According to a report released recently by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), addressing climate change has the potential to create up to 4.5 million jobs in the United States by 2030.

The report, "Estimating the Jobs Impact of Tackling Climate Change," proposes that making aggressive energy-efficiency improvements—in buildings, transportation, and industry—and expanding implementation of renewable energy technologies—such as concentrating solar power, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, and others—would have the dual benefit of helping the nation reach its goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and putting millions of skilled professionals to work. Committing to new policies and initiatives that support the development and growth of the energy-efficiency and renewable energy industries would not only create millions of jobs that can't be easily outsourced, it also could generate up to $4.3 trillion in revenue in the U.S. by 2030, the report indicates.

"The twin challenges of climate change and economic stagnation can be solved by the same action: broad, aggressive, sustained deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The solution for one is the solution for the other," said Brad Collins, executive director for ASES. Analysis found that the initial costs of deploying aggressive renewable energy and energy-efficiency initiatives and policies would be offset by savings from reduced energy bills.

According to the report, the industries that stand to gain the most jobs are construction, farming, public sector industry, truck transportation, retail, metal fabrication, and electrical equipment. Among the jobs that would be created by a vibrant green economy are electricians, plumbers, carpenters, machinists, and civil engineers, along with standard jobs for accountants, office and factory workers, truck drivers, mechanics, and computer analysts. The report states that growing the energy-efficiency and renewable energy industries "will create a variety of jobs that command higher than average pay, many of which take advantage of U.S. manufacturing capabilities that have been languishing in recent years. This can revitalize local economies and create opportunities for skilled workers."

U.S. policymakers can put the economy back on the path of growth with energy policies that reduce energy consumption in buildings by 50 percent, create an aggressive renewable portfolio standard for the nation, commit to end dependence on foreign oil, and develop a cap-and-auction system to manage greenhouse gases, Collins notes.

To read the complete report, click here.

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