Can green policies boost Europe’s economy? There seems to be a feeling that going ‘green’ inevitably means hamstringing business and industry while developing countries belch out pollution and gain a competitive advantage. Outgoing US President Trump, for example, has misleadingly labelled climate change a “very, very expensive form of tax” and said green policies benefit China because “they burn everything you could burn; they couldn’t care less… they can undercut us on price.” Why are so many politicians wedded to the idea that older, more polluting, less efficient industries are somehow better for the economy?
What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Dionis, who is worried that a green recovery might disadvantage Europe economically compared to other regions of the world.
To get a response, we put Dionis’ comment to Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). What would she say to Dionis?
We also had a comment from Martijn making a similar argument: “What’s the point [in a European green recovery]?! China and USA will never do same, so Europe is just weakening its own economy.”
To get a sense what the corporate world thinks of this question, we put Martijn’s comment to Balaji Ganapathy, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Tata Consultancy Services, a multinational company that helps businesses with digital transformation and innovation. How would he respond?
Next up, we had a comment from Jana arguing that mainstream economists have finally abandoned the “myth” that sustainability and the economy are mutually exclusive. Is Jana right?
To get a response, we put Jana’s comment to Manfred Mühlberger, Chairman of the Board of Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation. What would he say?
Finally, how would Balaji Ganapathy from Tata Consultancy Services reply?
Is there a conflict between the economy and the environment? Would a green economic recovery weaken Europe’s economy compared to China and the USA? Do economists still believe that sustainability and the economy are mutually exclusive? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!