With the economy slowing, will big corporate environmental initiatives from companies like GE and Wal-Mart be put on the back burner? Many analysts are predicting that today’s green wave will survive, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
“In a downturn, some would back away from their current commitments,” says Dan Esty, a professor of environmental law and policy at Yale University. “There could be stress in the next year or two, but I’m confident that investment in the environment will be higher.” He estimates that 80 percent of corporations’ green plans will go forward.
Executives who have announced green projects admit that some spending might be tempered at least over the short term depending on the economy.
“The investment can be rheostated,” Michael Chesser, chairman and CEO of Great Plains Energy, says in the article. “In other words you can speed up or slow down, depending on how you see your demand going over the next couple of years.”
In fact, economic uncertainties make energy efficiency a less expensive way to go, says Mr. Chesser. “When you build a major baseline plant, that’s a commitment. It takes five years to build, and it’s a big risk if the economy goes south,” he explains. “With energy efficiency, you don’t have that…. It has a lot of flexibility.”