July 6, 2009
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Reports Illustrate Economic Benefits of Clean Energy
The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts has released two complementary reports that demonstrate how clean energy can lead to economic growth and increased living standards.
Green Prosperity: How Clean-Energy Policies Can Fight Poverty and Raise Living Standards in the United States, co-commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Green for All, and The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy: How the Economic Stimulus Program and New Legislation Can Boost U.S. Economic Growth and Employment, commissioned by the Center for American Progress, consider the impact of investments in clean energy as Congress debates the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES).
The reports show that clean energy investments at the level of about $150 billion per year, or about 1 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, can generate about 1.7 million net new jobs throughout the U.S. economy. The process will receive federal support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and ACES, which will lead to increased investment in clean technologies through the private sector.
“The United States faces an enormous challenge—successfully managing the transformation from a carbon-intensive economy to becoming a predominantly clean-energy-based economy. This economic transformation will engage a huge range of people and activities,” a PERI spokesperson said at the June 18 release event. “Specifically, we need to gauge our success in curbing CO2 emissions alongside the broader effects on the U.S. economy, particularly on employment opportunities, economic growth, and people’s incomes.”
The text of both reports is available online.