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|NEVER mind the downturn, a green
economic revolution must be launched within months, one of the
world's top economists has told New Scientist.
"You do hear voices saying now is not the moment," says Nicholas
Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and economic adviser
to the UK government. "Now is precisely the moment to make the
Stern believes that low-carbon technologies have the potential to
fuel economic growth in a much more sustainable manner than previous
booms based on the dot com and housing bubbles. With public money
and incentives for private investment, low-carbon technologies could
transform 21st-century society in the way that railways and
information technologies did in previous centuries, he says.
There may be no better time. To reverse the slowdown, politicians
have already been discussing some of the biggest cash injections in
decades, Stern points out. What's more, banks are dropping interest
rates, which means investors can borrow at a lower cost.
"It has got to be fast," Stern warns. "The fiscal expansion has got
to be put in place, the policy decisions have got to be taken in the
next three to four months. They take time to kick in. The urgency of
decision-making should be very clear to everybody."