UQ’s Global Change Institute and Griffith University join forces for sustainable economy workshop

23 Oct 2015
Some Insight from an Evolutionary Perspective, a joint event between UQ’s Global Change Institute and Griffith University, was held on 22-23 October 2015.
John Foster presenting his research at the workshop.
John Foster presenting his research at the workshop.

The workshop provided interdisciplinary perspectives informing the transition to a sustainable economy and highlighted issues frustrating the transition. The following list includes some of the perspectives and frustrations:

  • The Environmental Kuznets Curve indicates that as economies become wealthier they produce fewer emission but this relationship appears ill-founded and may result in policy inaction.
  • Traditional economics uses constrained optimisation in climate change analysis but constrained optimisation ignores lock-ins that induce uncertainty.
  • The requirement to help people develop self-awareness and self-control over their life choices and to design policy that accommodates a diversity of lifestyle choices. This contrasts with utility optimisation found in traditional economics with policy designed around forming the correct price signals.
  • The requirement to evaluate and accept the physical limitations to economic growth and to prioritise the economic outputs within a sustainable economy. In contrast, traditional economics focuses on continued economic growth.
  • The fossil fuel industry deliberately undermining the efforts to address climate change by confusing the public over the scientific consensus on climate change.

John Foster also presented his paper, Lock-in and uncertainty in complex economic systems: developing an alternative to conventional economics analysis, at the workshop.

EEMG staff Liam Wagner, Minoli Amarasinghe, Phillip Wild and William Bell also attended the event.

View more information about the workshop content