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Economists predict that the damage from Hurricane Sandy will total over 100 billion dollars, largely covered by taxpayers. And that does not include long-term effects such as depressed coastal real estate values. In Environmental Debt Amy Larkin shows how the costs of global warming, extreme weather, pollution and other forms of "environmental debt" combine in both the short and long term to wreak havoc on the economy, as well as the earth.
Readers will learn, for instance, how deforestation from twenty years ago in Thailand caused catastrophic flooding in 2011, and cost Toyota 3.4 percent of its annual production while causing tens of thousands of workers to lose jobs in three different countries. To combat these trends, Larkin proposes a new framework for 21st century commerce, based on three principles: 1.) Pollution can no longer be free; 2.) All business decision making and accounting must incorporate the long view; and 3.) Government must play a vital role in catalyzing clean technology and growth while preventing environmental destruction.
As companies and nations struggle to strategize in the face of global financial debt, many businesses have begun to recognize the causal relationship between a degraded environment and a degraded bottom line. Environmental Debt presents smart policy choices that would unleash radical and desperately needed business solutions to these problems. This timely and important book will transform how policymakers, business leaders, and citizens think about the future of commerce.
Amy Larkin is the Business Advisor for Greenpeace International and the former director of Greenpeace Solutions. She has been featured in The Washington Post, Newsweek, Reuters, Bloomberg, and Greenbiz, appeared on NPR and CNBC, and won multiple awards, including a recent nomination for the United Nations Foundation Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment Award. She is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Biomimicry NYC and a Strategic Advisor to the public policy think tank RESOLVE, and is currently advising Mars, Inc. and Unilever on overhauling their supply chain and manufacturing operations.
"Larkin offers a comprehensive framework to connect the causes of [the environmental and financial] crises to ensure businesses are not derailed by environmental problems"
– The Irish Times