Washington, D.C. – As climate leaders and policymakers meet today in Nevada for the seventh Annual National Clean Energy Summit, the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, or PERI, have announced the release of a groundbreaking report that quantifies the investment and technology deployment needed for the United States to do its part to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. The study shows that the United States can cut its carbon pollution by 40 percent from 2005 levels and create a net increase of 2.7 million clean energy jobs in the process.
“Our work shows that the fundamental imperative of climate stabilization is not an outlandish fantasy but is truly within reach,” said Robert Pollin of PERI and co-author of the report. “By investing about $200 billion annually on energy efficiency and clean renewable energy for the next 20 years—meaning 1.2 percent of current U.S. gross domestic product—we can cut overall U.S. energy consumption by 30 percent relative to today, as well as expand by 400 percent the production of solar, wind, and other clean renewable sources. These clean energy investments will drop U.S. CO2 emissions by 40 percent while also generating 2.7 net new jobs. The opportunity is right before us and needs to be seized.”
“We stand at a climate crossroads. This report demonstrates that business as usual will drive our nation’s economy to overshoot emissions goals, making climate catastrophe an absolute certainty,” said Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress. “Green growth also articulates another—better—way forward. Our research demonstrates that it is technologically and economically feasible today to create more jobs and growth, while using 40 percent less fossil fuel, improving energy efficiency 30 percent, and powering communities with four times more clean and renewable energy. This is a story of hope and opportunity, but the window for action is small and narrowing.”
The report, scheduled for full release in the coming weeks, covers three areas of analysis, including the need for a substantial, new wave of mostly private investment in advanced energy technology and higher performing buildings, as well as public and private investment in efficient infrastructure. It outlines how the United States can reduce its fossil fuels by 40 percent within the next 20 years. Finally, the report shows that investment in the clean energy industry will not only stave off the worst environmental and economic effects of climate change, it will do so while creating more than 2.7 million new jobs, reducing the unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points.
Click here to read the summary of the report.
Click here for comments and quotes about the report from key energy thinkers.
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