Merici College Green Tip #18 - Environment or Economy?

From intensive farming and deforestation to mining and the exploitation of wild animals, destructive practices that we dismiss as “business as usual” place us in ever-closer contact with animals, creating the ideal conditions for disease spillovers.

Protection of the environment is sometimes argued to come at the expense of the economy.  In fact protection of the environment and the resource base from which all production is sourced directly underpins the economy. Environmental protection also affords environmental services on which all life depends, such as clean air and water, estimated to be valued at trillions of dollars per year. 

In assessing a post COVID-19 economy, leading economists such as Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern have found that green recovery packages would offer much higher rates of return, more short-term jobs, and superior long-term cost savings than traditional fiscal stimulus. For example, building clean-energy infrastructure—a particularly labor-intensive activity—would create twice as many jobs per dollar as fossil-fuel investments.

Better for the planet and better for the economy. Win-win.

For further reading:


Felicity Maher
Sustainability Officer

return to top