Making Economic Development and Job Creation Drivers of Serious Action on Climate Change and Environmental Protection
7 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 30, 2017
One of the most longstanding narratives in environmental law and politics is the alleged necessity of choosing between development and environment. The narrative, based on conventional development, has a built-in zero-sum game — development or environment. A competing narrative, which has been slowly gaining supporters over several decades, is built on the idea of sustainable development — development and environment. The conflict between these narratives goes to the heart of the divide on environmental policy between the national Republican Party (which tends to embrace conventional development) and the national Democratic Party (which, without a lot of fanfare, has tended to embrace sustainable development). The recent election of Donald Trump to the presidency puts this conflict in stark perspective.
This essay, which is part of the ongoing work of the Environmental Law Collaborative, argues that the real choice is not between development and the environment. The real choice is between conventional development and sustainable development. It also argues that protecting the environment and avoiding the worst effects of climate change require use of the sustainable development framework to give a higher priority to economic development and job creation.
Keywords: zero sum game, sustainable development, climate change, environmental protection, Donald Trump
JEL Classification: K00, K19, K32, O1, O2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation