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Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Can Create 4.5 Million Jobs

According to the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and Management Information Services Inc. (MISI), 4.5 million jobs will be created in the United States by 2030 if the government gets serious about tackling climate change.

The agencies released a new report today, entitled Estimating the Jobs Impact of Tackling Climate Change, in which they tally the net jobs that will be created through energy efficiency and renewable energy if the U.S. commits to reducing carbon emissions to levels necessary to ward off the disastrous effects of climate change — displacing approximately 1.2 billion tons of carbon emissions annually by the year 2030. These are net jobs created meaning that the findings take into account the number of jobs that will be lost as well.

The findings build on a report released by ASES in January of this year, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S., which found that the country could keep emission levels constant through 2030 with energy efficiency measures and could make deep cuts in emission levels by implementing renewable energy technologies.

This newest report examines the number of jobs created as well as the costs associated with taking those steps.

According to the analysis, renewable energy and energy efficiency deployment costs would be revenue neutral or better, as the costs associated with energy efficiency end up saving the country more money than the costs associated with deploying renewable energy technologies — and 4.5 million jobs will be created all the while.

“It’s win-win-win for the country,” said Roger Besdek of MISI.  The economy wins, the environment wins and the America people win because most of the jobs created are not those that can be outsourced, he said.  Besdek also said that many of the new jobs would not require significant additional education or training.

According to the report, the industries that are the big winners through tackling climate change are construction, professional services, farming, trucking and transport and metal fabrication, with many more industries benefitting from substantial job increases.

Brad Collins, Executive Director of ASES, said that there are three main components to jump-starting this new green economy. The first is ready markets / incentives because this is new technology and the country will need transitional assistance to start the ball rolling.  The second is broad location incentives and potentially workforce development grants. Third, he said that leadership is key. The country needs strong local, state and federal leaders that have vision and want to invest in this opportunity, he said.

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