Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Green Economy is an Undervalued Opportunity

Independent of the climate and environmental benefits, the economic potential of the green economy is staggering. The sheer scale of  the opportunity warrants more attention from heads of government, investors and the general public.

As quoted by the Guardian, Nick Austin, director of agricultural development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said, "We recognize that adaptation has been a vastly under-invested opportunity, [there is] an upside in economic opportunities for resilience to climate change."

More than a dozen years ago the Stern review anticipated this opportunity. The report noted that climate action will, "create significant business opportunities, as new markets are created in low-carbon energy technologies and other low-carbon goods and services. These markets could grow to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and employment in these sectors will expand accordingly.

In fact more than a dozen studies have come to similar conclusions. We have already seen a major uptick in economic activity associated with the Paris Accord. Miguel Arias Cañete, commissioner for climate action and energy for the EU, said that the agreement reached at COP21 has resulted in increased investment in climate action. Cañete said the deal will, create new jobs, reduce poverty, improve health and give developing nations more access to technology.

As reported by Environmental Leader, a United Nations Development Program study indicated that if the goals of the Paris accord are achieved, job growth would escalate and economic growth would be 10 percent, or $12 trillion greater by 2030.

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