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Green expectations: Lessons from the US green jobs market

climate change, jobs, science and technology, sustainability, US politics, training and skills

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Author(s):  Clare McNeil
Contributor(s):  Hanna Thomas
Published date:  22 Jul 2011
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The framing of climate change and energy policy in terms of economic growth has played a key strategic role in the United States. This paper assesses the success of the 'green jobs' policy agenda in the US and investigates a range of localised, bottom-up approaches to fostering the 'green economy', reaching excluded workers and meeting environmental targets.

Despite (and perhaps because of) the absence of an overarching policy framework for tackling climate change or reducing emissions at the federal level, the United States has invested considerably in clean-energy technology and energy efficiency, with job creation and workforce development as key aims.

Leading these efforts is California, for many decades an ‘early mover’ in enacting environmental legislation. In March 2011, IPPR led a learning exchange that took a group of community leaders, trade union and NGO representatives to the west coast to meet with and learn from politicians, business people, academics and civil society leaders engaged in the emerging green economy.

This report draws together findings from empirical research from the learning exchange with analysis of some of the key literature in this area. It also aims to contribute to the wider debate on the future direction of energy and climate change policy in the UK.

 
 

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Clare McNeil, Senior Research Fellow