Once among Australia’s leading coal industry executives, Ian Dunlop is today the chair of Safe Climate Australia and an outspoken advocate for radical action against climate change.

He will continue to make the case from the other side of the fence tonight (Thurs) when he delivers a speech on ‘Our Climate and Energy Dilemma’ at a Griffith University seminar hosted by the Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise.

Mr Dunlop will explain why moves to trigger a new period of economic growth are not hitting the mark.

He points to a combination of factors including a spike in the world’s population, a decline in resources and the onset of global warming to explain why multinational companies are falling short.

“None of this is working,” he says. “They are ignoring the future implications of a decline in resources, particularly fossil fuel, as the world population climbs beyond seven billion.

“Growth globally is stagnating, in large part held back by stubbornly high energy prices.

“This is all about global risk management, and the risks are escalating rapidly. But so too are the opportunities,” he says.

Mr Dunlop will outline the opportunities as he sees them at Griffith’s South Bank campus from 6pm to 7.30pm on Thursday (June 12). His presentation is titled ‘Our Climate and Energy Dilemma — Transforming Global Emergency to Opportunity and Action’.

Ian Dunlop has worked for Shell’s international team, and across Australia’s resources industry at senior level in oil, gas and coal exploration and production. He headed the Australian Coal Association in the late 1980s, before going on to chair the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading.

He made headlines last year with his highly-publicised but failed bid to join the board of BHP Billiton on a climate change platform.

He is Chair of Safe Climate Australia, a Director of Australia 21, Deputy Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil, and a member of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Climate Change Task Force.