Green jobs are a hot topic. Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency by promising to create five million green collar jobs. Green jobs protect and restore ecosystems, reduce energy consumption, minimize or eliminate waste and pollution and can be in agriculture, manufacturing, research and development, administration and service activities.
The Apollo Alliance calls for investing $500 billion by 2018, which will create five million high quality green-collar jobs. The Alliance’s first report, New Energy for America (Jan ’04) called for $300 billion of public expenditure to create three million jobs, stimulate $1.4 trillion in new GDP, add billions in personal income and retail sales, and produce $284 billion in net energy savings –- all while generating sufficient returns to the U.S. treasury to pay for itself over 10 years.
The 2004 report pointed out that 43% of the global solar power market is controlled by Japan, while European countries control 90% of the wind turbine production.
The 2008 report revised upwards the potential for green collar jobs by two million. What accounted for the difference? Well, when Obama was elected President committing to create five million green collar jobs, two million more than the Apollo Alliance’s 2004 report, the Alliance could not very well be lagging the new Prez – so they revised upwards their numbers. That’s my theory.
Apollo Alliance Board member Van Jones was appointed Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to the White House Council on Environmental Quality in March 2009. Jones’ book, The Green Collar Economy, was a 2008 New York Times bestseller. He launched Green for All – a campaign to create 250,000 green-collar jobs in urban neighbourhoods.
The Apollo Alliance is a coalition of environmental groups, labour unions and politicians seeking to convince legislators to have a concerted effort to transform the US economy into a green economy based on energy efficiency and renewable energy. A green-collar job is, in essence, a blue-collar job that has been upgraded to address environmental challenges.