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Copyright (c) 2010 Pace University School of Law
Pace Environmental Law Review

ESSAY: Climate Capitalism: The Business Case for Climate Protection

Summer, 2010

Pace Environmental Law Review

27 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 735


L. Hunter Lovins*


The current economic crisis is an extremely fluid situation that could go in any of several directions. Commitments by global leaders to a green economy could turn the world around. Conversely, delay in implementing sustainable measures could deepen the current depression, now recognized as the worst since the 1930s. 1

The one thing that is clear is that business as usual will not endure and would be a recipe for disaster. Change will occur because past behaviour is no longer sufficient to deal with the very serious challenges facing the world. Businesses and industrial policy will implement the measures described in this paper or the world will face crises far exceeding what this young century has already brought. 2

The choices you make this year and next will determine whether you, your community and ultimately your country come out of the economic collapse prosperous and in a position to secure the future we want, or whether life will become an unending reaction to emergencies that relentlessly defeat our ability to cope. We've done it before. The 2030 project points out that,

during the 1970's oil crisis (an 11-year period from 1973 to 1983), this country, drawing on American determination and ingenuity, increased its real GDP by over $ 1 trillion (in year 2000 dollars) and added 30 billion square feet of new buildings and 35 million new vehicles, while decreasing total US energy consumption and CO<2> emissions. This was accomplished with increased efficiency and with cost-effective, readily ...
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