One in every five US jobs could be green by 2030, according to a major new
report published last week by the American Solar
Energy Society (ASES) that estimates the emerging energy efficiency and
renewable energy (EE&RE) industries could employ 37 million people over the
next two decades.
Climate Change, argues that even when the jobs lost from carbon
intensive sectors such as coal and oil are taken into account the development of
a low carbon economy will deliver a net boost in employment of around 4.5
It also warns that failure to develop effective low carbon policies will lead
to further job losses as emerging clean tech industries migrate overseas.
“If we fail to invest in EE&RE, the United States runs the risk of losing
ground to EE&RE programs and industries located in other nations,” said the
While many clean tech commentators have highlighted the fact that low carbon
industries will create large numbers of high tech jobs, the report notes that
the bulk of employment in the low carbon economy will be in more traditional
For example, the report predicts that the majority of new jobs will be
created in the agricultural sector, with 143,000 new jobs representing more than
double the number of jobs created in the next most fruitful EE&RE market -
Power plant workers, steel and iron workers, and architects are the least
likely to benefit from the green drive, the report says. Those sectors stand to
gain just 5,000 jobs each.
Significantly, the 4.5 million jobs – again projected under ideal policy
conditions – falls far short of the eight million jobs that the reports admits
have been lost in the US since the start of the recession.
Author: Danny Bradbury