Renewables Can Create Jobs and Heal the Planet

Posted by on October 18, 2015 in Eco-Friendly, Environment with 1 Comment

Nadia Prupis | Common Dreams

A clean energy future is possible. (Photo: Labor Network for Sustainability)

A clean energy future is possible. (Photo: Labor Network for Sustainability)

The Clean Energy Future represents a pathway away from climate destruction…. Should we let greed and inertia prevent us from taking it?

The U.S. can reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, while creating half a million jobs a year and lowering energy costs for consumers, simply by limiting use of fossil fuels and allowing the renewables sector continue to grow at its current pace, according to a new report published this week.

Related Article: Sweden Makes Moves to Stop Using Fossil Fuel and Run Entirely Off Renewables

The report, The Clean Energy Future: Protecting the Climate, Creating Jobs and Saving Money(pdf), refutes claims that meeting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions would take a toll on the economy and introduces an energy platform that would:

  • Transform the electric system, cutting coal-fired power in half by 2030 and eliminating it by 2050; building no new nuclear plants; and reducing the use of natural gas far below business-as-usual levels.
    “The Clean Energy Future represents a pathway away from climate destruction.”
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 8 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, in the sectors analyzed (which account for three-quarters of US GHG emissions).
  • Save money—the cost of electricity, heating, and transportation under this plan is $78 billion less than current projections from now through 2050.
  • Create new jobs—more than 500,000 per year over business as usual projections through 2050.

“This report presents a practical, realistic way for the United States to address the climate crisis and proves that we don’t have to choose between jobs and the environment,” said May Boeve, executive director of the environmental action group, which helped craft the report along with the Labor Network for Sustainability and Synapse Energy Economics.

Related Article: New Greenpeace Report: 100% Renewables Possible Worldwide by 2050

Most of the jobs created from the program would occur in the construction and manufacturing industries, such as electric auto production, the report states. That will serve three separate, but intertwining purposes—supporting economic growth; concentrating job creation in sectors that have a high proportion of workers of color; and helping unite environmental and labor advocates, who occasionally spar over their respective causes.

“For unions and other jobs advocates, climate protection is also a great jobs program,” the report states. “This program will help bring together environmental and labor advocates around their common interest in putting Americans to work saving the earth’s climate.”


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