissions across the economy and our regions. He also co-founded Infrastructure Access Managers which is a fund manager that aims to decarbonise Australian infrastructure.

Eytan is a director of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network and also sits on the board of the Climate Mobilization, a US-based organisation that assists cities around America to rapidly transition to zero-emissions.

ELLEN ROBERTS
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF SOLAR CITIZENS

Ellen Roberts has a background in law and has worked in social change and advocacy for over twenty years, and on climate action and energy for ten years. She came to the environment sector after working as a migration agent, advocating for people seeking asylum. She has been at Solar Citizens since November 2019, prior to that leading GetUp’s organising work in Queensland, and with the Mackay Conservation Group opposing new coal developments. She lives in Brisbane and in 2018 was named as one of the Courier Mail’s 100 most influential Queenslanders.

BEHYAD JAFARI 
CEO ELECTRIC VEHICLE COUNCIL

As the CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari works with industry, government and the media to accelerate the electrification of road transport, for a more sustainable and prosperous Australia. With experience advising politicians, businesses and non-profits, Behyad has a strong understanding of Australia’s political, corporate and media landscape.

RICHIE MERZIAN 
CLIMATE & ENERGY DIRECTOR, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE

Richie Merzian is the inaugural Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute. Richie is a former Australian Government representative to the UN climate change conference and worked at the Department of Climate Change and the Department of Foreign Affairs for almost a decade on both domestic and international climate and energy agendas.