Social impact

Uncovering best practice in state-sponsored low-carbon initiatives

Research excellence

A cross-institutional team led by UNSW Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon

Major funding

This project is supported by $300K in ARC funding

We’re discovering what’s driving the clean energy transition in East Asia and how policymakers are confronting the obstacles to a new and renewable energy shift.

Our region urgently needs to transition to low-carbon economies. Our research project is working to uncover key enablers and obstacles to this transition. 

Our interdisciplinary and cross-institutional research team, led by Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon, are exploring four longitudinal case studies of clean energy industry creation in South Korea and China: two of Australia’s top Asian trading partners.  

The findings will advance scholarly and policy debates about the role of the state in high-tech industry creation and clean energy transitions, while also benefiting Australian exporters seeking new markets.

Korea’s Green Transformation: Leveraging New Trade Opportunities

Panel discussion on the new possibilities for economic engagement with South Korea, hosted by Asia Society Australia and featuring Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon, Asia Society Australia-Korea Fellow and Scientia Associate Professor of International Political Economy, UNSW Sydney, James Choi, Managing Director of J2 Advisory, John Hirjee, Head of Research & Analysis, Resources, Energy & Infrastructure at ANZ, Dr Fiona Simon, Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Hydrogen Council, and Liz Griffin, Executive Director of the Australia-Korea Business Council.

Funding agency

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (July 2019 – July 2022)


Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon 
Deputy Head of School (Research) & Scientia Fellow 
Arts, Design & Architecture, UNSW Sydney

Dr. Sung-Young Kim 
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern History, Politics & International Relations 
Macquarie University, Sydney

Dr. Hao Tan 
Associate Professor, Newcastle Business School 
University of Newcastle, Australia

Dr. John Matthews 
Emeritus Professor, Department of Management 
Macquarie University, Sydney

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