West Coast leaders eye 1 million new clean jobs by 2020
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Leaders from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are agreeing to work together to support "clean economy" jobs.
The Pacific Coast Collaborative, a group of government leaders from Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia, gathered in Vancouver, British Columbia this week to agree to a plan that would create 1 million so-called clean economy jobs by 2020.
The group commissioned a study, released Tuesday, to put a value the economic contributions made by the three-state, one-province region's clean economy sector. The study, completed by Canadian firm Globe Advisors and The Center for Climate Strategies in Washington, D.C., found that the sector was worth $47 billion in 2010 and could grow to $2.3 trillion by 2020.
The report comes with an action plan, outlining steps each jurisdiction should take to support the clean-sector economic growth including retrofitting government-owned buildings for better efficiency and renewable energy, purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles for government fleets, and setting clean energy policies that encourage the private sector to take similar steps.
"We have come together here in Vancouver to reject the myth that jobs and the environment are in conflict," said Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber in a statement. "More than 500,00 Pacific Coast residents are cashing clean economy paychecks right now."
Kitzhaber added that those jobs are better paying and have proven to be more resilient during the economic slump.
But where are those jobs? According to the report (available for download here), the clean economy jobs are spread across five sectors:
- Environmental protection and resource management, which had 290,392 jobs across the region in 2010, and is expected to grow to 602,000 jobs by 2020.
- Energy efficiency and green building, which had 80,806 and is expected to reach 443,000.
- Clean transportation, which had 62,359 jobs and is expected to hit 236,000.
- Clean energy supply, which had 56,813 jobs and is expected to grow to 189,000.
- Knowledge and support, which had 18,162 and is expected to reach 67,000.
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