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Are Environmental Actions Bad for the Economy?

by | September 5, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

This program was recorded on July 25, 2013.

Larry Goulder and Tony Juniper respond to the notion that environmental actions are bad for the economy. Goulder states that looking at the costs of environmental action in a broad sense shows that environmental actions are actually beneficial for the economy because they eliminate later repercussions. Juniper says the key is getting those doing the environmental damage to pay for the costs of their polluting.

An emerging area of economics aims to put a price on nature as a way to justify preserving it in societies dominated by the wisdom of markets. A mountain stream, for example, provides many economic benefits beyond people who own property near it or drink water from it. The same is said of bees that pollinate our food, wetlands that clean water, and trees that drink up carbon dioxide. If nature were a corporation it would be a large cap stock. Putting a precise tag on something long seen as free is a conceptual leap. However many large companies are starting to realize the extent to which their profits rely on well-operating ecosystems. An economist and sustainability professional discussed ecosystem services and the economic value of the natural world.

Larry Goulder, Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Stanford University
Tony Juniper, Associate Professor, University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership; Special Advisor to The Prince of Wales International Sustainability Unit

– Danielle Torrent

Photo by: Sonya Abrams
Commonwealth Club of California
July 25, 2013

Listen to Podcast (7/25/13)
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