Author: Michelle Lewis
The Sierra Club has released a green recovery report that asserts that 9 million US jobs could be created every year for the next 10 years “while building an economy that fosters cleaner air and water, higher wages, healthier communities, greater equity, and a more stable climate.”
The Sierra Club’s report, based on new analysis from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, lays out a plan for US economic renewal. The environmental group sent a letter to Congress in April detailing stimulus priorities.
The proposed stimulus plan says it would cost less than $2.9 trillion to employ over 9 million people every year for five years. That’s less than half the amount that the US government spent on stimulus packages in March and April. Further, this plan also would enable a 45% reduction in pollution by 2030.
Here’s the Sierra Club’s breakdown of 9 million jobs per year:
4.6 million jobs per year to upgrade our infrastructure for clean water, clean transportation, and clean energy
3.2 million jobs per year to expand renewable energy
Over 700,000 jobs per year to increase energy efficiency
Over 500,000 jobs per year to restore our lands and invest in regenerative agriculture.
As the Sierra Club explains, “stimulus investments could help many of the 600,000 unemployed clean energy workers get their jobs back, while over 190,000 unemployed oil and gas workers could be hired each year to close orphaned oil and gas wells.”
This isn’t the only plan being proposed or demanded. As Electrek wrote last week, companies worth $2 trillion have called for global green recovery packages, and McKinsey & Company released a report today detailing how post-pandemic stimulus plans globally can both create jobs and fight climate change. (You can read the report here.)
Everybody, from environmental groups to multinational corporate firms, wants this. (Well, apart from the Trump administration.) Let’s take a leaf out of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s book and put the country to work, Works Progress Administration-style, not only nationally, but globally. Pakistan is doing it with its tree-planting initiative. But this time, let’s focus on a green approach. This is our chance. We may not get another one.