In a direct contradiction of the current administration’s dire predictions former President Clinton said that switching to a green economy offers the biggest economic opportunity since the military buildup preceding the Second World War.
Clinton made his comments at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Summit in Seattle on Thursday. The mayors in attendance had all pledged to meet the standards of the Kyoto Protocols in their cities. Clinton predicted that climate change initiatives such as retrofitting older buildings or producing more fuel efficient cars would result in the creation of jobs and wage hikes.
Clinton said: “In my view for the United States, it is the greatest economic opportunity we’ve had since we mobilized for World War Two.If we do it right, it will produce job gains and income gains substantially greater than the 1990s.”
This opinion flies in the face of the Bush administration’s repeated assertions that the Kyoto Protocols would damage the US economy and place an unfair burden on the US and other developed nations. Bush argued that developing nations like China and India, both major polluters, are given a pass in the Kyoto Protocols while richer nations are expected to pick up the slack. Clinton argued that the US must lead the way and show that fighting global warming can improve the economy.
Clinton announced during his speech that he would extend the use of his Clinton Climate Initiative purchasing consortium to 1,100 US cities. The consortium purchases clean energy and energy efficient products, and would allow the member cities to get volume discounts for such items as “green” automobiles or alternative energy technology.
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