Climate Leadership Series: Malcolm Turnbull

Rhodes Trust– Jun 9, 2021

“History is made by those that turn up…If you want to affect action on climate, you have to get in there and do something about it.”

In this Rhodes Climate Leadership interview, Brian O’Callaghan (New South Wales & St John’s 2019) speaks to fellow Rhodes Scholar Malcolm Turnbull (New South Wales & Brasenose 1978) about the terrifying impacts of climate denial, the real cost of renewable energy and what it takes to be an effective climate leader.

Malcolm Turnbull was the 29th Prime Minister of Australia. Prior to entering politics he enjoyed successful careers as a lawyer, investment banker and journalist. Malcolm has a deep interest in energy issues and renewable energy. He recognised the urgent need for large scale storage to make intermittent renewables reliable and started the construction of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped hydro scheme, which will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. He also identified the opportunity for similar pumped storage systems in Tasmania.

Brian O’Callaghan is Lead Researcher and Project Manager of the Oxford University Economic Recovery Project. He is an Australian Rhodes Scholar, studying for a DPhil in Environmental Economics, Consultant to the Robertson Foundation, and advisor to global leaders on the topics of economic policy and clean technologies.


Introductions by Brian O’Callaghan 00:00 – 02:22
The Impact of Climate Denial 02:00 – 12:54
Renewable Energy and Snowy Hydro 2.0 13:54 – 15:37
Looking Back at Malcolm’s Career 15:47 – 20:00
Climate Leadership 20:07 – 23:01

The views or opinions expressed by participants in interviews do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Rhodes Trust.

See Rhodes Trust – Climate Leadership Playlist

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