Philip Sutton

Phillip Sutton, author of Climate Code Red
Phillip Sutton, author of Climate Code Red

Philip Sutton (born 1951) is co-author of the 2008 climate change book Climate Code Red, and an environmental and political activist in Australia. He was the Convenor of the Greenleap Strategic Institute and Assistant Convenor of the Climate Emergency Network[1].

Current work

Philip Sutton’s work currently focusses on the development of strategies for very rapidly achieving an ecologically sustainable economy, in particular a safe climate economy. Of special interest are the ideas of:

  • (a) rapid mobilisation of the economy through carefully structured crash programs,
  • (b) programs of fundamental innovation, and
  • (c) the idea of formally defining a state of “sustainability emergency”.

Philip is also working on a social engagement processes of “saturation mobilisation”. These new interests complement earlier work on the management of sustainability-promoting organisations and sustainability-orientated environmental management systems.

Inspired by Al Gore’s Challenge to America, announced on 17th July 2008, to commit to achieve a 100% transformation of the electricity sector to zero greenhouse gas emissions technology within 10 years[2], Philip Sutton is now working with other Australian environmental activists to mobilise Australia to make a 100% transition to a safe climate economy within 10 years.

Previous work

In 1978 Philip Sutton was one of six co-authors, under the inspirational leadership of Maurie Crow[3], of Seeds for Change: Creatively confronting the energy crisis, a 500 page book that described an approach to urban planning that would enable a major reduction in energy use. This book was a pioneer of the cluster and connect model for land use design. The work was contemporaneous with and highly compatible with that of urban planner, Professor Peter Newman (Environmental scientist).

Philip Sutton now believes that the work on city design by Californian, Richard Register, author of Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature (2006)[4], significantly advances the work begun by the Seeds for Change team in 1978.

Philip Sutton was the author, in 1980, of a short book Victoria’s Nuclear Countdown: State Government plans for a nuclear Victoria by the Community Energy Network. The publication of the book led to the creation of the “Nuclear Free Victoria” campaign and that in turn led to the passage of a 1983 Act of Parliament that banned the use of nuclear power for energy generation purposes[5].

Philip Sutton was the architect of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 that was passed by the Parliament of VictoriaAustralia[6].

In 2004, Philip prepared a substantial paper for the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability setting out an approach to the characterisation or definition of environmental sustainability[7].

In 2005, Philip wrote a paper entitled Dual-track management for driving the achievement of sustainability which developed a method for managing current pressures on organisations while simultaneously consciously addressing the need for major transformational change to achieve sustainability[8].


  1. Climate Emergency Network
  2. Al Gore’s Challenge to America to repower in 10 years
  3. The Crow Collection
  4. Ecocity Builders
  5. Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983
  6. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
  7. A Perspective on Environmental Sustainability
  8. [7] Dual-track management paper

External links