“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying. And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy.” (United States Senator Marco Rubio in the Miami Herald, May 2014)
Dr. Ralf Martin, the lead researcher from Imperial College Business School, said: “Our research paper shows that clean technologies are not only environmentally friendly but they have the potential to make businesses more innovative , which can lead to economic benefits, especially if support is targeted at radical clean technologies that avoid fossil fuels altogether. Clean technologies are a relatively untapped source of wealth for countries all over the world. They could have a transformative impact on the global economy in a similar way that Information and Communications technologies did.”
Experts disagree on clean technology in many ways and for many reasons. The effects on the economy are just one area of disagreement. Worldwide, we can see the creation of innovative startups offering satisfying careers. Creating jobs must have a positive effect on the economy.
In the first article in the series, there were examples of how not coming together can have serious, negative impact. Disagreement won’t get us to where we need to go. Positive results come from agreement. Collaboration, cooperation, and commitment are what we need. We can add a fourth element – COMMUNICATION.
There are examples of successful and promising economic outcomes.
EXAMPLE 1: Finland is exceeding goals for mitigating environmental impact. Collaboration, cooperation, and commitment are paving the way. Ville Niinistö, Minister of the Environment or Finland, wrote an article for Climate Action, a publication working in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, that addresses the successes both environmentally and economically. The article, “Finland – creating a low-carbon country,” shows that all the stakeholders in a country can come together to make the necessary changes. Here is information about the effects on their economy:
“This could be called the beginning of a third industrial revolution – the green revolution. Finland has a lot to offer. The cleantech sector is already growing at a fast rate thanks to advanced energy efficiency, water management and bioenergy technologies, as well as know-how in combined electricity and heat production. The economic outlook of the cleantech sector is spectacular, especially for small and medium-sized companies, and the annual growth rate of this sector has already passed that of some traditional Finnish industries. In addition, the public sector aspires to develop cleantech even further; over one-third of Finnish public research and development investments are made in environmentally-sensitive industries.
International climate regulation has now been statistically proved to be a friend of Finnish industry. There is great potential in the current negotiations – potential that could secure an economically sound outlook that respects the environment. For Finland, ‘environmentally friendly’ is the path to the future.”
To read the entire article, see http://www.climateactionprogramme.org/climate-leader-papers/finland_creating_a_low_carbon_country
EXAMPLE 2: The Global Cleantech Summit 2016 was held on March 23rd and 24th. From The Climate Groups March 3rd posting, we see evidence that the relationship between clean technology and a healthy economy is expected to be powerful. Changhua Wu, Greater China Director of The Climate Group says, China’s economic plan is focused on, “strengthening engagement between clean technology companies, investors and government to capitalize on supporting the most dynamic and game-changing projects.” Here is more from the post on the strategy, a clear example of collaboration, cooperation, commitment, and communication:
Today, clean technology and energy productivity continue to move forward – smashing records in efficiency, costs and investments. And while the powerful, rising economy is still grounded in huge consumption of coal, clean technology is one way China can curb the “serious threat” posed by climate change, especially in many of its cities where air pollution is causing thousands of deaths every year.
But for every country to scale up its climate ambitions as set out in the historic Paris Agreement last December, cooperation is crucial. And because of this, collaboration a key focus of the Global Cleantech Summit.
The Summit will convene businesses, experts, academia and government representatives, providing a collaboration platform to facilitate investments and deployment of innovative clean technologies.
“Compelling economic and environmental returns are available when the right public-private partnerships are formed and smart investments are made,” underlines Changhua Wu.
OUTLOOK: Countries and people are working together, we’re getting cleaner, jobs are being created, economic conditions are improving with collaboration, cooperation, commitment, and communication. We’re seeing that we can stop accelerating toward an unacceptable situation and head in the right direction. Doesn’t .5 by 2050 seem like a better goal than 1.5?