The Time to Act: Environmental Opportunities in an Economic Downturn

Open Access
Fehr, Jenna L.
Area of Honors:
Environmental Resource Management
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Charles Becker, Thesis Supervisor
  • Robert David Shannon, Honors Advisor
  • environmental economics
  • resource productivity
  • energy efficiency
  • climate change
  • economy
  • environment
An economic downturn creates a unique set of circumstances where it may be advantageous to restructure current industries and processes that are damaging the environment. When faced with such large economic and environmental problems, the incentive to make changes is present and not to be wasted. By evaluating the changing economy and highlighting ways industry can increase viability by decreasing environmental impacts, opportunities for environmental betterment born out of the current economic crisis can be determined. Alternatives are available to industries that help to restore both the economy and the environment, such as increasing resource productivity and energy efficiency. The numerous economic, environmental, and political benefits generated by increased resource productivity and energy efficiency make these mechanisms a powerful solution to the world's economic and environmental woes. Many are working towards separate economic or environmental solutions, but the benefits of linking the two are numerous, including emerging from economic crisis better than before with decreased unemployment and a sustainable future.