Create jobs and protect the climate? Analysis shows these investments would deliver.
(ACEEE blog, 2 Sep 2020) When Congress returns to Washington this month, it will continue to face not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis, both due to COVID-19. More workers are unemployed than at any time since the Great Depression, with unemployment highest among low-income communities and communities of color.
At the same time, we face a looming climate crisis. And the challenges are interconnected. For example, 360,000 energy efficiency workers—who would normally be helping cut our carbon emissions—are among those still unemployed.
We wanted to see how federal policymakers could most effectively confront the economic and climate crises together using investments in energy efficiency. We modeled 17 different proposed energy efficiency programs and tax incentives Congress could fund—to create jobs quickly while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy costs for households and businesses, and cutting air pollution for many years to come. In a white paper released today (building on a preliminary fact sheet we released a few weeks ago), we find that these investments could together achieve:
- 660,000 added job-years through 2023, and 1.3 million added job-years over the lifetime of the investments and savings
- 910 million tons of lifetime reduced carbon dioxide emissions
- $120 billion in lifetime energy bill savings