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Environment reshaping world economy


More lovely, lovely raw data on just how much environmental considerations are affecting businesses of all stripes. Have a guess. Go on. Think of a number… is it $100 billion? That’s how much the Worldwatch Institute reckons.

“Once regarded as irrelevant to economic activity, environmental problems are drastically rewriting the rules for business, investors, and consumers, affecting over $100 billion in annual capital flows,” say project co-directors Gary Gardner and Thomas Prugh.

The report describes a host of new economic opportunities that are attracting capital. An estimated $52 billion was invested in renewable energy in 2006, up 33 percent from 2005. Preliminary estimates indicate that the figure reached $66 billion in 2007. Carbon trading is growing even more explosively, reaching an estimated $30 billion in 2006, nearly triple the amount traded in 2005.

And there more. It looks like this:

State of the World 2008 cites two major economic modeling studies that find that the damage from global climate change could equal as much as 8 percent of global economic output by the end of this century. Citing World Bank data, the report also notes that some 39 countries experienced a decline of 5 percent or more in wealth when accounting measures also included factors such as unsustainable forest harvesting, depletion of non-renewable resources, and damage from carbon emissions. For 10 countries, the decline ranged from 25 to 60 percent.

1 Comment

  • HelenHopper
    Posted January 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Talk about adding to hangover guilt! The attempted destruction of a species on your conscience as well… go directly to hangover purgatory.

    I suppose that as humans are affecting the growth/health of coral reefs as well, by having a human destroy a coral reef predator you’re sort of cancelling out some coral debt?? Yes, it’s carbon trading for species… sounds like a slippery slope to me!

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