Ecological ethics in a ‘new’ ecological economics by Haydn Washington


It is time for a new research agenda that examines the worldview and ethics of ecological economics. Neoclassical economics hardly ever considers such, yet worldview and ethics are central. If society (and economics) does not question and address these, then arguably it will not change, and hence is unlikely to reach a truly sustainable future. An ecological or Earth ethics is now vital for the survival of life on Earth (Rolston 2012).

Ecological economics (EE) started off accepting that the economy must operate within ecological limits (e.g. Daly 1991). Its most detailed proponent was Herman Daly, who proposed the steady state economy (e.g. Daly 1991, 2014a) which focused on sustainable scale; an ecologically sustainable population; low resource use; and greater equity. This focus on operating within ecological limits seems to have weakened over time in other ecological economic models.

What is the ethics of ecological economics?

Originally, economics started as a branch of ‘moral philosophy’, and ethics was at least as important as the analytic content (Daly 1991). However, economic theory became top heavy with abstruse mathematical modelling, erected above the shallow concrete foundation of fact (Ibid). Neoclassical economics accepted no limits and did not ascribe nature any intrinsic value, hence what was ‘desirable’ tended to be just ‘growth’. What about EE? Several definitions centre around the economy having to operate within ecological limits. Despite this, meaning seems to have changed over the years, diverging away from the early vision. This has happened to such an extent that some models in EE no longer reflect a key focus on ecological limits. Six models are compared below.


It can be seen that only one (occasionally two) models openly discuss population, a key driver of unsustainability. All focus on reducing resource use, however only two focus on combating consumerism (plus the SSE also focuses on advertising). All focus on greater equity (for humans) but only two unequivocally define themselves as not being ‘engines of growth’. The focus on ecological limits is thus not strong in most of these models (despite the fact that doughnut economics includes ‘planetary boundaries’ it still avoids foregrounding population). However, what about ecological ethics?


Most models of ‘ecological economics’ thus remain firmly anthropocentric (even if only implicitly so through their assumptions and language). The only model that overtly accepts the intrinsic value of nature is the steady state economy (Daly 2014b). Intrinsic value is not discussed by the other models, and justice and equity are seen as being purely for humans. So EE did have discussion of ecological ethics early on as part of the steady state economy, but this has been virtually absent in other models. However, it could be resurrected.

A new research agenda to bring ecological ethics into ecological economics

If EE were to operate on the acceptance of ecological ethics, there are various things its research agenda could work on:

  • EE can foreground its commitment to ecocentrism, ecological ethics, and ecojustice. Rather than worldview and ethics being hidden taboos, they could become the common ethical underpinnings of EE.
  • If EE were again to foreground ecological limits (plus foreground ecological ethics), it would have to consider the key drivers of un Environmental science has long referred to the entity Environmental Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology, which foregrounds overpopulation and overconsumption as drivers of unsustainability. Neither EE nor ecological ethics can afford to ignore or deny the centrality of either.
  • EE should undertake a research agenda to consider to what extent it has been indoctrinated by anthropocentric and neoliberal ideology.
  • The commodification of nature is in full swing, indeed it is promoted by some ecological economists. EE could examine to what extent this is driven by anthropocentric and neoliberal ideology. The commodification of nature represents the entrenchment of a strong anthropocentrism that has caused ecocide.
  • EE could apply ecojustice to the issue of nature conservation through the support of the ‘Half Earth’ vision (Wilson 2016) where half of terrestrial lands are protected in conservation reserves.
  • EE could research the ‘Rights of Nature’ and Earth jurisprudence.
  • EE could research why economics remains stuck in the ‘endless growth mantra’, when clearly we live on a finite planet.
  • EE could research the deep denial currently operating within both society and mainstream economics (and also perhaps EE) in regard to the impossibility of endless growth on a finite planet.
  • EE could research why society – if it considers ‘justice’ – speaks only of social justice, ignoring the need for ecojustice (Washington 2018).
  • One expanding topic of interest that EE should research is the growing idea of ecodemocracy, where nature is given representation in governance systems (see ).


Neoclassical economics was once considered part of moral philosophy, however for long it has been dominated by anthropocentrism. What is more surprising is that EE also rarely considers its worldview and ethics. However, it is time this changed. An ecocentric worldview that accepts a duty of care towards nature is far more likely to practically retain functioning ecosystems that support society (Washington 2018). Similarly, ecological ethics sits far better with an ecological economics that (by many definitions) accepts the reality of ecological limits. Accepting such a definition, EE cannot rationally support the mantra of endless physical growth on a finite planet. Hence the ethics of EE needs to embrace keeping the living world intact. Accordingly, EE needs to foreground the elephant in the room – worldview and ethics. Society’s current anthropocentric and neoliberal worldview has pushed it way beyond the sustainable ecological limits that EE originally argued for. Hence, EE needs to foreground an ecocentric worldview and ecological ethics.


Daly, H. (1991) Steady State Economics, Washington: Island Press.

Daly, H. (2014a) From Uneconomic Growth to the Steady State Economy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Daly, H. (2014b) The use and abuse of the “natural capital” concept. The Daly News, November 13, 2014, see: (accessed 13th July 2018).

Rolston III, H. (2012) A New Environmental Ethics: The Next Millennium for Life on Earth, New York: Routledge.

Washington, H. (2018) A Sense of Wonder Towards Nature: Healing the Planet through Belonging. London: Routledge.

Wilson, E.O. (2016) Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, New York: Liveright/ Norton.


Positive Steps to a Steady State Economy

Phrenology headstogether cropped.jpg

Dear CASSE members and friends,

Here is our update on our book Positive Steps to a Steady State Economy. Our first production copy of the finished book is in front of us, and it is looking pretty good, all 444 pages! First of all, our sincere thanks to all of you who supported the Kickstarter program to finance our initial production costs, including the cartoons by ‘Polyp’. In an exciting development, a very generous CASSE NSW member has made a major donation so that we can send a Special Parliamentary Edition to members of Parliament. This will have a message in front from famous ecological economists Herman Daly, Brian Czech, Joshua Farley, Dan O’Neill and Peter Victor. That is a great start but we want to go further to get the book ‘out there’.

We have drawn up a list of groups and people to whom we will give free copies. So far we have on this list:

  • Selected key media personnel if they will come to our launch evening (see below) or mention it in their media outlet (or both);
  • Key people in environmental and conservation groups;
  • Key people in unions or political parties (other than Parliamentarians)
  • Key people in the fields of education and academia
  • Any other people whom we really want to get thinking and talking about this issue.

The book will be launched at 6.30 pm on July 17th at the UTS Loft Room, 15 Broadway, Ultimo (books for sale at $20 each). There will also be a Brisbane launch at a date to be determined (check here for updates: The book is also availbale for $17.78 plus $8 postage via: but books will be available at the UTS launch for just $20.

Will you join with us in three ways to make our book known? Firstly, suggest to us particular environmentalists, media people, others, to whom we should definitely send a complimentary copy. Secondly, come join us at our Sydney launch. Thirdly, could you donate $25 to cover the posted cost one of our free copies (as above) — and if you like, you can nominate the name of the recipient and we will ensure that person gets a free copy. Get in touch with us at

Finally, talk about the book, show your copy to others, and also: tell us of any other things you can think of that we can be doing as well. Let’s make a real positive impact!

Haydn, Anna, and the CASSE NSW Committee.

If you can’t wait to see the book you can download a low resolution copy.



If you point out that Earth isn’t getting bigger, most people will agree. If you then point out that it won’t be possible for the economy to keep taking more and more from the Earth you may still find that most people agree (unless they are hoping to go space mining or colonise Mars). But if you try to link GDP to the physical size of the economy – the land area taken up by the economy, the amount of resources it consumes or the amount of waste it produces – someone will inevitably point out that we can grow GDP without using more resources as long as we ‘decouple’.

A recent example is the CSIRO article in Nature ‘Australia is ‘free to choose’ economic growth and falling environmental pressures’ (also summarised here: and you can view the CSIRO report here).

Such a statement predictably prompted discussion in steady state circles. Here are two official responses:

A few weeks later, in an article called ‘Consume more, conserve more: sorry, but we just can’t do both‘ George Monbiot reported on material footprint research that found “Achievements in decoupling in advanced economies are smaller than reported or even nonexistent.” and this week  wrote about the link between economic growth and GHG emissions.

For those who have stopped equating economic growth with progress, whether we can decouple or not feels like a distraction from the more important issue of being able to sustain our civilization. To be sustainable, an economy may not exceed ecological limits. What about putting the effort into exploring the options for maintaining a stable economy within those limits (whether GDP is growing or not), and for achieving fair distribution? Once we have achieved those things, go and decouple as much as you like.


Update on the petition ‘Tell the G20: infinite economic growth on a finite planet is not possible.’

Today the signatures on the petition asking the G20 to look at how to transition to a steady state economy were sent to the G20. The petition remains live at and we will keep collecting signatures and writing to the G20 until they take notice.

The number of signatures so far is 783,  which is well below the target, but we know that there are lots more steady staters out there. A high proportion of people made the extra effort to add a comment, and there are such good ones that I’ve pasted the entire list of comments below.

Name Country (required) Comments
Phil Jones Australia If the transition from the Growth Economy to the Steady State Economy is not planned and happens because of a massive, everlasting depression, the consequences for our kids and grand-kids are going to be disastrous. I hope the G20 will be positive and proactive.
Frances Jones Australia I think this would be a great idea.
haydn washington Australia It is time for the G20 to wake up to the ecological reality that the world is finite – thus we cannot keep growing forever physically. We can have some growth via a steady state economy however, where it is not due to increasing population or increasing resource use. Let’s transform to a truly workable and sustainable economy!
Rentz Hilyer United States Economic growth is the underlying cause of so many of our social and environmental problems. In today’s world, the costs of growth now outweigh the benefits. It’s time for a policy shift toward a steady state economy.
Catherine Jones Australia If there is ever a chance to make the poor of this planet better fed and more comfortable then it will be done only if all the world’s governments become committed to making changes .
Greg Mitchell Australia Explotive Comsumerism is a receipe for social upheaval, terrorism, inhuman society. Small is beautiful.
Susan Bowes Australia The fairyland endless GDP growth targets of G20 pollies must assume infinite resources – upon which the economy, and thus sustainable jobs, are based. But we live in a finite world.
Robert Frost Australia We need to move towards enoughness and grow our happiness and enjoyment, not economies.
Phil Bradley Australia Mindless wasteful economic growth needs to be transitioned globally to a Steady State Economy with happiness and well-being still enabled! The SSE is also a critical component of mitigating dangerous climate change with 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Matthew Washington Australia To transition to a Steady State Economy is the way to build a sustainablle future for human communities our fellow creatures and the biosphere. A SSE ia an economy in which we can flourish, avoid Climate catastrophe and respect our Earth and its natural systems !
Jeff Lean Australia To date, a Steady State Economy is the only macroeconomic system that can be demonstrated to guarantee economic stability, ecological resonsibility and a good standard of living for all the peoples of the planet.
Willy Bach Australia The 2014 G20 Conference was an expensive, militarised futility for the people of Brisbane. This, especially with the Abbott government’s refusal to discuss climate change and other real problems. Now the G20 has to demonstrate that it is a relevant body in the real world.
don owers Australia Growth on a finite planet cannot be sustained. Its simple maths, not rocket science
Geoff Dowsett Australia Anew global economy based on environmental and social justice is urgently required. End the GDP growth addiction NOW.
Murray Scott Australia For too long we have naively hoped that continued economic growth can be decoupled from impossible growth in pollution and material consumption. That assumption requires rigorous examination.
Peter Valentine Australia So fundamental …
noela Kelman Australia We need to reel in greed and role out thoughtful common sense……
luciana geveke Australia Stop Being Greedy
Paul Sowter Australia Primary school kids understand this.
Rodrigo Vidal Lazaro Ecuador Please G20 members: We need to think about the world we are leaving to future generations.
Shelley Sechrist United States It is urgent that all countries now   create a steady state economy.
harriet mitteldorrf United States All Earth’s species, especially our own, depen on ending economic and population growth
James Standring United States This fundamental truth underlies all environmental damage.
Wendy Talaro United States Please include at the very least an ecologist and a broad-minded biologist in the Working Group. To model an economy on ecological principles without anyone on the Working Group understanding those principles is to invite the same kind of intellectual and professional disconnect from reality that already plagues the field of economics in practice.
JUSTICE ST RAIN United States The math is simple. We need to start planning now for a zero-growth economy that works for everyone.
John Pearse United States As an professional marine ecologist I understand how vigorous growth enhances productivity but always stops as some critical resource be comes limiting. Economics is based on the same principles and we have seen over 200 years of great productivity, just as Adam Smith predicted. And also just as he predicted, we are approaching critical limits that will lead either to horrendous crashes, or if international groups like G20 can do it, might level off with steady state internal recycling. Difficult but not impossible– and worth the attempt to prevent enormous human suffering.
Irene Saikevych United States Infinite economic growth on a FINITE planet is not possible. A steady state economic model is imperative for OUR VERY SURVIVAL, and the work needs to begin NOW.
Joe Sullivan United States Love it! I like to call it, ‘A Resource Based Economy’ or RBE. Keep Fighting!
Martin Knox Australia CASSE needs to address the public misconception that growth of population and economic growth are necessary conditions to sustain living standards. Also, top politicians executives and leaders use growth to fulfill personal ambitions and greed. This tendency needs to be ostracized. Growth needs to become a pejorative word,
Edward S Matalka United States I am signing this petition to recognize the necessity of a sustainable society. However, modern society is cursed by the the religion of progress and your proposed Working Group   will be composed of its most fervent disciples.. You need to include ecologists, ecological economists, and even physicists to introduce scientific concepts, otherwise it will be a sterile exercise..
Ynes Sanz Australia We need to challenge the belief that wealth automatically confers desirable leadership credentials.
Gunther Ostermann Canada Headline: Aliens would discover we’re pretty much the same across the globe.
John Peet New Zealand I warmly support the petition! John
Mike Sebastian United States I sign this petition of my own free will and urge leadership to harken to it.
Charles Wright United States How can anyone agree that the Earth is round and still promote a growth economy?
bruce ritchie United States Our world is finite, and our human economy cannot be otherwise. Human “growth” has already depleted many resources, and damaged much of the environment. It is time for humans to reduce our negative impact on this earth thru population AND consumption controls. We MUST find “enough” and discontinue our constant search for “more.” Life on this earth depends on human discretion that we have NOT yet shown. Time for the G20 to change this fact.
Geoff Foster Australia Not an expert, but it seems a good idea,
Kent Welton United States growthism – growth-to-ruin is a sickness not an economic policy
John Neville United States A growth economy on a finite planet is insanity. Let’s do something right…together.
Ian E Macindoe Australia This is one of the most important issues currently before the world’s concerned people.
Graeme Stockton Australia Thankyou CASSE for developing such a great initiative.
Brian Thompson United States WTF! Physics people!
jeff mclean Australia The paradox is we need to GROW CASSE – to help counter uncontrolled GROWTH!
Manfred Max-Neef Chile Let us recover common sense. Infinity within the finite is not only impossible but absurd. MANFRED MAX-NEEF
Harry Steinmetz United States Best if luck.
Dr. William Steiner United States Get your mind off money and onto survival!
Naiten Wangchuk Bhutan Sustainable growth is a universal responsibility and it must addressed through a wider forum. For ages, we were preached of capitalistic idea where money is the medium controlled by greedy bankers, flawed economist and shrewed and short sighted politicians. Capitalism needs to be replaced completely with a better system that can assess the performance of the Nation not through Economic Growth but through other noble indicator: Humane Development.
Rachna Yadav India We have to fight for a new Economic World Order where capital and wealth creation are not even tertiary goals, but well being of the human race and survival of all species is given primacy through well researched policy frameworks that promote Steady State Economy
Lincoln Myers Trinidad And Tobago The addiction to economic growth over the past two hundred years, for all its perceived benefits, is responsible for the threat to human survival today. Mankind’s only hope of survival is to break the addiction.
Valerie Marak United States As glaciers melt so should the absurd growth and greed that are sending us to the brink..
David Kruse United States GDP/person woud be a good measure where GDP could go down while GDP/person could increase if population decreases.
Graham Townsend New Zealand It seems obvious that, by any meaningful physical measure, eternal growth is impossible on a finite planet. Humanity therefore needs to decide what we mean by ‘economic growth’; decide whether it is still an appropriate metric; and consider whether it needs to be replaced by something more appropriate and useful.
James Pawley Canada Grow up and pay attention! This is serious. It has been serious for 35 years and now it is really serious. Don’t make it worse by ignoring the obvious.
bob wolcott Australia The good of the natural world must come first; everything else must be subsumed to that.
Dana Pearson United States You’re suppose to be smart. You’re acting like fools… Traitors to humanity… Who DO you represent?
Theo Speaight Luxembourg Growth must be limited to be Sustainable. Power must be made accountable to encourage responsibility.
Andre   Piver MD Canada 90% of the money supply created out of thin air by banks is ridiculous. Money should be created by sovereign governments and put into circulation as spending on infrastructure and in providing civil services. The need to have growth in order to cover the interest/profit for financial institutions is absurd.
Dietrich Schwaegerl Germany Why didn’t politicians learn the basics of ecosystem analysis??? What a shame!
don owers Australia Mathematics at about year 7 should be enough to show that growth, especially exponential growth is not sustainable.
Diego Ragazzi Italy Infinite material growth on a finite planet is logically, mathematically and physically impossible. And there is no human activity that isn’t, in the end, material. Yes, even the so called “information economy”.
CHRISTOPHER PADLEY United Kingdom The transition is an absolute necessity, Governments must wake up to this.
Genni Pavone United Kingdom Enough is enough!!! We must save the World and Humanity!
Tim Pickles United Kingdom Take time to learn from all natural systems. It’s simply not possible to have unlimited growth in a closed and finite system. This is not “our” planet to use and abuse. It’s finite resources belong to all living species on the planet past, present and future. If we continue as we are, the system will ensure the demise of the unbalanced aspects. It’s happened so often before.
Jan I Sander United Kingdom Indefinite growth is clearly and practically an absurd objective. We must seek a way to survive within the bounds of the earths resources.
JOACHIM ZIMMER South Africa There is no planet B.
John Rolls Australia Until now the environmental impacts of economic activity have essentially been ignored by economists and decision makers. There are now multiple indicators of planetary overload, and the decline of each of these indicators is largely on account of economic activity. Time to face up.
Dr Richard Lawson United Kingdom It is impossible to expand forever into a finite space.
Michael Gill Australia Heydn Washington says it better than I can, but I would add stop the mad rush to Global centrealisation of decision making.
Richard Vernon United Kingdom This is an obvious and urgent requirement for the welfare of humanity and the biosphere of which we are a part.
TonySomerset United Kingdom Ever increasing consumerism, ever increasing debt and ever increasing pleasure seeking just is not sustainable by the planet we inhabit. We have to change.
Stefan Thiesen Germany Contra to popular belief and interest driven campaigns the world is pretty much on track of the dire predictions made by the now classic Club of Rome report “LIMITS TO GROWTH”, within the error margins duly given by the report. Given the limited knowledge at the time, the report was amazingly precise. We are now living in a time where we begin to venture into space, begin to stretch out our senses to distant star systems and their planets, and our understanding of bio-geospheric dynamics has grown even faster than our suicidal self serving “economy”, that nothing but betrays its name. In the 21st century we finally realized that we entered the anthropocene – a geological age where the human animal has become the deciding factor defining the fate of the planet. Pop-culture abides with insights into this fact, but political decision makers and even the self proclaimed science named “Economics” by and large ignore the state of affairs. Countries and businesses still are run with Mammalian territorial logics, driven by urge for power and greed – the logics of “mine” and “evermore”. Nothing could be further from the truth than our self-given species name “Homo Sapiens”. The wise, the insightful ape of genus homo? A preposterous joke at best! Perhaps Horaz, who suggested “Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet: sapere aude, / incipe.” was wise, the majority of man and decision makers is not. To put it simple and straight: the current path of mankind will lead right into what bioastronomers and philosophers of environment and technology refer to as the “great filter”. It is the – hypothetical but very plausible – decisive point in the history of a planetary species, a technological species that has not yet become a civilization deserving to be called that. This point in history defines its future, decides whether it will survive, whether its planetary biosphere will survive and continue to sustain life. The whole point is that the science is on the table, but false beliefs, greed, ignorance, the gravity of our “system” and an immense singlemindedness of decision makers stands in the way of change. The potential is there. Although may already be too late – we cannot know for sure how the dynamics of bio-geospheric change will unfold – there also might be time to change course. But that change has to be ever more radical the longer we wait. The exponentially growing throw-away culture of mass consumption will do us in quickly. The logic of the exponential equation is merciless – especially when combined with complete lack of insight. We know loads of technological tricks, but by and large we are pretty stupid as a species and certainly not wise. Acknowledging our limitations – and limiting ourselves – are the starting points for change.
Mitchell Canada Stop the Ideological Faith-Based Religion of Economics. All it’s principle concepts are prehistoric, pre-scientific, anti-nature & anti-reality. Nostradamus would have had more accurate & honest projections of humanity’s poor resource management than any self-branded Businessman, Banker, Broker, Economist, Financier, Lobbyist, Real Estate Agent, or Trader, let alone any Conservative, Oligarch, Plutocrat, Republican, or Fascist (which differences are difficult to describe)
Sue van Eesteren – Adams Netherlands Our Economic System driven by Profit at any cost is destroying the Earth we depend on for survival without even sharing its gifts rather preventing most human being from benefiting from them at all…this can only end in Doom as every Economic Tyrant throughout History found to his Cost … There is enough when it is Shared Fairly, Inclusively not Exclusively as exits now; this is morally reprehensible & unsustainable in every sense
Kelsey Wigg Australia The current economic direction is unsustainable
Stephen Lee United States Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced on Monday that he pledges $100M to find Intelligent life in space with the idea that they? might teach us how to live sustainably on our planet. Lets hope those members of the G2O are able to discover a compassionate intelligent approach that redefines ‘progress’ and steers our ship of world into a safer and saner future without having to wait for answers from the Gods summoned to save our ass.
Christiane Kliemann Germany Decoupling economic growth from environmental impact in absolute terms is likely impossible. The so-called “green growth” is a myth and keeps us from taking urgent action. We need to transform our economy and our institutions in a way that they become independent of the imperative of continuous economic growth. This is the logic of the cancer cell
Richard Laverack Spain Prof Kevin Anderson (Tyndal centre, U.K.) has been outlining the necessary carbon emissions reductions paths for many years. The required reductions path of 8/10% p.a. are not compatible with economic growth. The swell is getting bigger, with 4,000 people attending the last Degrowth conference in Germany. Far better to direct a transition than have a collapse.
Chancy Whitby United States Big international frameworks are a start, but the real change comes from ending the paternal transfer of wealth to those who are most affected by Climate Change and these unsustainable economics. IDP’s from climate related events need technology and information, not more handouts from big NGO’s to adapt to the changes in their environments.
NM Nayar,PhD India I agree in toto.
Stefan Ivanov Manov Bulgaria Until we make fusion work and/or colonize other planets, we simply can’t avoid our resources being limited. And in any case, the Earth is the only place suitable for us that we know of, so we should preserve it so for as long as we can. There’s no point in wasting resources when everyone can be happy with less.
Alex Malcolm United Kingdom The gravity of our situation is explained by this video by Dr. Al Bartlett:
Matt T. Salo, Ph.D. United States Depleting or degrading our natural ecosystems will be detrimental to our health and finally a threat to our existence.
Bruce Turton Canada Even a steady state economic future is better than continual ‘growth’ leading to more waste on land, sea, and in the air.
Claire Mayer United States The challenge will be exciting and beneficial to all living being as well as for our beloved planet. Go for it.
Daniel Penisten United States I am thankful that some of Us have built an organization to teach the “Sustainability On A Finite Planet Truth”.
Joanne Poppenk Canada Infinite economic growth on a finite planet is a big problem. Stop it!
Morgan Nyberg Canada This is extremely important. Please do not delay.
Nicholas Marconi United States Living on a planet with finite resources means a no-growth economic system. The effort to grow: to produce and consume without limit makes no sense and is socially and ecologically dysfunctional.
Seán mac Cann Ireland Uphill struggle – boom and bust economics is the new religion; helped on its insane trajectory by economically-illiterate politicians and a captive press.
Michael Kirkham Australia Need to get the general public to realise we live on a finite planet,
Clive Lord United Kingdom No one has yet thought how to persuade those creating wealth that creating less wealth, as they will see it, is a good idea, yet without a steady state, efforts to combat environmental damage are akin to cooling a fire by putting logs on it.
Lawrence Parker United States This is a worthwhile pursuit even though it seems fruitless given the general obsession with growth due to the usurious financial system.
Trish Bennett Canada Let’s become the Care and Share planet !Putting all of our minds together to figure out how to make sure EVERYONE’S needs are met not a system that allows such financial hoarding .
Janet King United States Micro-organisms cultured in a flask cannot grow forever, depleting nutrients and accumulating toxic wastes.   Our planet is also a finite container and why doesn’t the same principle hold?
Ron Nicholls Australia It is time to recognize the futility and violence of infinite economic growth and the necessity of changes to our present economic system
Ken Merry United Kingdom We need some good leaders rather than a greedy money makers.
Samuel Alexander Australia It’s good to put pressure on institutions whenever we can, but when they ignore us, it’ll be a reminder that we need to build the steady state economy ourselves.
Helen Hutchinson Australia The Limits to Growth got it right and we are on track to mutual destruction. The time to do something is now.
Marcia Hutchinson Morocco We have a very finite planet, and we need to start taking that seriously. There is no such thing as unlimited growth–without horrible consequences.
William Dowling United Kingdom Since we 7.3 billion humans are collectively already overconsuming the planet’s biocapacity by 50% how can more economic growth and more population growth achieve anything other than a possible short term gain and a certain long term disaster?
Dr. Charles May United States As a physician deeply committed to global human health, I strongly believe that a movement away from growth to a steady state/sustainable economy, is necessary for human survival.   Your attention and action in this matter are greatly appreciated.
Ed Nold United States As someone who has reached the limit prescribed by his DNA on his own personal growth, I naively recommend that government and corporate economists and business persons search for the DNA which limits our economy’s growth. The failure to do so, as yet, is limiting the quality of life for billions of people and other lifeforms and threatens the lives of future generations on this planet.
Ben Phalan United States I’m less concerned that there are limits to growth than that economic growth so far has resulted in the extinctions of innumerable species and is undermining the capacity of the planet to support such a diversity of life in the future. Alternatives to economic growth must be urgently explored.
Ken Melamed Canada Because so many people believe the ‘grow or die’ mantra, it will help if we develop a new definition of growth.
Danny Reddan Australia Growth needs to be successfully challenged if our civilisation is to make the necessary economic reforms to achieve sustainability.
Erica Rose United Kingdom Another term for endless, uncontrolled growth is cancer.
Richard Kock United Kingdom Evidence is strong to show that even wealthy countries are not able to reverse or manage the on-going environmental decline, loss of ecosystem integrity and ecosystems function, or   loss of biodiversity under current socioeconomic paradigms. In addition there is increasing evidence that the period of unprecedented improvements in human health and longevity are showing signs of reversal not to mention massively increasing costs to, in any way, sustain the gains made. With a declining resource base and still growing human and domestic animal population, adherence to a conventional growth model is simply suicide.
Luc Vermeeren Belgium It’s amazing that we still need a petition to make people realise the absurdity of infinite growth!
Sandy Irvine United Kingdom The steady-state is the only sustainable solution. All other options will either aggravate the problem or ‘fix’ it but temporarily until it returns with renewed vengeance later,
Charmian Larke United Kingdom It is time to be honest and admit that   economic growth has to stop on this finite planet.
Jenna Larke United Kingdom Please be honest about planetary limits.
Graham Palmer United Kingdom Continuous growth doesn’t make sense in a finite world.
Norman Marsh United Kingdom A sustainability plan needs to take into account the needs fro wilderness and other life forms at the earliest stages in planning.
John Marshall United Kingdom Exponential growth on a finite pkanet is nonsense!
Polly Cooper United Kingdom The current rate of consumption and economic growth cannot be supported by just our single planet. World leaders need to be brave and honest and accept that the current way of doing business cannot continue.
Margo Sheppard Canada We need to rapidly scale back our impact on this planet. Humans need to start having a mutually-enhancing relationship with nature and our planet. Time for a restoration economy!
Penelope Zapata United Kingdom Humanity needs this now more than ever. We need to aim all our economies at the well being of all our communities along side the ecosystems that we all wholly depend on for our survival and NOT aim our economies at exponential growth whilst using up all our resources and polluting the earth, seas and atmosphere in the process
Jackie Carpenter United Kingdom Exponential growth can’t continue; trying to control the transition is imperative.
lorely lloyd United Kingdom please
Emil Canada Besides the outdated inadequate economy models, another root cause of all other problems is the unsustainably large human population: it drives consumption, poverty, lack of education.
Noel Ducat France Allway thought it was not possible
Dave Wonnacott United Kingdom Our world has boundries. If we don’t recognise them, how can we avoid crossing them?
Margaret Nelson United Kingdom It’s common sense, so face the facts!
Mario Rodríguez Artalejo Spain Constant growth cannot be sustained.   Something else should be fostered by those who have the means to lead.
Daniel Safronoff United States Let’s live within the limits of our environment, and actually pass natural resources on to our children!
Lucille Bertuccio United States We are destroying our planet with unlimited growth.
Victoria Brownlee United States Please stop the greed and choose child-free.
Mark Diesendorf Australia Serious attention to this issue is long overdue.
Jenny Goldie Australia We cannot have infinite economic growth on a finite world.
Ifeanna Australia We need to transform to a more equitable steady state economy and want this discussed by the G20.
NIva Australia Infinite economic growth is not possible on a planet of finite resources, please work towards a more equitable, sustainable, just system.
Mik Aidt Australia What is needed now is a change of consciousness. We must face the facts of what scientists report is happening to the planet we live on, and how we, the seven billion humans (and counting), are playing with fire. We must accept the reality that economic growth based on the exploitation of finite resources and destruction of our planet’s ecosystem is becoming a threat to our own wellbeing and safety – and that to millions of people it will soon even become a threat to their survival. It is time to clear the air, literally, and start that transformation of our economy to one which is ‘circular’. We must re-build our communities, our infrastructure and systems to something which is sustainable with a long-term perspective. Saying goodbye to the economic growth-model is at the same time saying hello to creating new jobs and building communities where moral sensibility and conscience is cultivated, and where fear, isolation, woundedness and hatred can be replaced with a sense of unity and togetherness. We have that option. It is up to us, if only we start making the right decisions now, advocating for that change of consciousness.
David Australia It will be marvellous to see the best of human ingenuity applied to re-imagine the most powerful system we have yet created; our economic system
Professor Stuart B Hill Australia A Steady State Economy is certainly achievable – but it will require much more courage from our leaders, and genuine leadership, not just reactive management!
Derek Bayliss United Kingdom How can we explain to our grand-children that our greed has deprived them of their future?. A Steady State Economy is the only rational way forward,
John M. Parker United States Every one has a stake in this, in can’t just be about us anymore, but our children and grandchildren and the generations yet unborn. It is madness to pursue our current course when the outcome is so predictable and unfolding before our very eyes.
David Barnes Australia From a small acorn large oak trees grow.
Judy Blyth Australia Our finite world cannot sustain infinite growth. We must transition to a steady state economy for the sake of survival of not just humanity but all life on Earth.
Nathan Surendran New Zealand This is a close parallel to the ‘Wise Response’ appeal to the NZ government:
Grace Adams United States Infinite growth can NOT be with finite resources. From now on it might be possible to improve things a little–but NOT to grow.
Ginny Battson United Kingdom Earth’s biosphere simply cannot afford for human society to promote Growth anymore. Steady State is common sense.
Michael Archer Australia We urgently need global leadership from an autocracy of the world’s leading scientists; we can no longer permit greed-focused economists let alone career-focused politicians or religious zealots to determine strategies for achieving a sustainable future.
Simon Barton United Kingdom We need a new breed of economists and politicians ,who accept basic facts and will direct their commentary and efforts to a sustainable human society, in which other species also have a place.
Stephan Bourget Canada A paradigm shift is required if we are to survive our own insanity. This should have already occured yesterday, yet officials act as if there were no urgency in the house. Time to wake up, earthlings.
Lise Carr Canada Cancer is growth-stop it now.
Anthony Gleeson Australia The longer it takes us to make the necessary changes, the bigger those changes will be
Anthony Gleeson Australia The longer it takes us to make the necessary changes, the bigger those changes will be
Karen Joynes Australia For the future of all life on our planet.
Helga Burry Australia The rate at which we are using the world’s resources to become richer in material goods is unprecedented. It is time we had leadership to develop a way to live more simply, and to change the way we treat our beautiful earth and all its creatures and plants.
Reference T Australia The consumption function is probably a nonconvergent series. Thus steady state is necessary else things is going to fell apart very quickly
uwe thomas Germany for a better world!!
Giancarlo Australia One of the greatest problems we inherited is a model based on constant growth assumption. I think the biggest lack in economics as a discipline, is a general failure to embed cyclical or steady-state models.
Mark Facer Australia By all means grow our economy with high value services, but material use and energy from carbon sources must be rapidly decreased. Can our leaders grasp this?
Chris Andrews Australia No issue that our global society faces is more important than creating a steady-state economy, because almost no other problem can solved without doing so.
Martin Hughes United Kingdom This is urgent. Economic grow cannot continue indefinitely with finite planetary resources.
Björn Lindgren Sweden Let’s with a minimum of effort realize a maximum of satisfaction and joy!
Fred Tromp Australia It is crucial that the G20 start preparing the world of an end to mindless growth
Michael Jessen Canada We in the developed world need to cut back on our consumption by 80% and we need to start now.
kanaan bausler United States necessary
marguerite dale Australia Encourage and invest in renewable energy!
Maureen Barnett United Kingdom There is no alternative.
Dick Smith Australia We cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet – as David Suzuki says on his U-tube clip “One Minute to Midnight” – it’s not speculation or hypothesis, our demand for endless growth is taking us down a suicidal path.
Stephen Crouch United Kingdom People seem to think that there is always a technical solution to our resource and food problems just around the corner, but there is no solution to all our countryside getting tarmaced over and resulting destruction of eco systems and appalling quality of life we are left with.
Dr John Sydney Australia You can’t take out more than you put in. Everybody understands that in everyday life. However, in economics too many people suddenly think that the universe operates by a completely different set of rules and that the Earth will just sort of miraculously replenish … In my view the steady state economy is worthy of far more and more serious attention and study than it is currently getting.
Victor E. Villagomez United States Infinite growth on a finite planet just doesn’t make sense.
Peggy O’Neal United States It is vitally important that overpopulation be on the agenda. Infinite population growth on a planet   capable of sustaining only so much life is a recipe for the end of humanity as we know it, never mind what other actions we take on climate change and vulture capitalism.
Bill Australia Vested interests in the present consumer economy should not b e allowed to stop the steady state economy developing.
Cilla Kinross Australia It’s clearly not possible to continue in our current vein. Developed countries need to rein in their consumption and provide technology and assistance to developing countries so they can develop in sustainable manner.     And this is urgent.   Not only should be aiming to not tip the threshold of 2 degree warming, but we need also to curb our use of natural resources, so that they other species we share this planet with are not deprived of their habitat and food. We need an economy that is based on renewable energy, but importantly also one that is sharing and community-based, not beholden to manipulative, large corporations
Paul Almond United Kingdom Doubling the size of the global world product (GWP) every 15-20 years is clearly not sustainable. The planet needs to wake up fast!
Samuel Alexander Australia The Steady State Economy is the only coherent path out of the current unsustainable trajectory. We need to build the new world within the shell of the old.
Janis Sheldrick Australia We have the means now to literally see our planet as a finite whole and to register our impact on it. There is no excuse for behaving as if we are ignorant.
kees hulsman Australia we have identified the tipping point but are busily pushing the system in the wrong direction by giving more of the same that put us in this position. Change the strategy and promote a steady state economy to solve the problem.
Michaela McElligott Australia Please consider the natural limits of our planet Earth. We cannot continue as we are without dire consequences. This is the most important issue we are facing as a planet right now as it has the potential to catastrophically impact the entire future of all species on planet Earth. As a result, this must be prioritised above economic and social issues at this point. Your decision to consider a Steady State Economy could be a defining moment in our planet’s history. Please make the right choice. We are putting our trust and faith in you.
Dick Varley Australia To avoid dangerous climate change we need a rapid decline in emissions and that cannot happen while emissions increase in lock step with economic growth
Bill Oliver United States Please consider the bigger picture.
Chris O’Rourke Australia We live in a finite world. We cannot go on using the world’s resources at the same exponential rate as we have since the advent of globalisation, especially with the exponential increase in population growth. We need to reinvent the world’s economies as soon as possible.
Willy Bach Australia Another reason why Joe Hockey was a complete waste of space as Australia’s Treasurer (except the other duopoly candidates are also dead wrong on growth).
Greg Hutchinson Australia So ovvious yet growth economists can’t see the folly.
Ron Nicholls Australia This is a crucial time for the future and a new economic model is needed
David Barnes Australia Ultimately there is no such thing as sustainable development. Our system either grows or it collapses. Anyone who spends more than five minutes studying our current trajectory will, like Dennis Meadows, conclude that there is nothing we can do. It will collapse. There will only be a steady state at the hunter gatherer level. Get over it. You’ll all feel better once you realise it and stop fantisizing over managed degrowth and steady states. The G20 will as usual be long on talk and short on action. Every nation will put self interest first and strive for BAU for as long as possible. Have a nice day.
Sime Validzic Croatia Planet Earth belongs to all species. Human population growth and consumption is destroying natural habitats, exterminating animal and plant species, and leading to a lower quality of life for humans.
Margaret James Australia Countries like Australia are suffering as a result of population increase fuelled by high levels of mass immigration, with severe environmental and social consequences. G20 leaders can change that!
Robert Irvine Australia While our natural and social capital was abundant the ´free market´ political economy brought freedom to many and great wealth to a few. But now both natural and social capital are in deficit and fundamental reform is essential for human health, wealth and happiness. A steady state economy is essential to eliminate externalities, to redress the balance and introduce an harmonious growth political economy to sustain our ecological, social and chattel wealth for another 500 years.
Allan Hayes United Kingdom Must act while there is time.
Karen Joynes Australia Time is running out for the growth economists to get the message.
Jan I Sander United Kingdom Sustainable growth on our finite planet is an oxymoron! We must refocus on human wellbeing for the worlds population rather than on increasing GDP which is an essentially meaningless measure. And we must use renewable energy (captured from the sun) to counter the inevitable chaos (entropy.)
Genni Pavone United Kingdom If this evil economic system do not change we will have NO future!
Stephen Crouch United Kingdom Economies based on growth are not sustainable in the long-term. We must modify how we prosper.
Grace Adams United States tautology
Denise Carrington United Kingdom Please at last recognise that you cannot argue with physics
Rob Pickering United Kingdom Come on G20 we need to get on with this!
Joy United States As long as I have “enough”, the health of the planet matters more than money.
Michael Rynn Australia Failure to heed is leading to mass extinctions
Manfred Max-Neef Chile Those who believe that permanent growth is possible in a finite planet are either mad or economists (Kenneth Boulding).
uwe thomas Germany for a better world!!
Claire Mayer United States Let’s get off this suicide path and onto a life sustaining one.
Cole Thompson United States The math speaks for itself. We must change.
Terry Korman Canada Zero Population Growth, a steady-state economy, the “balance of nature” … these are sustainable.   Alternatively, “If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.”
William W. Steiner United States “Even at 6 billion the limits of planet resources are stretched; with GCW it is shortened.”
Sarah Bexell United States Please accept the laws of physics and move toward a global steady state economy that will allow for a future for humans (at lower population numbers) and all other organisms.
Eric Burr United States A big asteroid impact would be less painful.
Carol Rall United States MI
Björn Lindgren Sweden The demands that climate change put on our economy, production, and lifestyle are non-negotiable. Therefore, reach an agreement accordingly.
Alex Malcolm United Kingdom It is blindingly obvious that infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet and it is time our political classes and finance elites acknowledge this and start to mitigation processes.
Ross Honniball Australia Either the economy must change or the laws of physics must change. There will be a think tank somewhere working on the laws of physics, but in the mean time we should change to a steady state economic system. Go CASSE.
Denis McCormack Australia Have posted this to Aus PM and many msm journos, see at :
Andrew Graham Australia It’s utterly as important today as it will be tomorrow when we will have to pay the price for our indulgence via the unfettered “Growth Economy.”
David Brookshier United States Regardless of where anyone stands on the climate change debate the fact is we are destroying air quality across the planet. All we have to do is look at areas like Beijing during the 2008 olympics and its attempts to control excessive smog levels.   As long as we continue to ignore excessive growth, production, and expansion as a problem we are deceiving ourselves.
Mary   Drost Australia The world is too crowded already and this idea of eternal growth must be dropped.
Janis Rossiter Australia Humankind is the greatest threat to the survival of planet earth. We refuse to regulate our population to ensure the sustainability of the planet. We are destroying natural eco-systems and wiping out whole species. because of overpopulation and bad husbanding previously fertile tracts of the world have been reduced to desert. yet we are persisting to try to farm land that is not designed for intensive farming practices in order to feed human inhabitants. It is time that world organisations called a halt to population growth & begin to repair the damge caused by the past couple of centuries to enable the world’s inhabitants to live without fear of famine & starvation.
William Dowling United Kingdom Just what the human race need to make it through to the 22nd century – otherwise we will almost certainly become extinct!
Valerie Yule Australia Growth can only be in quality, not in quantity. A steady state is possible – and essential
Ian Wood Australia Anyone with doubts about the necessity for this change should read
Daphne Baston United Kingdom Over population is the fundamental problem underlying our most difficult decisions. If we do not reduce the birth rate we shall die of starvation, war or disease. All more unpleasant than reducing the birth rate
Carol Blumenthal United Kingdom Wake up! time is running out!
Tony Jones Australia The need is to keep hammering this message until politicians begin to realise there are votesin promoting sustainability, including sensible population policy and a steady state economy. economy
Jeremy Randles United Kingdom Anyone who thinks that continual growth in a finite system is possible is either a madman or an economist.
Helen Quinton United Kingdom We must live in harmony with the resources of this planet, not continue along our current path of destruction.
Victor Villagomez United States As a software engineer I’m required to come up with creative solutions to tough problems all the time. I would get fired if all I said at work was “just restart your computer”. But how come economist keep saying the old “keep growing the economy:”. No! Stop being lazy and come up with a new and innovative solution to our economic problems.
Lucain Warwick-Haller United Kingdom Economists must start to understand that there are environmental constraints, and that quality of life, rather than perpetual GDP growth, should be the end towards which we are aiming.
Samy United Kingdom If economies keep growing…isn’t there a ceiling limit to such growths?
Lorraine Sumner United States We cannot keep net increasing by 227,000 more people per day
Maggie Hall United Kingdom It’s about time it was acknowledged that constant emphasis on “growth” just does not make sense in today’s world.
Juliet Adams New Zealand At every level of society, this truth must be explained and acted on.
Robert Bériault Canada Kenneth Boulding said it best: Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.
Sheila Morris United Kingdom We can’t continue worshipping the Great God Growth much longer. Sooner or later we will reach Trough everything!
Robert Gillespie United Kingdom Children cost money! As Iain Duncan Smith rightly pointed out.   Let’s persuade him to add ‘population policy’ to his excellent ministerial brief.
Joy Jago Australia It is obvious the human population has overshot the land’s capacity to support it, but I think the corporations, through the mass media, have too strong a grip on the consciousness of the majority of people for us to effect change…well, so far that’s been the case but here’s hoping petitions like this help those with power to “get it”.
Greta Werner Australia Economics needs to become an evidence based social science which takes evidence from the natural sciences into account. If economists keep ignoring evidence from the natural sciences and social sciences, then their claims to relevance and credibility fail.

Tell the G20: infinite economic growth on a finite planet is not possible.

The Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (NSW Chapter) invites you to support an international campaign to have the G20 set up a Working Group to address the economic issues involved in the transition that has to be made from the Growth Economy to the Steady State Economy [i]. (The G20 already has a number of Working Groups focussed on particular international issues such as Tax and Governance). We take the broad view that the constant demand for economic growth is the key driving force creating the environmental problems we have today and needs to be addressed at an international level. You are invited to send the message below to:

  • changing it appropriately, to each of the G20 Outreach Groups (pasting it into the forms available on their websites – see below):
    • Young people – Y20
    • Business – B20
    • Labour – L20
    • Think tanks and academia – T20
    • Civil Society – C20
    • Business Women – W20
  • And to the:
    • The Prime Minister
    • The Finance Minister
    • The Central Bank Governor
    • The Sherpa (See below)

Information on the G20 and how to contact outreach groups is included on the following pages of this post. If you edit the message, we ask that you preserve the expression, “Steady State Economy”. Please add to the message any organisation you are able to represent and any special qualifications that may add weight to the request. Of course we would be very appreciative if you passed on this request to other likeminded organisations and individuals. Finally, please let CASSE ( know if you make contact – so we have a record of who has been contacted.  

The Message.

There is a growing awareness within the world community that infinite economic growth on a planet of finite resources is not possible and not supportable either for Earth’s natural systems, its creatures or its human communities. 

The G20 has said it “will focus its efforts on ensuring inclusive and robust growth through collective action”.  But rather than advance unsustainable economic growth models we seek a future where the global economic system transitions from a ‘limitless growth economy’ to a Steady State Economy (SSE). Such a transition can be planned or result from some form of economic collapse and its consequent social and ecological turmoil.

“Accordingly I/We ask that the B20/C20/Y20/T20 recommends to the G20 that a working Group of leading business and finance representatives, economists, Media representatives, trade unions , environmental NGO and representative community groups be established to advise the G20 on how the transformation to a Steady State Economy might best be carried out and what international financial agreements or reforms need to be established in order that this transition is done with equity and without social and ecological turmoil”

CASSE also has a petition that you can sign at:

About the G20

The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Each year several guest countries are also invited to participate. At the G20 Leaders’ Summit commitments are laid out in the Final Communiqué, but these leaders’ commitments are decided during a long series of meetings between the different tracks of the G20, such as the sherpas (the personal representatives of the G20 leaders – they don’t have authority to make decisions but they develop agenda topics and possible agreements), finance ministers and central bank governors, and many reports commissioned from the World Bank and IMF. Each G20 country makes commitments, which they are held accountable to. The IMF monitors progress towards these commitments.

Members of G20

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union. Guest countries in 2015 are Spain, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Azerbaijan and Singapore. Each has one vote. Turkey will host the annual G20 Leaders’ Summit on November 15-16, 2015.

G20 Outreach Groups

To incorporate policy contributions from a cross-section of society, groups of non-state actors are consulted. These are:

  • Young people – Y20
  • Business – B20
  • Labour – L20
  • Think tanks and academia – T20
  • Civil Society – C20
  • Business Women – W20

Each year, the G20 chair appoints a lead coordinator for each of the five groups. The appointed coordinator then pulls together contributions from that segment of society in both G20 and non-G20 countries, with the objective of identifying policy priorities for the G20.

Young people – Y20

Y20 is the official youth engagement group of the G20 which provides a platform for young people from across the G20 countries to have their voices heard. The Y20 Turkey Summit will be held on 16-21 August 2015. There will be policy discussions and the solutions generated will be presented to the G20 leaders for consideration during their discussions. The 2015 Y20 has been organised by the Youth Commission for Diplomacy and Collaboration (YCDC), Chaired by Mr. Emre Cenker. The list of delegates is not yet available (but apparently will be published). Suggested way to contact: Via the YCDC Facebook page Also, there is an email address on this Facebook page:, The Youth Commission for Diplomacy and Collaboration can be contacted here: and Emre Cenker is on LinkedIn. When the delegates list is published we might be able to contact delegates directly.

Business – B20

The B20 contributes to the G20 on behalf of the international business community. The B20 Conference will be held from 3rd to 5th September and the B20 Summit is from 14th November to 15th November. Chair of the B20 in Turkey is Mr Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu. He is the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), which is organising the B20. The members of the executive committee are available here: The members of the B20 team are available here: The B20 Sherpa is Mr Sarp Kalkan. The Steering Committee is responsible for supervision and directing the B20 team and also providing overall quality assurance for the B20 outputs. Members of the B20 Steering Committee report to the B20 Turkey Chair. Members bios are are given here: There are four members of the Steering Committee. Three are from Turkey and the fourth is Australian Robert Milliner (B20 Sherpa for Australia in 2013 and 2014). Robert is also Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Young Australians. Suggested way to contact: Use the contact form or email address on the G20 site: Australians could write to Robert Milliner via LinkedIn (

Labour – L20

The L20 represents the interests of workers at the G20 level. It unites trade unions from G20 countries and Global Unions and is convened by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD. The Labour Summit will be held in November. The General Secretary of ITUC is Australian Sharan Burrow. Her email address is and other ITUC staff details are available here: The General Secretary of the TUAC is John Evans. He is also the ITUC Chief Economist. His email address is and other TUAC staff members are listed here: Suggested way to contact: Write to ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow ( or TUAC General Secretary John Evans (

Think tanks and academia – T20

The Think 20 is made up of representatives from Think Tanks. It is meant to be an ‘ideas bank’ for the G20. T20 conclusions are presented to G20 working groups, minister committees and leaders’ summit as policy-options, not recommendations. The Think Tanks involved are listed here: There is also a contact form for the T20 here: Suggested way to contact: Use the contact form on the T20 site ( and if any of the Think Tanks involved are in your country/region, contact them directly.

Civil society – C20

The C20 brings civil society together to influence the G20. The C20 steering committee acts as an interface with G20 decision-makers. The C20 Turkey Steering Committee is chaired by Zeynep Bodur Okyay, Vice President of the Board of IKV (Economic Development Foundation). The steering committee members are listed here: The C20 Summit will be held on 15thand 16th September 2015. Suggested way to contact: Options for participation in the discussion are given here: There is a contact form ( and a survey (

Business Women –W20

The W20 was established in 2015, with the aim of increasing the participation of women in the global economy. Suggested way to contact: Use the contact form on the W20 site:

Who are the sherpas?

Sherpas are the personal representatives of the G20 leaders. They develop agenda topics and possible agreements. There is no list of names of Sherpas but they have been photographed here: The Australian Sherpa in 2015 appears to be David Gruen. He is on LinkedIn:

Which G20 meetings are yet to be held this year?

Y20 Summit, 15-21 August, Istanbul Employment Working Group meeting, 3-4 September, Ankara G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting #3, 4-5 September, Ankara C20 Summit, 15th – 16th September Joint Labour and Finance Ministers meeting, September, Ankara L20 Summit, 13th and 14th November, Antalya B20 Summit, 14th and 15th November, Antalya G20 Summit, 15th and 16th November, Antalya [i]