Yes. I believe the sector of the US economy that involves environmental compliance, green energy and sustainability will increase greatly over the next few years and decades, possibly more quickly than any other sector. It’s already happening and has been for quite some time. When you hear the term “green economy” what most often comes to mind is flashy stuff like futuristic-looking solar power plants, wind turbines or electric plug-in cars. Sure, those sectors are growing, but there are other parts of the “green economy” too that you may not think of–for instance, environmental lawyers. The practice of law regarding environmental issues, particularly compliance with environmental laws and clean-up of private commercia properties, has exploded since 1980 and continues to increase. If you have a degree in sustainable forestry practices, I can think of several governmental organizations and private companies that would want to hire you. Then the flashy stuff as well–who can deny that the Toyota Prius has made a huge impact on the car market and increased the demand for hybrid vehicles? Look at the number of electric vehicle charging stations coming on line in California and other places. Energy companies are sinking money into research and development of renewable energy sources like algae biofuel and molten salt for solar power storage. Why? They want to be the first to come up with an economically viable idea for renewable energy so they can license the technology and get rich from it. So yes, I think there’s no question that the green economy is growing in America and will continue to do so. In fact it may be one of the few surefire growth industries that we can count on in the coming years.
Based on the figures in this graph, provided by The Financial Times, the U.S. spends a relatively low percentage of its stimulus package on green initiatives.
International Green Stimulus Profile
Amount Spent on Fiscal Stimulus
Amount Spent on Green Measures
Green Measures as a Percentage of Total Stimulus
These figures are based on Financial Times’ interactive graphic, which displays the amount of stimulus money each country is committing, the amount and percentage devoted to green initiatives and a description of each country’s green projects.
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