CSIRO has worked with over 20 organisations on a new landmark report projecting Australia’s future to 2060.

The Australian National Outlook 2019 (ANO) predicts what would happen depending on what action is taken on significant economic, social and environmental challenges.

If these challenges are tackled head on, the experts say Australia could look forward to strong economic growth, ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, affordable energy, and more liveable major cities.

ANO 2019 draws on the latest scientific data and modelling from leading experts at CSIRO and input from more than 50 senior leaders from across industry, non-profit and university sectors.

“The ANO is a unique way of uniting the power of science with the lived and hoped-for experiences of Australia’s industry leaders and chart a path to prosperity that gives all Australians a better quality of life,” CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said.

“To put Australia on the path to the most prosperous future though requires a new way of thinking and a new type of leadership which cuts across all walks of life in our great country.”

The report says inaction would lead to a ‘Slow Decline’ scenario, while Australia could alternately set itself up for a positive ‘Outlook Vision’.

The key shifts needed to achieve the Outlook Vision include:

  • Industry shift - Boost productivity in established industries, prepare our workforce for jobs of the future, and invest in innovative, high-growth industries
  • Urban shift -Increase the density of our major cities, create a wider mix of housing options, and improve our transportation infrastructure
  • Energy shift - Adopt low-emissions technologies in electricity and transport, triple energy productivity, and pursue opportunities for low-emissions energy export
  • Land shift - Invest in food and fibre industries, find new and profitable ways to use our land, and build resilience to climate change
  • Culture shift - Restore the trust in institutions, companies and politics

The report was led by the CSIRO Futures team and included over 20 researchers from across nearly every part of CSIRO.

Other participants include Australian Ethical, Australian National University, Australia Post, Australian Red Cross, ASX, Australian Unity, Baker McKenzie, Birchip Cropping Group, ClimateWorks Australia, Cochlear, CSIRO, Gilbert+Tobin, Global Access Partners, GrainCorp, Lendlease,  Monash University, National Australia Bank, PwC, Shared Value Project, Shell Australia, UnitingCare Australia, and University of Technology Sydney.

To help solve the challenges raised in the report, these participants say they will shortly announce commitments to support the ‘Outlook Vision’.