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Green jobs and green prosperity

Green jobs and green prosperity(By GreenBiz Staff via GreenBiz)This report, titled "Green Prosperity: How Clean-Energy Policies Can Fight

Poverty and Raise Living Standards in the United States," was developed

Green for All, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the University of

Massachusetts' Political Economy Research Institute. The report explores

how investments in energy efficiency, clean technology and public

transportation can raise the standard of living for everyone in the United

States.From the executive summary:The United States today faces a formidable generation-long challenge: to

transform the economy from being driven primarily by fossil fuel sources of

energy, which are the major cause of global climate change, to becoming an

economy that can function effectively through renewable energy sources and

by achieving high levels of energy efficiency.The project of building a clean-energy economy will become a powerful

engine of expanding employment opportunities throughout the U.S. economy.

According to a study that PERI recently completed with the Center for

American Progress (CAP),1 clean-energy investments at the level of about

$150 billion per year -- i.e. around one percent of U.S. GDP -- can

generate about 1.7 million net new jobs throughout the U.S. economy.This level of annual new clean-energy investments in the U.S. will be

strongly encouraged through the combination of direct government spending,

along with the subsidies and incentives for private business investors that

would result from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the February

2009 Obama stimulus program) and the American Clean Energy and Security Act

(ACESA -- the Waxman-Markey bill) now being debated in Congress. Within

this strongly supportive policy framework, the advance of clean-energy

technologies will accelerate and markets supporting these technologies will

mature. This will create a selfreinforcing dynamic of rising private-sector

cleanenergy investment opportunities, which in turn will mean expanding job

opportunities.The building of a clean-energy economy in the United States can also serve

another purpose: to create new ‘pathways out of poverty’ for the 78 million

people in this country (roughly 25 percent of the population) who are

presently poor or near-poor, and raise living standards more generally for

low-income people in the United States. How the project of building a

clean-energy economy can benefit lowincome people in the U.S. is the focus

of this study.In the discussions that follow, we examine how investments in clean energy

-- including energy efficiency measures such as residential and commercial

building retrofits, public transportation and a smart grid electrical

transmission system, along with renewable energy sources such as wind,

solar, and biomass power -- create major new employment opportunities in

comparison with spending equivalent amounts of money within the traditional

fossil fuel sectors, i.e. oil, natural gas and coal. We then assess the

impact on low-income families of seeing their household energy bills go

down as a result of investments in energy efficiency retrofits. We finally

also consider how investments in improving public transportation systems

can reduce transportation costs for low-income families.For the very latest green jobs across America and globally please click here