Puerto Rico’s Green Economy Initiative
“It’s Role in the Island’s Economic Development”
By: Robert Alvarez
Managing Director, ECMC, LLC Thesis Proposal (Draft) – Syracuse University- The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
November 18th , 2008
Environmental Cost Management Consulting (ECMC), LLC
“Puerto Rico’s GreenEconomy Initiative and its role in the Island’s Future Economic Development”
By Robert Alvarez
The current state of the island’s economy requires the utmost attention of its new elected leaders, business sector, labor, academia, and non profit organizations. Puerto Rico’s economic development must include the actions of its government to take the lead and become a catalyst for the privatesector to develop its “Green Economy”. It’s imperative that Puerto Rico’s environmental economic policy is synchronized with the current Global Environmental initiatives regarding economic sustainability development. The island currently lacks a cohesive policy that can embark into the new economic revolution of the 21st Century. A new report by the U.N. called, "Green Jobs: Toward Decent Work in aSustainable, LowCarbon World", says that development of alternative energy will create 20 million new jobs around the world by 2030. The latest report of the International Energy Agency indicates that the dependency of fossil fuels will not decrease while oil supplies are projected to decrease; meaning that the price of oil will not be stable and subject to any market and/or geopoliticaldestabilizing even thus, providence a very convincing argument for other forms of green energy production to develop and grow. At the National level, Puerto Rico must place itself as a major player in receiving all the available funding streams from the Federal Government to develop and foment Green Energy, Green Technologies, and Green Investments in addition, to attracting private capital for investing inGreen Projects. Going Green isn’t a feel good fad of the times that will wither away, it’s becoming the most important platform that’s creating the next industrial revolution and establishing new global competitive markets; these new markets create new opportunities for those who position themselves at the right time. By taking a solid grip on reducing the high environmental costs of doingbusiness in Puerto Rico, competitiveness can be re-stored and attract global investments for developing a “Green Economy” for the island, Caribbean Region and Latin America. The powerful combination of setting standards, investing, providing incentives, and fostering innovation will not only address our environmental problems, but provide economic growth to all sectors in our society. The right time forPuerto Rico’s Green Economy is now and its plan must be set in place within the first one hundred days of the incoming administration. However, for this initiative takes place the private and public sectors in Puerto Rico must aggressively embark in an across the board environmental cost audit, cost reduction and cost management plan. Puerto Rico’s important sectors of the economy such asconstruction, real estate, manufacturing and tourism are particularly vulnerable to high environmental costs.
Puerto Rico must also create partnership and alliances with major US and World cities that are leading the way in developing Green and Sustainability initiatives as part of their economic development. This, in turn will provide the island with the solid foundation needed todevelop a Green Economy and a Green Economic Growth development plan for the island and the region. Puerto Rico is blessed with infinite natural resources to become the leader in environmental economic development and establish a Green Economy that will create Green Collar Jobs. The abundance of solar, hydro, wind and thermal power resources provide Puerto Rico with the perfect environmental...