Biodiversity credits lead nega-economy

New growth sector: In Australia to launch the Green Building
Council of Australia’s latest rating tool, which offers a means of
measuring the ecological impact of existing buildings, Gottfried’s
advice to the property world is to get in early. In the US, he says,
the green building market is growing at 30 per cent a year, “and that’s
in a stagnant industry”.

Nevada leading way: Star projects such as the massive $6 billion
MGM Grand Casino in Nevada, built over five city blocks, are having a
huge impact. Inspired by the $100 million of tax credits available in
that State for going green, the project aims for a maximum green
rating. “They’re hiring every green building consultant they can find
… All my colleagues are setting up LEEDS (the US green rating system)
consulting offices in Nevada. It’s huge.”

Aust lagging: Gottfried said he did not see the Australian
Government involved in anything and this was his fourth visit here.
“The new model here is open co-operation: public-private. Our
government is at the table with private industry and the NGOs
(non-government organisations). I’m all about making money. It’s
capitalism 101. But now it’s about greening capitalism.”

“Nega” economy is coming: He argued that the billionaire of the
future would be someone who moved towards a zero footprint, or ‘nega’
foot print,” – that is, having no or minimal impact on the earth. “It
will be a nega footprint economy – that is, anything you buy, sell or
do will make money if you decrease its eco footprint, and anything that
adds to the footprint will cost money.” Already, “you can get very
wealthy selling carbon credits”.

The Australian Financial Review, 16/2/2006, p. 61

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