Bill Clinton once said and I quote –
We must get back in the world’s fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that (we) will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy: An economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren. It is the only way it will work.
According to the Stern Review, compiled by Sir Nicholas Stern, Former Chief Economist of the World Bank, an investment of just 1% of the world’s GDP is required to mitigate the effects of climate change. If not done so we could face a recession of up to 20% of the Global GDP.
Most countries in the world today spend atleast 5-10% of their GDP on arms, military and defense equipment – and yet we excuse ourselves saying that we do not have the funding to invest in environment policies, alternative energy or in advanced technologies for reducing carbon pollution in the air.
All we need is 1% !!!
Investing in alternative energy sources has a two-fold benefit. You can see that oil prices are increasing daily and fossil fuel reserves are depleting fast. What happens of our energy dependence then?
In coming decades, our situation will only get worse.
Alternative sources will help meet our energy demands in those times of crisis. Moreover, it helps in curbing global warming and reducing carbon content in the air. If we are to harness the power of markets and innovation, we will be able to create green products and services that will protect Planet Earth, secure our children’s future and herald a new economic growth tomorrow.
Alternative Energy becomes even cheaper with the model of ‘carbon credits‘.
Carbon credits are like any other commodity, which can be traded on stock exchanges and between people. For instance, an oil company that emits a lot of carbon content in the air has to pay ‘carbon credits‘ to organizations that work hard to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. These carbon credits serve the purpose of taxing the wrongdoers and providing incentive to organizations and people who take the initiative/undertake activities to lessen the pollution in the atmosphere.
Therefore, there is no need to worry about funding problems as far as alternative power plants goes as carbon credits are a self-generating mechanism for running tidal, wind, hydro and solar energy power plants.
According to the Kyoto Protocol signed in 1997, rich countries are supposed to adhere to climate norms and greenhouse gas emissions control, while developing countries like China, India, Brazil, South Africa and poorer countries of Africa are totally exempt from the deal.
The protocol also reaffirms the principle that rich and developed countries have to pay billions of dollars, and supply technology to other countries for climate-related studies and projects.
With the Kyoto Protocol and the recently concluded G8 summit emphasizing each country’s contribution towards mitigation process to be proportional to their share in carbon footprints, the practice of ‘going green’ is within the economic reach of all countries regardless of their being poor or rich.
We can afford ‘going green’. What we cannot afford is 1 billion of the poorest people on Earth losing their lives to desertification. We cannot afford 200 million environmental refugees to be created by 2050 as a direct result of rising sea levels, erosion and agricultural damage. We cannot afford to wait for another 182 Sub-saharn Africans to die of diseases directly attributable to climate change.
Let’s kill this ‘man-made natural disaster’ once and for all.