We Need: a green Real Deal
- social equity through job creation,
- environmental sustainability through investment in green technologies, and
- financial benefit by helping the economy recover from recession.
Germany already has about 1.8 million jobs in the green sector.
The USA has similar plans under Obama’s economic recovery proposals.
The Republic of Korea has published a US$34 billion recovery package of which 80% is earmarked for green projects that should create almost a million jobs.
But we also need to see the green Real Deal as an international strategy.
Just as national economic recovery is not possible without global economic recovery, so national climate plans make no sense outside a global context.
The bottom line in our globalized economy is that enterprises have to be able to make money out of cutting emissions rather than increasing them. The central political challenge is to reorganize our economies at all levels to make sure that happens.
There is a precedent for international engagement aimed at both national and global security.
60 years ago, the USA launched its Marshall Plan to invest in Europe. This was partly to ensure that Europe’s economy recovered from the ravages of the Second World War, but also partly to underpin US national security in an emerging cold war.
Today the threat is far graver – the collapse of planetary life support systems.
But the same enlightened self-interest among national governments on a global stage can secure a Real Deal.
The good news is that fixing the climate is doable.
...enterprises have to be able to make money out of cutting emissions rather than increasing them.
It will take some serious investment, but that investment is also the key to both economic recovery and long-term sustainability, to protecting nature and our own civilization.
For too long, we have regarded nature as an enemy to be tamed and exploited, rather than a provider of life support systems that must be protected.
That thinking has reached a dead end.
By helping nature we can ultimately help ourselvesThe climate and financial crises provide the world with the opportunity to recognize that simple fact.
Climate change is a wake-up call to change our ways, but also an opportunity to create a cleaner, greener, more sustainable world.
Lives are protected, corporations make profits from cutting emissions, governments see their people better off and their national security enhanced – and our world is saved.
This is not just about polar bears.
It is also about us. Homo sapiens.
And about our survival.