Today, economic growth is tied to increased output of CO2 and other greenhouse emissions, in most parts of the world. This, however, is because much of the world economy is powered by coal, oil, and other fossil fuels; when people have more money, they buy more products produced in factories powered by coal, drive more in cars that use oil for fuel, and are less conservative with electricity generated from a variety of fossil fuel sources. As long as we get most of our energy from fossil fuels, economic growth is likely to be bad news for the planet. However it doesn’t have to stay this way; by switching to clean energy technologies, we can continue economic growth while actually reducing pollution. In fact, by encouraging economic activity that puts people to work facilitating this shift, we can re-invigorate the economy and help save the planet at the same time. So it is not economic growth itself that contributes to rising emissions – but rather, it’s economic growth powered by fossil fuel energy.
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