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The Effects of Going Green on the Economy

By Alyssa Morse ; Updated June 13, 2017

Many people wonder what effects going green will have on the economy. According to The Harvard Business Review, going green creates new jobs and industry, but also increases the likelihood of job losses in traditional work environments.

Creation of New Jobs

One major effect that going green will have on the economy is the creation of new jobs and industries. Professor Adam Rose and postdoctoral research associate Dan Wei of USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development, along with Michigan State University professor, Steve Miller, project that the implementation of the Michigan Climate Action Plan, Michigan's ambitious plan to fight global warming, will create a net increase of 129,000 jobs, lower energy prices for state residents, and net a $25 billion gain in the gross state product by the year 2025. According to The UK Telegraph, the renewable energy industry currently employs 2.3 million people worldwide, more than the gas and oil industries combined. In addition, the level of constant innovation being achieved in the clean technology industry is helping to propel economic growth, adds The UK Telegraph.

Loss of Traditional Jobs and Industries

Critics of the movement to go green argue that going green will result in significant job loss and economic stagnation among existing profitable industries, such as gas and oil. However, proponents of the green movement argue that in the long-term, the role of the oil and gas industry will become less economically relevant as we become more dependent on renewable energy sources. In addition, the gas and oil industries have limited growth potential, according to Harvard Business Review. Columnist Andrew Winston, Harvard Business Review, says the world is unlikely to exceed the 85 million barrels of oil produced each day, making it a stagnant industry. In contrast, he argues, pursuing clean technology has greater long-term economic growth potential for the United States.

The Impact of Going Green on Your Own Economic Health

Going green doesn't just have global economic consequences—it can affect your own wallet and your local community. According to the Worldwatch Institute, you can save money by using a drying rack instead of a dryer, setting your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter, and by using energy efficient light bulbs known as compact fluorescent light bulbs. In addition, you can save money by taking shorter showers or by taking books out of the library instead of buying your own print copies. Save on gas by riding your bike or taking public transportation to work instead of the car. Lastly, you can buy local produce and dairy to support your local economy.

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