Daniel O’Neill

Associate Professor in Environmental and Ecological Economics, University of Leeds

Daniel O’Neill

Daniel is an Associate Professor in Environmental and Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds, and the current leader of the Economics and Policy for Sustainability Research Group. His research focuses on the changes that would be needed to achieve a sustainable economy within planetary boundaries, and the relationships between resource use and human well-being.

One of the ideas he has explored in depth is the concept of a “steady-state economy”. Simply put, this is an economy where resource use and waste emissions are stabilised, and kept within ecological limits. Stabilising resource use may have important consequences for national economies, and Daniel investigates how to manage these in his work.

He is co-author (with Rob Dietz) of the book Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources, which has been made into a short film. Daniel has developed a system of national indicators to measure how close countries are to a steady-state economy, and what proximity to such an economy means for their social performance.


Before joining the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, Daniel was the Planning Analyst for the Capital Regional District in the city of Victoria, Canada.  His work included the implementation and monitoring of the city’s Regional Growth Strategy.  Before this, Daniel worked in the private sector for an energy services company designing systems to help commercial buildings reduce their energy use.  Daniel holds a Ph.D. in ecological economics from the University of Leeds, and a master of environmental studies degree from Dalhousie University.

Research Interests

Macroeconomics of sustainability

Environmental, social, and economic indicators

Relationships between resource use and human well-being

Steady-state economics and degrowth

Monetary and employment policy