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 will also examine 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.

ABC News | 18 February 2014

Queensland has low average incomes by national standards A resource focused economy is not working. All boom, no benefit? by CPD’s Laura Eadie and Michael Hayman has revealed striking differences between the average wages in Queensland and Western Australia, states thatmore

Port Strategy | 26 February 2014

Boom to bust for Queensland ports Last November CPD released Too many ports in a storm a report by research director Laura Eadie. The report explored Queensland’s approach to port development and discussed the current surplus in port capacity. With debate stillmore

BBC News | 5 February 2014

‘Is Australia falling out of love with solar power?’ Australia has the world’s largest number of homes with solar panels, but take-up is now falling after cuts to how much people get paid for their excess electricity, as the BBC’smore

Global Go To Think Tank Index | January 2014

CPD Sustainable Economy program achieves international ‘gold standard’ ranking. The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the University of Pennsylvania has released its Global Go-To Think Tank Index for 2013. Over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers,more

The Guardian | 15 January 2014

‘Electricity tariff system unfair and unsustainable, say energy experts’ Lenore Taylor finds the electricity tariff system unfair for those without air conditioners In the current electricity system all consumers pay for the network of ‘poles and wires’ that are neededmore

The Land | 5 January 2014

Agricultural policies back on the table. Farming smarter acknowledges Australia’s agricultural needs. Labor is revising their agricultural policies in the hopes of capitalising on economic opportunities into the ‘Asian century’. Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon aims to show that Labor ismore

ABC Local Radio | 20 December 2013

Air conditioners raising electricity prices Electricity prices have been on the rise for all consumers. The blame is often placed on solar users but a large increase in costs is due to air conditioner use. Laura Eadie, CPD’s sustainable economymore