By: Lexi Prochniak and Julia Jane Duggan
Though a growing economy is usually a sign of productivity and prosperity, it does come with a cost. As the economy has grown and evolved, the use of greenhouse gases has increased significantly as well. There is undoubtedly a positive correlation between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. One of the biggest concerns regarding today’s global climate is the impact of fossil-fuel consumption on the environment. The byproduct of utilizing coal and oil is the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which has polluted the Earth and increased the greenhouse effect. As a result, the planet’s temperature has been rising at a constant rate, affecting many things from rising sea levels to agricultural disruptions. These issues have created speculation about whether or not long-run economic growth can continue while decreasing the use of greenhouse gases. Most economists think this is possible, but not without government intervention and protection on the environment.
Developing countries play a large role in the issue of climate change. As underdeveloped countries become more advanced, their use of greenhouse gasses will inevitably increase. However, if a commitment to environmentally friendly policies is made as these countries develop, detrimental effects to the environment could be greatly lessened. Not only could emissions and energy use be reduced, but jobs could be created in environmental fields, boosting the economy. Though this sounds like an ideal step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is a great lack of funding needed for these types of projects, as seen in the figure below. Due to the potential benefits of implementing these, a concerted effort should be made to finance the implementation of environmentally friendly technologies and policies.