An economy that relies on green energy needs green jobs. As investments catalyze the growth of a new, clean energy economy, we are finally ready to replace the old debate of "jobs vs. the environment" by investing in "jobs for the environment."
Truth be told, workforce shortages have emerged as one of the top barriers to the success of new energy economy. A 2006 study from the National Renewable Energy Lab identified the shortage of skills and training as a leading barrier to renewable energy and energy efficiency growth.
Our country needs a new American dream - a green dream that includes everyone in this growing vision of peace an prosperity. The best way to become fully inclusive is by reserving a slice of that green dream for everyone. We need to be fighting for global warming solutions as a whole nation, with solutions that match the scale of the problem. A comprehensive vision for a better tomorrow incorporates a vision for a better today: new investments, new jobs, and a new economy.
Here's a little video from eco-visionary Van Jones, a climate leader blazing the trail for green pathways out of poverty:
How are we going to make this happen?
There are many ways to go about creating Green Jobs. Many of our friends and allies have been hard at work proposing new economic solutions for years. Here are a few of them:
The Apollo Alliance
The Apollo Alliance advocates a new "Apollo" program, but this time to transition the nation to renewable energy. They map out the renewable energy options and, more importantly, project the positive impact such a transition would have in creating jobs and alleviating poverty. The Apollo Alliance is supported by labor unions, environmental organizations, economic and social justice organizations, and businesses.
Sustainable South Bronx: B.E.S.T. Project
Sustainable South Bronx developed a 10 week program that seeds the community with green collar workers who have an direct economic stake in the future of their local environment. The program allows community members to independently reclaim brownfields, reduce unemployment, and increase the efficiency of homes that need it the most. Check out this TED video featuring SSB's Majora Carter:
Just Transition Alliance: emphasizing climate justice as a reason to update our economy.
Green Jobs FAQs
Can we create more green jobs than there are in the fossil fuel industry right now?
The bottom line here is that a clean energy economy will stabilize our economy and our climate. We will have more jobs, less outsourcing, and less carbon. Our future will be one that is more just, and more equitable, complete with green pathways out of poverty and truly equal opportunity. As for the job angle, here's a helpful table from the Apollo Alliance's "Community Jobs Report:"
Renewable Energy Jobs per Megawatt (MW) of Electricity.
If we act now, we can avoid the worst effects of global warming and create a clean energy economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty... more »