The economic crisis and the environment

  • The economic crisis within Europe and North America will have some broadly negative impacts on the environment. With financial uncertainty, governments through to individual consumers are less likely to care about issues that they feel might not affect them for a long time if at all.
  • Austerity measures will focus consumer attention on political matters that have a direct impact on their day to day lives. The recent failures of the Kyoto Accord are a high level indication of the conflict many governments face due to mounting domestic pressure and adverse future economic uncertainty.
  • The crisis has however made consumers hyper aware of the financial implications of their day to day choices and so travel less, reduce waste of energy and consumables on a domestic and industrial level.
  • Disillusionment and financial difficulties have also fuelled the rapid growth of investment in credit unions, ethically sound co-operative banking and the UK green economy grew by 4.3% in 2010.

The crisis is projected to result in a shortfall for climate aid as the UN chief urges G20 to deliver ”green growth” as the most effective means of recovery. This is despite the recent reduction to the UK feed in tariff for solar panels that is predicted to have a negative impact on a growing sector.

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