Green Stimulus? We Need More of It

The chart below is buried in the World’s Bank report on World Development 2010“Understanding the links between climate change and development.”

This might be the reason why China is leading the green race. The amount of green stimulus they spend is a little bit over twice the amount that the U.S. budgeted. 

China’s green stimulus $221.3 billion vs. U.S. green stimulus $94.1 billion. Big difference!

The World’s Green Spending, via World Bank.


(Click on image for larger view).

This is how China allocates their green stimulus that is related to climate change technologies (read: reducing climate change):

$85 billion to rail transport as a low carbon alternative to transportation and to ease up transportation bottlenecks

$70 billion for new electricity grid that improves efficiency and availability of electricity. 

In the U.S. the green stimulus is allocated to create jobs. From the $94 billion and some change, $6.7 billion is for renovating federal buildings and $6.2 billion for weatherizing. 

Maybe if China’s argument won’t fly. Because they have too much money and their economy is supposedly the strongest in the world. Let’s just look elsewhere for comparison on how we prioritize our economic developments.

How about South Korea? A small country in comparison to the two world’s most populous countries, China (1.3B) and the U.S. South Korea’s population stands at 48 million or about one-sixth of the U.S. The U.S. population according to 2009 census is 307 million.

They have similar goals like the U.S. The government is also about creating jobs with 960,000 jobs are expected to be created in the next 4 years. The bulk of their fiscal – 80.5% of their budget! hello..- is going to green projects.

These are the big 3 big projects:

  • river restoration
  • expansion of mass transit
  • energy conservation in villages and schools

Note to lawmakers (who are struggling to make the case on climate bill): maybe it’s time that they should be looking at the economic developments from a global context rather from “just” the U.S. It’s about global competition. 

We need to look at the big picture. Where will they want to see U.S. economy in the world map? 

Besides that. Climate change waits for no one


Author: Dewita

Co-founder Ecotwist Labs.

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