Is it possible to protect the environment when many countries require increasing amounts of energy to progress?

YES: The rising levels of global demand for energy for progress are compatible with the demands to protect the environment and it is possible to meet both concurrently.

  1. Our increasing demand for energy used in economic development is likely to be met by the increasing numbers of countries which invest in environmentally friendly energy sources, potentially reducing adverse impacts of human activity on the environment.

  2. Significant efforts to use energy effectively are being made by the world’s largest corporations, with correspondingly optimistic effects on environmental protection and slowing down global warming. 

  3. International diplomacy and collaboration between countries increasingly facilitate the development of initiatives and programs, such as eco-cities, which bring the goals of efficient energy usage, economic development and environmental protection into effective synergies.

NO: Environmental protection today is an increasingly difficult or potentially impossible challenge given the incompatible and rising levels of global demand for energy needed for progress.

  1. The drive to achieve economic well-being for many rapidly developing countries, such as China and India, make the increasing use of environmentally damaging energy sources an inevitable reality.

  2. The energy sector remains dominated by corporations which rely on the extraction, use and disposal of environmentally damaging fossil fuels, which is in turn the driver of economic growth for many countries, thereby complicating any attempt to protect the environment or reduce pollution.

  3. Despite the opportunities and benefits available through collaboration, many countries engage in competitive or antagonistic practices, and adopt double standards in the continued usage of polluting energy sources while fingering blame for environmental degradation on others.