The environment and economy can be friends

Are economic development and environment preservation antithetical to one another? The clear answer is no. It is possible to have clean air and water, less pollution and still be a prosperous country. Indeed the evidence is compellingly on the other side. The hallmark of a developed country is when you can drink water from the tap without worrying about filter or aqua guards. The municipal water supply is potable. Even the air quality in most advanced economies is much better than some of the poorer economies. Germany boasts of producing more energy from wind and solar than by burning coal. The United Kingdom will abolish all coal-fired electricity in the coming decades. One of the oldest articulation of the compatibility of development and environment was the speech given by Indira Gandhi at the United Nations Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. She said: “We have to prove to the disinherited majority of the world that ecology and conservation will not work against their interest but will bring an improvement in their lives.” She meant that the fight against poverty was consistent with sustainable and ecologically responsible development.

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