A new study today (June 19) from E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) found that more than 519,000 Californians now work in clean energy. The study included those working in renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean vehicles industries and attributed the success to California’s climate policies, including cap-and-trade.
“California has again put to shame the notion that environmental action comes at a cost to the economy. In fact, California’s economic success is in part due to – not in spite of – its commitment to fight climate change,” wrote E2’s Mary Solecki in a post about the study.
“In every corner of the state, California’s climate action has proven to be a job creator and a big economic boon,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. “Especially with the dearth of leadership we now have in Washington, D.C., business leaders and investors—along with rest of the world—are watching and hoping California’s lawmakers will do the right thing to keep our clean economy growing.”
The study also found that the state’s climate policies have driven $45.5 billion in clean energy and other investments in the state. Roughly $600 million from the $1.2 billion cap-and-trade program benefits disadvantaged communities, E2 added.
“With $45.5 billion being invested into California, we’ve shown that climate policies strengthen our communities – both environmentally and economically,” said Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, who represents District 56 spanning the Imperial and Coachella valleys.
The study placed emphasis on the cap-and-trade program as Gov. Jerry Brown (D) that he wants to extend it beyond 2020, when it’s currently slated to end. The legislation that’s working its way through the legislature to extend the program would continue to grow the state’s clean energy economy as it cuts its carbon emissions 40 percent below its 1990 levels by 2030, E2 said.
The organization used data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Department of Energy to provide data on jobs, investment and emissions reductions. The study also reviewed investments related to climate programs over the past decade.
In terms of the sheer amount of clean energy jobs, the study found that Los Angeles led both on the county and city levels with 117,000 jobs and 161,400 jobs in the metro area, respectively. San Diego county was second with 61,500 jobs. The San Francisco-Oakland-Freemont metro area was second in terms of metro regions with 72,200 jobs.Tweet