Is green the answer to economic recovery?

Debates have been ongoing if government green geared stimulus plans worldwide can really address not only the issue of climate change but help lift sinking economies.

With the current recession, isn’t it more risky to address climate change when it could cost more money for businesses?

In the video below, economist Nicholas Stern talked to consulting firm McKinsey on how we should move fast in addressing climate change and therefore help the economy as well by making green investments.

“I think that they [economic and climate crises] do come together,” said Stern. “They come together for a number of reasons. They come together because we should be understanding how we got ourselves into this difficulty in the economic crisis. It was by ignoring risk. It was by not understanding what was going on. It was by postponing action.”

Stern emphasized that the world needs to overcome the idea that the economic crisis takes precedence over the climate crisis. Both crisis, he said, can be solved with policies addressing both in a constructive way.

“There are bound to be people whose activities are threatened by these kinds of policies. Now, the answer to that is to be constructive: to help with carbon capture and storage through markets for carbon; to promote development activities which do not put such pressure on the forests; to promote the retooling of the car industry so that the less-polluting cars become cheaper to produce, and the demand for those cars starts to appear.”

Do you agree? This post from Environmental Economics doesn’t think so as it pointed out (taken from the Asheville Citizens Times article) that the growth of green jobs will reduce the number in other fields and that other parts of the country will be competing in the same field.

“If we’re getting our energy from renewable sources, then all the people that are working in those industries, they’ll benefit, but all the people working in the ‘brown’ jobs, they’re going to be hurt”

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