The success of many environmentally sustainable businesses makes the case for the transition to a low carbon economy. These businesses are profitable and sustainable, they create jobs and minimize their impact on the environment.
Although some try to make the case that environmental sustainability is bad for business, the truth is a strong business case can be made for sustainability. The transition to a low carbon economy offers an unprecedented stimulus that creates jobs. There are sustainable solutions that can both speed up activity in the low-carbon economy and mitigate the economic crisis.
In an interview with the Financial Times, former US President, Bill Clinton, said: “For $ 1 billion invested in a new coal plant, you get fewer than 900 jobs; for solar you got 1,900 jobs, for wind turbines 3,300 jobs and (for) retrofitting buildings 7,000 – 8,000 jobs… Here are the jobs, here is the investment. Are you really against it?’”
Environmentally sustainable solutions have proven to be hugely profitable while simultaneously protecting economies from the volatility of markets reliant on oil and other finite resources.
The success of low-carbon enterprise in the private sector offers compelling evidence for this stance.
California’s Tesla motors raised $ 226 million dollars for investors when it went public in 2010. Tesla’s goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. The company has delivered more than 2,000 Roadsters, the world’s first electric sports car, to customers worldwide. Model S, the first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, goes on the market in mid-2012.
Market forces can auger the transition towards a low-carbon economy. What is lacking is political leadership. Governments must do more to encourage investment in sustainable ventures.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.