INET Oxford's Research Themes

Economics of Sustainability


The world needs a new model of economic growth that enables humanity to prosper within planetary boundaries. The current model of growth, with its origins in the Industrial Revolution, produced a massive increase in human wealth and well-being during the 19th and 20th centuries. But in the early 21st century it has become increasingly clear that this model is environmentally unsustainable, insufficiently equitable, and inadequately robust. The goal of INET Oxford's work on sustainability is to develop insights that can help lead us to a new economic model that enables humankind to prosper within the "safe operating space" of our planet's physical and ecological systems.

The programme will address three fundamental questions:

  1. Vision: What are the essential features of a new model of economic growth that is environmentally and financially sustainable, and resilient to future shocks?
  2. Transition: What government policies and business strategies are required to transition to such a new model of growth?
  3. Metrics: What are the most important metrics of wealth and prosperity, along with metrics of the key planetary limits, that we will need to guide such a transition?

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