Sustainable Economy

The Sustainable Economy Program aims to identify options for Australia to make a rapid transition to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy. Australia has tremendous opportunity to leverage its abundant natural resources and skills in innovation to build a fair, sustainable and prosperous economy – one that provides a secure future for all Australians. Yet to do so, we need to get the policy settings right.

The Sustainable Economy Program is underpinned by an understanding of the problems caused by systemic short-termism in both the public and private sectors, and by the failure to value public goods which are hard to measure or monetise. It seeks to highlight the importance of ‘valuing what matters’. By improving our understanding and measurement of the the long-term drivers of wellbeing, and ensuring the the impacts of resource depletion and pollution are no longer ‘invisible’ to markets, we can avert systemic failures in public and private decision making that undermine the sustainable management of our natural and social capital.

CPD’s recent work on climate change has focused on the implications of a changing climate for Australia’s national security. The Longest Conflict found that while defence forces in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere are taking the impact of climate change very seriously, Australia was underprepared for a climate security challenge that will have more far-reaching implications in the Asia Pacific than anywhere else in the world.

In 2015 we also continued our work on sustainable agriculture, building on the landmark report Farming Smarter, Not Harder. This work on agriculture complements CPD’s long-standing interest in the marine sector and energy.

In addition to continuing this work, in 2016 the Sustainable Economy program is examining the contribution business can make to improving Australia’s sustainability performance, with a particular focus on potential drivers of better long-term decision making in Australia’s boardrooms.

CCTV America | 13 November 2014

Travers McLeod interviewed by CCTV America In the lead up to the weekend’s G20 Leaders’ Summit, Travers McLeod spoke to China Central Television America about Australia’s role in combating global climate change. “The reality is that Australia has been leap-froggedmore

The Conversation | 30 October 2014

Like eating fish? It’s time to start caring where it comes from. Carissa Klein, Postdoctoral research fellow in conservation biology at The University of Queensland, investigates sustainability in seafood, citing CPD’s recent study, Net advantage: securing our fisheries management. Themore