Philip Sutton's biographical note
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Summary: Philip Sutton is the Manager and Strategist for RSTI (Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation), a non-profit organisation that engages in strategy development and engagement to catalyse the urgent initiation of a full scale transition to a sustainable economy. Philip is currently leading RSTI's climate emergency program. Philip co-authored the book "Climate Code Red", which puts forward a case for emergency action on climate change. Philip was the architect of the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act passed in Victoria in 1988.

Philip Sutton is Manager and Strategist of RSTI (Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation) (since 2011). Philip's work is focused on strategies for very rapidly restoring a pre-warming safe climate through a climate emergency response animed at maximum protection.

Philip has played a leading role in the international campaign that has resulted in over 1000 governments (councils and national and sub-national governments in 28 countries) declaring a climate emergency. (See http://bit.ly/ce-governments for the latest figures.)

Philip was a member from April 2018 to March 2020, of Climate Emergency Darebin, an advisory committee assisting Darebin City Council with its climate emergency action program.

In 2017, Philip co-developed with Sarah Brugler of Environmental Justice Australia, the Safe Climate Transition (No More Bad Investment) Model Act. This state/territory government-level model Act is designed to enable the first stage of a rapid transition to a safe climate economy by preventing the creation of additional or replacement activities that are likely to have adverse impacts on the achievement a safe climate economy. Philip worked with Margaret Hender of Cedamia to develop a campaign to press for the adotion of this Act across Australia's states and territories. See: https://www.cedamia.org/no-more-bad-investments/

In 2016 Philip wrote the Climate Emergency (Restructuring and Mobilisation) model Act.

In 2008, Philip co-authored, with David Spratt, the book Climate Code Red: The case for emergency action.

Philip was the architect of the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee legislation passed in 1988. He also worked on the Victorian Government Energy Strategy (1982-3) and the Victorian State Conservation Strategy (1983-4). He worked for a year in 1991 in the Victorian Office of the Environment to develop strategies for achieving a successful green economy.


Philip has been a member of: the following government advisory committees:

Since 2014 has been a member of the Breakthrough management team, and in 2015 authored the Breakthrough paper StrikingTargets.

In 2013 was a founding member for Save the Planet and was a candidate in the national seat of Batman in 2013 and 2016.

From 2009 – 2015 was a member of the Council of the Australian Conservation Foundation; was also a Councillor from 1973-1976.

From 2009 – 2013 was a member of the Guiding Team of the Transition Decade Alliance

From 2009 – 2013 was a Board Member of Safe Climate Australia; was a co-founder.

From 2009 – 2011 was Convenor of the Climate Emergency Network (CEN). From June 2008 – September 2009 Philip was Assistant-Convenor. Was a co-founder of CEN in 2008.

In 2008 lectured on Global Warming Science and its Implications in the MSCP Evening School program (attached to the University of Melbourne)

From 2004 – 2008 Philip was President of the Sustainable Living Foundation. He was a member of the SLF Strategy Collective from 2005 – 2009).

In 2007 Philip taught a Masters level subject at RMIT University on Strategies for Sustainability.

In 2006-2005 Philip was a conference speaker and trainer for the UNESCAP*/Seoul Initiative on Green Growth.  The program was aimed at the theory and policy frameworks needed to transform economic growth in Asia so that it is truly ecologically sustainable (* United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific).

Philip was for several years (~2004-2000) a member of the editorial board of the UK-based journal Greener Management International.

In late 2003 Philip developed the idea of the Race to Sustainability.

From 2001-2003 Philip was the President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics (ANZSEE).

Philip was selected in 1991 by the Age Newspaper/Melbourne University Politics Department 'Agenda Project' as being one of the twenty most influential people in Victoria in the environmental policy arena.

Philip has written on sustainability-orientated environmental management systems, economic development strategies, economic growth, ecotaxation, industry policy for the timber and plastics industries and energy and urban policy. He initiated the Greenleap email list in 1997 and has been the manager of the list since that time.

In 1980 Philip published “Victoria's nuclear countdown: State Government plans for a nuclear Victoria”. This book kick-started the campaign that led to the banning of nuclear power in Victoria.

Philip has developed a number of innovative management and economic concepts, including:

Information on these ideas can be found in the papers listed on the Green Innovations website.


Author: Philip Sutton
Content updated: 2 April 2020
Format updated: 24 August 2012
First posted: 1997
Feedback & Enquiries: Philip.Sutton@green-innovations.asn.au