How will the global economic slowdown affect the environment?
We've already seen a significant drop in oil prices... this is not good news for the environment, because high gas prices serve as a strong incentive to find a cheaper alternative fuel. What will happen to the push for alternatives? If oil prices stay low, will we see a return to gas-hungry vehicles?
Treehugger.com also says it's not looking good in terms of industrial pollution.
On the other side of the coin, if consumers have less money, they'll certainly travel less, which means lower emissions. Travel and tourism forecasts for the Asian market and the Caribbean for 2009 are gloomy. More localized vacations (and consumption in general) would seem to lead to lower emissions.
Moving to macro-level issues, the EU has stated that it will not abandon its green goals despite the economic slowdown.
Here in the US, a lot will of course depend on who is elected president, but its easy to assume that given the current state of the economy, environmental concerns and spending may take a back seat for a while.