Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Power of Green

Obama and McCain talked about it for months, as did Hillary.

T. Boone Pickens never stops talking about it, in TV commercials and web sites.

Everyone’s talking about green collar jobs, one of the very few glimmers on an increasingly gloomy economic scene. And after a week when the Dow sheds points like the
maple outside my window drops leaves, we need good news.

In fact, when pressed in the last two debates about what he’d cut from his ambitious platform of middle class tax cuts, health care reform, and more, now president-elect Obama went out of his way to say he would make sure he did NOT cut spending on new energy sources like wind and solar, because that’s where the jobs are.

And the UN agrees.
A report earlier this fall revealed that there are millions of jobs to be had in the emerging green economy. Among the report’s findings:

The global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from $1.37 trillion per year at present to $2.74 trillion by 2020.

Half of this market is in energy efficiency and the balance in sustainable transport, water supply, sanitation and waste management.

Clean technologies are already the third largest sector for venture capital after information and biotechnology in the United States, while green venture capital in China more than doubled to 19% of total investment in recent years.

2.3 million people have in recent years found new jobs in the renewable energy sector alone, and the potential for job growth in the sector is huge. Employment in alternative energies may rise to 2.1 million in wind and 6.3 million in solar power by 2030.

And this is key: Renewable energy generates more jobs than employment in fossil fuels.

Projected investments of $630 billion by 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs in the renewable energy sector.

That’s the ticket, putting people back to work installing solar panels, building wind turbines, planting green roofs, insulating and re-wiring houses, and more.

The power of green: the greening of the economy will be led by a, well, greening of the economy.

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