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!

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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7 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Gabor

    Sure, there is a conflict! But worth mentioning, that studies show that making stuff greener does not result is less pollution, but instead it results more consumption and with that we end up with even more pollution. We would need to move away from the “consume more” dogma first. Make product more sustainable, maintainable so we don’t have to get a new item of everything a lot sooner, than it would make sense. Sure it means a decrease in sales, and that is the conflicting point. The economy is built in a way that it is either showing a positive or a negative trend, and companies will do anything it takes to keep the trend positive.

  2. avatar
    Prodan

    Or better since the biggest poluters are in southeastern Asia we stop trading with them until they fix polution. Read a study a couple of months ago that Thailand and China are the biggest poluters in the world compared to other countries

  3. avatar
    Erika

    Yes and to change this needs a whole new approach to consumerism and the products offered.Less waste and recycling is a good starting point and can be applied immediately to f.ex. textile industry.There is a new designer who creates fashion from recycled or rest materials…and there is so many new ideas out there.Of course one of the most important points is the overproduction of meat and the insane deforestation happening presently.Alternative products can bring a solution without making consumerism suffer…f.ex. new product can be created from recycled plastic
    pollution in the oceans.All it requires is a change of attitude from governments and global players. It is extremely urgent as we can not eat money if we do not have clean water or air.

  4. avatar
    Franck

    There is already a conflict between finance and (real) economy, so there will be an even greater conflict between finance and green economy, for sure.

  5. avatar
    Jevgeni

    Unfortunately, so. Profits over clean environment. And “green” and “sustainable” (whatever this word means) is actually not always good for environment.

  6. avatar
    Adrian

    There can be no “green” or “sustainable” under capitalism.
    And that’s a FACT. Always has been and always will.

    No EVs, no Elon Musk and bullshit “EU directive” will change that.

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