Rebecca Byrnes

Policy Analyst

Rebecca is a Policy Analyst with a focus on the key ingredients for an effective transition to a resilient, low carbon economy. Rebecca provides policy support to researchers exploring: how to manage a just transition, climate legislation and governance, and whole-of-economy approaches to building climate resilience in developing communities.


Prior joining the policy analysis team, Rebecca worked in the renewable energy branch within the New South Wales Government in Sydney, Australia, managing a range of projects aiming to remove barriers to the growth of the large scale renewable energy sector in Australia. A particular focus included facilitating the development of new transmission infrastructure to allow the connection of new renewable energy assets on the scale needed to replace retiring coal generators.

Prior to this Rebecca worked as a Legal and Communications Advisor to the Least Developed Countries (LDC) negotiation group in the climate negotiations. This included providing advice on the negotiation of the Paris Agreement ‘rulebook’, and supporting initiatives such as the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative.

Rebecca has a Bachelor of Economics and Laws from the University of Tasmania, as well as a Bachelor of Civil Law (Masters of Law) and an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Her MSc dissertation explored how to scale up access to decentralised renewable energy in least developed countries.

Research interests

  • Effective policy-making and capacity building approaches for country-driven sustainable development
  • Long-term, strategic policy-making to facilitate a timely, fair and equitable shift to a low carbon economy
  • Climate legislation and governance
Policy publications  22 May, 2019

How to price carbon to reach net-zero emissions in the UK

This report explains the importance of pricing carbon as a key component of any strategy to reach net-zero emissions in the UK, setting out how the price may differ sector to sector and how to incentivise negative emissions. read more »

More in policy publications

Commentary  28 May, 2019

Why it is important to work with conservative governments like Australia’s on climate change

Rebecca Byrnes sets out three ways to progress climate action in Australia following the re-election of the centre-right Coalition. read more »


Commentary  19 December, 2018

Agreeing the Paris Rulebook: did COP24 deliver? Reflections from the Grantham Research Institute’s Post-COP event

Identifying progress within the annual round of international climate negotiations can be a challenging business. The sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention … read more »

Commentary  5 December, 2018

Shining the spotlight on human rights at COP24 and beyond

As the implementation guidelines to the Paris Agreement are negotiated at COP24, this commentary asks whether and to what extent they will include human rights language, and reviews examples from around the world of how human rights issues are gaining more prominence in relation to climate action. read more »

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