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Sustainability

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The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s climate “hot spots” — vulnerable to rising seas, storms and erosion. Phalinn Ooi/Flickr

Cities could be the secret to fighting climate change

The world’s population could reach almost 10 billion by 2050. Most people will live in cities. To accommodate an additional 3 billion people, we’ll need to build the equivalent of one new city, that can…
Hidden costs of campus life. University of Exeter

Plug the university finance gap by turning teaching greener

As students take to the streets calling for free higher education, a spotlight is being shone again on the sustainability of England’s higher education system. While much of the debate centres around financial…
The scheme aims to make buildings with high energy-efficiency ratings, like this one in Canberra, attractive to potential buyers and renters. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Green building scheme review adds yet more policy uncertainty

Australia’s policies to cut greenhouse emissions have been shrouded in uncertainty over the past few months. The contentious Renewable Energy Target review and the swapping of the carbon price for Direct…
Who needs a big garden when you’ve got this? The Tiny Abode Co.

Move over, McMansions – the tiny house movement is here

A small group of people is gathered around a campfire in a Victorian State Forest. Members of the Tiny Houses Australia community, they’re attending a Spring Camp to talk about how to build a tiny house…
The Earth is finite - so are there limits to growth? NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr

Why uncontrolled climate change may be an ultimate limit to growth

“But who do you think’s right, Prof? The optimists or the pessimists?” At the end of my sustainability economics course in 2007, students were challenging me to end 20 years of professional fence-sitting…
It should be possible to enjoy your holiday and give the planet a break. lazyllama/Shutterstock

Can you be a sustainable tourist without giving up flying?

Australians love to travel. About 9 million Australians travelled overseas last year, 60% of them on holiday. For most tourists, sustainable development and climate change were probably not high on their…
Australian resources are fueling Asia’s development, but the next challenge is to make that sustainable. EPA/Bagus Indahono

Can ASEAN become the global champion of sustainable growth?

If measured by political will and rhetoric, Australia’s relationship with Southeast Asia would undeniably be in fine shape. Prime ministers as diverse as Paul Keating, Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard have…
The Sustainable Development Goals will aim to tackle pollution as well as poverty. Alex Proimos/Wikimedia Commons

Will 2015 be the year the world agrees how to live sustainably?

Next year will be critical in environmental diplomacy. World governments will be negotiating important global agreements in two areas that will have a major impact on our well-being in coming decades…
A new benchmark to measure the economic response to climate change. Mario Sánchez Prada

Bringing the long game into climate change economics

The UK government’s senior adviser on science has made an entirely sensible call for researchers and policy makers to move the climate change debate towards workable strategies and solutions. The trouble…
Not all that which is greening is green. André Künzelmann/UFZ

The ‘greening’ of Europe’s farms has been a failure

The European policies designed to encourage a more biodiverse environment that is better able to support wildlife and plants are failing. In fact, our analysis of the reforms designed to “green” the EU…
What goes around: repair cafés aim to embrace the so-called ‘circular economy’ of making stuff last longer. Jade Herriman

‘Repair cafés’ are about fixing things – including the economy

Imagine your smartphone’s screen gets smashed, or your bike wheel gets buckled, or your favourite boots get a hole in them. What do you do? You could buy a replacement. Or you could join the worldwide…
You’re better off catching the bus than the train of you want to reduce your energy footprint. John Ward/Flickr

Which transport is the fairest of them all?

How did you get to where you need to be today? Car, bike, public transport, or perhaps walking? Transport is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, globally and in Australia. The latest…
Our cities are growing; we must rise to the challenge. Erwin Soo

Ten themes that will help build cities designed for people

Ten themes shape the dilemmas, challenges and opportunities for the 21st-century city. Each relates to how we live and shape our places. The tradition of urban living, of urbanity, focuses both on the…

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