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Green Recovery: Green Industries, Green Jobs and Global Economic Crisis Essay


Introduction

A green economy is one that focuses on utilizing resources that are less costly, more readily available and less harmful to the environment. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), a green economy entails enhancing energy efficiency in new and old buildings, use of renewable energy technology, and sustainable agricultural and transport technologies among others.

There has been a lot of debate on whether the idea of using green industries to deal with current economic problems is a viable one. This paper is going to look at the ways in which green industries and green jobs can solve the current global economic crisis.

Discussion

If properly implemented, the green recovery program can help deal with the global economic crisis that exists today. One of the biggest problems caused by the global economic crisis is unemployment.

By creation of green industries, the unemployed and the underemployed will be able to earn a living. The benefits of a working economy are many and beneficial to the whole economy.

New industries need to be created to cater for the large number of learned people who are not in a position to secure employment in other sectors. When majority of citizens are in employment, a county is in a position to get more revenue through taxes and is therefore able to invest in projects that might ensure that such economies are not affected by future economic downturns.

The whole set of green industries make the economy to be more competitive and sustainable. As the green economy shifts from the use of capital intensive energy which leads to pollution to more labor intensive energy which is clean, many lives are saved.

Most non green pollutants are a cause of disease and deaths and if they were to be avoided, the labor force would be more productive. Employees would spend less time in hospital and the government would divert some of the government expenditure in the health sector to other more productive sectors such as agriculture.

This would therefore play a part in dealing with the global economic crisis. As a nation moves into a green economy, it requires professionals to create and install new power plants.

The employment of such people would further reduce the problem of unemployment caused by the economic crisis. An example is in the auto industry. Many auto workers would get employed to manufacture new fleets of fuel efficient vehicles (Milani 2000, 51).

The green recovery program, if well implemented will lead to a fall in poverty levels. People who need jobs will have the opportunity to rebuild their careers.

There will be more jobs distributed in different sectors of the economy and therefore job seekers will have more options. Because of reduced cost of energy, which translates to a fall in the cost of production, industries will be more profitable.

Employers will therefore have more money at their disposal and they will be able to adequately remunerate their employees. People will be able to earn at least 16 dollars per hour. With an increased disposable income, the standards of living and productivity of workers are likely to go up (Winston 2009, 153).

Through the green recovery program, it will be possible to restore jobs. The main beneficiaries of this will be the construction and manufacturing industries that were largely affected by the housing bubble.

The shift to a green economy will reduce the amount of resources spent on energy. Industrial processes and businesses will benefit from renewable energy sources and therefore run more smoothly and at lower energy cost per unit of energy consumed. The overall effect of the reduction in cost of energy will be improved productivity and profitability (Makower 2009, 119).

Clean and less polluted regions attract more investors since very few people, if any, would wish to invest in polluted areas that might put their health at risk.

The use of green energy which reduces the amount of pollution and keeps cities clean is therefore likely to attract foreign investment. Such injections into an economy are necessary in dealing with economic problems.

A new market would be created by the green economy. For instance, if one country has the potential to produce more eco friendly vehicles, it may sell them in the international market especially in those countries that do not have the ability to produce.

Many consumers would be willing to embrace the new technology thereby creating sufficient demand. Through the multiplier effect, countries that embrace a green economy are bound to benefit financially.

Taxes paid by the working class as well as investment by both foreign and local investors have a multiplier effect. The overall benefit to the economy is therefore greater than the actual amount invested or tax paid. With the current problem of global warming, if no immediate measures are taken, a time will come when governments will have to do something about it.

If they wait for the climatic condition to deteriorate further, they will be forced to invest more in corrective measures which will lead to greater economic problems. It is therefore more economical to put in place preventive measure currently rather than wait for the condition to worsen (Barbier 2010, 11).

As long as over dependence on oil continues, the economic problems being experienced will continue to persist. Its limited supply and increased demand automatically leads to an increase in oil prices.

This increase is followed by an increase in the cost of living as almost all other commodity prices are influenced by the price of oil. People are not in a position to provide for all their basic needs since the increase in prices of oil and other products is not followed by an increase in income (Podesta 2008). Citizens experience a vicious cycle of poverty.

Workers are not well fed because of the limited income and this affects their productivity. The overall gross domestic product declines and governments are not in a position to provide for their citizens.

Through a green economy, other forms of energy will be introduced thereby reducing people’s dependence on oil. When oil prices therefore rise, people will have other alternative sources of energy which are more affordable. When there are other sources of energy, oil prices will remain law due to elasticity of demand.

Organizations will also benefit because they will not have to lay off workers in an attempt to lower their cost of production. Gross National Product will increase and the economic crisis will have reduced (Pearce 1989, 23).

Through the green recovery program, less will be spent on imports. Currently, approximately 22% of household expenditure in the Unites Stated is spent on imports.

Through a green recovery program, local infrastructure will be reconstructed such that more resources will be retained in the local economy. A fall in the amount of imports will mean that there is more money circulating within the economy. If properly implemented, the amount of imports will fall to about 9%of the total purchases (Milani 2000, 51).

The investment on energy will eventually ensure that the money spent on such investment repays itself. Both private and public investment on more efficient energy will lower the demand for such energy.

Through the forces of demand and supply, the prices will eventually fall and institutions will be spending much less on energy bills in the long term. If learning institutions pay less for energy, it means they will have more resources to invest in scholarships, books and other relevant expenditure.

When the cost of energy in health facilities falls, there will be more money available for investment in better health care facilities. An investment in more appropriate and advanced medical technology will imply that patients will be taken care of more adequately and at a lower cost. This will cause them to be more productive at work.

The same case will apply to private investors. If businesses require less money for energy, private investors will have more money to save. Lower cost of energy in residential buildings will leave consumers with more to invest and save and in turn raise their standards of living and quality of life (Chandavarkar 2008, 102).

Social equity will be achieved through the introduction of a low carbon economy. The escalating cost of energy has a higher impact on the low income consumers than the middle and upper classes.

If the energy prices are lowered, the burden on the poor will reduce. The gap between the rich and the poor will also decline and so will the social divide. Developing nations will also benefit from the low cost power generating technology. For example, there exist about 100,000 Indian villages that do not have electricity.

If there is introduction of more accessible and affordable sources of electricity such as the use of solar power, such villages will be able to enjoy the benefits of electrification such as establishment of industries.

When such developing countries become self reliant, less money will be spent by developed ones in terms of grants to the developing ones (Change 2008, 154).

The development of green industries will lead to a reduction of carbon and therefore advancement of the agricultural sector. Better soil tillage due to reduced carbon level will enable farmers to harvest more per unit of land.

An increase in agricultural productivity will discourage rural urban migration and more people will be willing to move to rural areas and take part in agriculture.

This will further reduce the problem of unemployment and crime in urban areas; it will also de-congest cities and make them more productive. Increased agricultural productivity creates food security and therefore nations will spend less on importation of food. In case there is excess food production, the surplus can be exported thereby generating more revenue.

The poor in rural regions of the world have a lot to benefit from the bio fuel industries. Although there has been controversy over the use of bio fuel, there is a wide range of benefits that it provides (Henderson 2006, 26).

There is a positive impact of a green economy to future generations. If currently people are in a position where they can adequately save and invest, the future generations will have resources at their disposal that will be able to cushion them.

This means that the risk of them falling into another economic crisis in future will be minimized thereby giving them a competitive edge. It will finally be possible to talk of sustainable economic development.

The impact of environmental degradation that is taking place currently will be felt in the future and it is therefore important to protect future generations by taking care of the environment (Winston 2009, 152). Biodiversity is in itself a source of income.

Unless green industries are established, the biodiversity will continue to be negatively affected more so by the climatic conditions. Green house gasses are among the leading factors affecting this biodiversity and there is need to have green industries which will help tackle this problem.

Tourism which is an important source of revenue continues to be affected by global warming. As biodiversity gets eliminated, tourists have no reason to visit.

This has led to loss of jobs in the tourism sector and also loss of government revenue. If these green industries are established, there will be a lot of economic benefit resulting from biodiversity in general. This will help in dealing with the current economic crisis (Jacobs 1991, 86).

As people move into urban areas in search of employment, a problem of urban excess is created. People have to clear forests in search of space for more housing and industrial construction which also affects biodiversity.

As trees are cut down, there is the risk of water shortage as water catchment areas become exposed. This forces the governments to spend some of the scarce resources in trying to provide water for their citizens. This situation can be avoided by creation of green industries which are likely to reduce rural urban migration (Jacobs 1991, 86).

Other economic effects of global warming include the spread of disease which forces governments and individuals to spend more money on medication. It has been difficult to eradicate some diseases such as malaria due to global warming.

Insects migrate from northern countries when such countries warm therefore spreading disease. As waters warm, the risk of disaster such as hurricanes increases and therefore some of the limited government revenue has to be set aside to deal with such disaster and to carry out reconstruction in affected areas.

As global warming occurs, some regions become wet while others dry up. The dry regions experience drought and food shortage and they have to depend of donor food aid.

The worst affected areas by the drought are Africa. African countries are therefore not able to develop themselves economically because they have to spend most of their revenue on food imports.

Because of water shortage which is as a result of global warming, conflict arises as different regions fight for the scarce commodity. As they do this, most of the more productive activities are halted and overall economic productivity declines.

Every effort to reduce the risk of such conflicts should be put in place and one of the most viable methods is the creation of green industries which will facilitate the protection of available resources.

Global warming also affects agricultural productivity as it affects the soil. It also leads to soil erosion as forests get cleared. Farmers are therefore not in a position to enjoy the full benefit of their work.

This leads to food insecurity and many farmers opt to use other means to earn income. They therefore leave rural areas for towns leading to a problem of overcrowding in such urban centers.

Since the job market in the urban areas is not able to accommodate all those who are not in employment, crime rate increases. National resources therefore have to be invested in rehabilitation and correctional facilities instead of being used to deal with the current economic crisis. (Thomas 2003, 45)

Conclusion

It is therefore clear that a green economy might be the only viable and long lasting solution to the economic crisis. It will not only create new jobs but also new industries that will ensure that at any single time, the thousands of graduates completing their studies are able to secure employment.

It will give people better jobs with adequate pay to cater for basic needs. Countries that embrace the green recovery program will the able to become self reliant and therefore spend a very low amount of their revenue on imports.

They will also be able to collect more money through taxes. The reduction of the gap between the rich and the poor will facilitate economic development since all people will be willing to work together without any enmity.

It is therefore an investment worth undertaking for the benefit of individuals, businesses, the environment as well as governments. Policies that encourage growth of a green economy should be implemented before the economic crisis worsens.

A cost benefit analysis should be able to show that the long term benefits of a green economy are much greater that the initial cost of implementation.

Reference List

Barbier, Edward. A global green new deal : rethinking the economic recovery. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Chandavarkar, Nikhil. Building the green economy : a guide to the practice of sustainable development. New York: Thergon Books, 2008.

Change, Committee. Building a low-carbon economy the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change. London: Stationery Office, 2008.

Henderson, Hazel. Ethical markets: growing the green economy. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Pub. Co, 2006.

Jacobs, Michael. The green economy: environment, sustainable development, and the politics of the future. London Concord, Mass: Pluto Press, 1991.

Makower, Joel. Strategies for the green economy: opportunities and challenges in the new world of business. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009

Milani, Brian. Designing the green economy : the postindustrial alternative to corporate globalization. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000.

Pearce, David. Blueprint for a green economy. London: Earthscan, 1989.

Podesta, John. 2008. Green Recovery. Sept 9,

Thomas, Jennifer. Spanish for the green industry. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 2003. Winston, Andrew. Green recovery: get lean, get smart, and emerge from the downturn on top. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press, 2009.

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IvyPanda. (2019, March 25). Green Recovery: Green Industries, Green Jobs and Global Economic Crisis. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/green-recovery/

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IvyPanda. "Green Recovery: Green Industries, Green Jobs and Global Economic Crisis." March 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/green-recovery/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Green Recovery: Green Industries, Green Jobs and Global Economic Crisis." March 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/green-recovery/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Green Recovery: Green Industries, Green Jobs and Global Economic Crisis'. 25 March.

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