While the world may not be in a recession just yet, there’s no denying that it is very likely to happen in the next several months. This raises the question, what impact of a recession would have on the environment?
Like most things, there are advantages and disadvantages in this scenario, let’s take a look at both.
Less Production Means Less Natural Resources Will Be Used
When the economy gets tough, one of the first things that go is luxury and entertainment goods.
Shoppers are less likely to buy an expensive new phone on a yearly basis. Instead, opting to keep using their existing model. Or, if worst came to worst, opt for a cheaper model. This forces companies to adjust their outlook.
And this is already happening. Apple recently announced it would be cutting production for its iPhone SE by 20%. This isn’t the only corporation to do so, either.
While this is a disaster for the companies, it’s actually a win for the environment. When phones or any electronic device are mass-produced, they use a lot of natural resources, specifically metals and minerals.
If production is cut, that means fewer resources will be mined.
Governments Less Likely To Enforce or Introduce New Climate Regulation
When companies begin to struggle due to less demand, they tend to begin laying off staff. This is terrible for any economy, and to help with this, governments often help struggling businesses in a variety of ways.
As you can probably imagine, they are not going to enforce environmental regulations against a struggling company.
While climate change hasn’t been a major consideration in past recessions, we’ve already seen less in the form of environmental policy since the pandemic began. It’s very unlikely that governments would enact new policies that could hurt struggling businesses.
It’s also very likely that the groups that enforce such activity would get a much smaller budget. Conservation groups were among some of the first to see their budgets cut or shut down entirely during the height of the 2020 pandemic.
It’s An Opportunity To Support Large Public Projects
Many might remember from their high school history class learning about how the Hoover Dam was built to help America escape the Great Depression.
We could potentially see many large-scale projects begin. Or even renovate, repair, or improve existing infrastructure. Except for this time, it would be with a focus on solar and wind energy.
Assembling structures like wind turbines and installing solar panels could help create thousands of jobs, which is good for everyone. This also helps lower emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
As we are seeing today, relying on other nations for fossil fuels can have serious repercussions. Especially when you consider what’s happening today with Russian and many countries of Europe.
Ultimately, It’s Hard to Say What Impact A Recession Has On the Environment
While there are some things we can say for certain in regard to production dropping, it’s very hard to say for certain what a Recession will bring. However, one thing that is known is that no one benefits from a recession.
Unfortunately, all we can do is brace for impact.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.