Green-tech investment falls 50%, but it’s no time to worry

The first quarter of 2009 saw a sharp decline in all forms of investment in clean-tech and energy both compared with a year ago, as well as the fourth quarter of 2008. Overall, the $13.3 billion invested was down 53% from the previous year and 44% from the last quarter. Investments in new renewable-energy projects led the decline, with venture capital investments also dropping 22% and a near evaporation of all investment in pure-play clean energy companies. However, this raw figure does not tell the entire story for the industry, nor is it necessarily indicative of a trend.

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Sustainability During the Credit Crisis

With a sudden rash of failures and dirt-cheap buyouts of investment banks and consumer lending institutions, the credit crisis is dominating the mainstream media, and rightly so. Let us consider for a moment, the effect it might have on sustainability.

The old stereotype is that environmentalism is a luxury good, and that if people get poorer in real terms, they will have to sacrifice it. Of course, this simply is not true. Environmental responsibility can save money, in the form of lower energy bills, lower water bills, or offsetting material costs through recycling, to name a few. So one might expect even more sustainable behavior in order to cut costs. Unfortunately, this is probably not true either.

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