Follow the Money // Climate & Energy

The Australia Institute’s Follow the Money podcast explains Australia’s big economic issues in plain English. We bust myths, dissect politics, interpret econobabble and help you sound really smart at your next dinner party, with host Ebony Bennett.

December 2020

The myth of Australia’s gas supply shortage

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

The ‘gas-fired recovery’ is supposed to help Australia’s manufacturing industry by freeing up new supply. But the Australia Institute’s research shows the days of cheap gas are over. www.tai.org.au Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests: Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor // @MarkOgge Producer: Jennifer Macey Theme music is by Jonathan McFeat

The US Election result and what it means for Australia

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Allan Behm

In this episode we unpack what a Biden Administration means for climate and foreign policy in Australia, with Richie Merzian and Allan Behm. The Australia Institute // @theAusinstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Richie Merzian, director Climate & Energy Program // @richiemerzian Allan Behm, director International & Security Affairs program

September 2020

Weapons of gas destruction

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Tom Swann

Gas is promoted as a transitional fuel, but in this episode we explore just how polluting gas really is with Richie Merzian and Tom Swann from the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program.The Australia Institute // @theAUSInstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests: Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Director at the

East Timor, Oil and Secret Prosecutions

featuring Ebony Bennett and Allan Behm

For over eighty years, Australia and East Timor have been joined together, mostly in conflict and struggle. The latest conflict is playing out in a secret court case and involves Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery and a former ASIS officer turned whistleblower Witness K. Both have been accused of communicating protected intelligence information after disclosing an

August 2020

Backfire part 2: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Rod Campbell

In this second of our two-part episode on gas, we explore the flaws in the cost benefit analysis of the Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW and why it doesn’t stack up economically, environmentally or to create jobs, with Rod Campbell, research director at the Australia Institute.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute

United in a Global Crisis with UN Chief Economist Elliott Harris

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richie Merzian

In this episode UN chief economist Elliott Harris talks about why it’s risky to withdraw fiscal stimulus too soon and why a clean green recovery makes sense for the long term, in conversation with Richie Merzian, director of the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program. Part of the Australia Institute’s Economics of a Pandemic webinar

Backfire part 1: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

In this first of a two-part episode on gas, we explore why subsidising the gas industry is a poor option for economic recovery and explore the issues related to Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW with Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Institute.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests:Mark Ogge

July 2020

Winning a Fair Share: Rebuilding Australia’s Manufacturing Base | Paul Bastian & Jim Stanford

featuring Ebony Bennett and Jim Stanford

As the pandemic interrupted global supply chains a lot of focus has shifted back onto Australia’s domestic manufacturing capabilities and what Australia has the capacity to make and manufacture onshore and research shows we’re lagging behind. In this episode we talk about the opportunities for manufacturing and why it’s vital to the economic success of

How to make electricity bills cheaper

featuring Ebony Bennett and Dan Cass

In this week’s episode we explain how two changes to the rules of the National Electricity Market (NEM) will help reduce electricity bills, cut emissions, pave the way for more renewable energy and storage in the grid AND improve grid stability. It’s win-win-win-win. Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett // @theausinstitute Guests: Dan Cass, energy

May 2020

Black holes and Keynesians

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

The government has been talking as if it understood Keynesian economics, but its reaction to the $60 billion JobKeeper black hole shows they clearly do not think or act like Keynesians. Richard Denniss unpacks the spectacular failure of policy and accountability, as well as explaining what Keynesians economics actually means.Visit tai.org.au for our latest pandemic

The role of climate action in rebuilding after the pandemic with Zali Steggall

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richie Merzian

In this episode we talk to Zali Steggall, the independent member for Warringah, about the role of climate action in rebuilding after the pandemic, with Richie Merzian the director of the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program. From the Australia Institute’s ‘Economics of a Pandemic’ webinar series.Visit tai.org.au for all our latest research and analysisHost:

The Australian Government response to the pandemic with Greg Hunt

featuring Ebony Bennett

Health Minister Greg Hunt in conversation with our chief economist Richard Denniss, as part of the Australia Institute’s Economics of a Pandemic webinar series. This was recorded live on Tuesday 19th May 2020 and things may have changed since recording.Note: Due to some technical difficulties, the Minister joined the webinar a few minutes late, so

The other global crisis: climate change

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richie Merzian

Energy Minister Angus Taylor is talking about a ‘gas-led recovery’ which would not only make electricity prices higher, but would obviously make climate change worse, so in this episode we talk to director of the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program, Richie Merzian, about the other global crisis we’re facing: climate change.Visit tai.org.au for all

A renewably powered manufacturing sector with Ross Garnaut

featuring Ebony Bennett, Jim Stanford and Dan Nahum

Today’s episode is from one of our ‘Economics of a pandemic’ webinar series, featuring Professor Ross Garnaut, renowned economist and author of Superpower: Australia’s Low-Carbon Opportunity.Professor Garnaut was in conversation with economist and director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, Jim Stanford, and Dan Nahum – economist at the Centre for Future Work

September 2019

December 2018

Big Sticks, Batteries And Bills

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richard Denniss and Matt Grudnoff

As 2018 draws to a close, Australia’s climate and energy policy remains almost entirely unresolved. While the government under Scott Morrison has a Minister for bringing down energy prices, it really has no clear plans to reduce emissions and has flagged plans to underwrite new coal-fired power. Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced Labor’s

November 2018

Will Australia Meet Its Paris Commitment?

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Matt Grudnoff

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly claimed Australia will meet its Paris commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030 ‘in a canter’, but is this true? As we approach the next United Nations climate negotiations in the Polish town of Katowice, the Institute’s director of Climate & Energy Richie

September 2018

January 2018

Gas And Coal Watch

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

“Burning something to boil water to create steam is a really old-fashioned technology…” The Australia Institute has spent the hot summer days monitoring when gas and coal power plants trip, taking sometimes hundreds of megawatts of power from the grid at unpredictable times. In contrast, solar power is taking pressure of the grid by delaying

April 2017

Unpacking The Energy Debate

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

In episode 17 of Follow The Money, we tackle the current energy debate, including the South Australian blackouts, the war on renewables, what Christmas prawns have to do with baseload power and why the way we heat hot water offends our Chief Economist Richard Denniss.  Host: Deputy Director Ebony Bennett // @ebony_bennett Contributors: Chief Economist Richard

February 2017

Conservatives And Climate Change With Bob Inglis

featuring Ebony Bennett

Follow The Money this week features former Republican Congressman for South Carolina, Bob Inglis on his Australian tour, hosted by The Australia Institute. Bob Inglis is a very rare bird indeed. He’s a real conservative – Christian, Southern, ‘small-government’, you name it. But his greatest passion is tackling climate change. You heard right! Inglis has

January 2017

SUMMER SPECIAL President Tong

featuring Ebony Bennett

Welcome to our third Follow The Money summer special! It’s still probably scorching hot if you’re somewhere in Australia, but it’s even hotter in Kiribati. This weeks special features the ‘Hero of the Pacific’, President Anote Tong.  President Tong visited Australia as a guest of The Australia Institute ahead of the Paris Climate meeting. He

December 2016

Pocket Money: The Adani Coal Mine

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richard Denniss and Rod Campbell

In a special mini-episode we’ve dubbed “Pocket Money” we take a look at the recent developments with Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. It’s a straight discussion, without our usual bells and whistles so that we could respond quickly and if you like it, we’ll probably do more of these Pocket Money episodes

November 2016

Nuclear Dumps

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richard Denniss and Rod Campbell

How much is a hole in the ground worth? Australia has considered building a nuclear waste dump many times over the decades. Each time, the proposal has fallen through. This time, in South Australia, proponents are making $100 billion dollar claims. Richard and Rod take a look at those claims and the economics of building

September 2016

No New Coal Mines

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richard Denniss and Rod Campbell

Can Australia live without coal? Episode 7 of Follow the Money looks at the economics of coal and how a moratorium on new mines would help stop the boom and inevitable bust cycle, and instead create a smooth transition to a low carbon future.  Contributors: Richard Denniss – @RDNS_TAI  Rod Campbell – @R_o_d_C  Ebony Bennett – @ebony_bennett.  Produced by