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SC panel: Financial benefits key to green economy

Apr 1, 2011 2:06:00 PM - thestate.com
Getting people to go green is a matter of education and economic incentives, according to a panel of U.S. and U.K. experts speaking in Columbia on Friday.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and British energy minister Gregory Barker took part in the discussion at the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business.

Barker, a leader in U.K. green initiatives that include retrofitting that nation's aging homes to be more energy efficient, said his nation has made a goal of becoming the world's greenest economy.

"Not just because it's the right thing to do by our kids and by our grandchildren but because we recognized it's the smart thing to do to turn around our economy," Barker said. "We recognize that any competitive global economy has to reduce its dependence on expensive and invariably foreign fossil fuels."

One step toward that, he and other panelists from the U.K. said, was that leaders stopped debating the causes of climate change and started talking about ways to deal with it.

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