Economic Growth: The Silver Lining of Climate Change?

Good Environmental Policy is Good Economic PolicyGood environmental policy equals good economic policy 100% of the time”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

As the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change winds up its first week in Bali, scientists reiterate their call for quick and decisive action as the United States remains opposed to any mandatory cuts in emissions for fear of “undermining economic growth”.

Perhaps I’m being overly simplistic, but I’ll go out on a limb here and say that nobody seeks to undermine economic growth.

Funny thing too, for it seems as if progressive policy and action will very likely do just the opposite.

The UNEP issued a press release on Thursday with preliminary research findings from a draft report, due to be released early next year, entitled Green Jobs: Can the Transition to Environmental Sustainability Spur New Kinds and Higher Levels of Employment? 

The report was commissioned in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and shows that, in quick summary, “the challenge of climate change… presents opportunities for new industries and employment”. In other words, economic growth in response to an inevitably changing world.

That is, I might add, if we don’t wait too long to realistically face the challenge.    


Tom is the founder, editor, and publisher of and the TDS Environmental Media Network. He has been a contributor for Triple Pundit since 2007. Tom has also written for Slate, Earth911, the Pepsico Foundation, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, and many other sustainability-focused publications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists