Center for American Progress

REPORT: Public and Private Investment in Clean Energy Tech can Reduce Effects of Climate Change
Press Release

REPORT: Public and Private Investment in Clean Energy Tech can Reduce Effects of Climate Change

Washington, D.C. — World leaders, business leaders, and climate experts from are expected to meet next week at the U.N. Summit on Climate Change in New York to create momentum for climate change initiatives across the globe. The United States will understandably have a major role in global decisions and initiatives stemming from the summit and part of that responsibility should mean setting an example on climate change policies at home.

Today, the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, or PERI, have released a comprehensive, 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 report, titled “Green Growth: A U.S. Program for Controlling Climate Change and Expanding Job Opportunities,” shows that the United States can cut its carbon pollution by 40 percent from 2005 levels by 2035 and create a net increase of 2.7 million clean energy jobs in the process.

“By following our current energy path, a dangerous and costly climate crisis will become a certainty. For the United States to do its part in changing the course of this mounting global crisis, we must immediately commit to an ambitious program of investment in a new generation of efficient and renewable energy infrastructure,” said Bracken Hendricks, CAP Senior Fellow and co-author of the report. “By improving market rules, increasing direct public investment, and getting smart about private financial incentives, this report demonstrates that it is both technologically and economically achievable to cut U.S. emissions by 40 percent, while investing in new jobs and growth. The window for action however, is small and closing rapidly. We must act now.”

“Our study develops a truly viable program for building a flourishing green economy in the United States within the next 20 years,” said Robert Pollin of PERI and co-author of the report. “By investing roughly $200 billion a year—1.2 percent of current GDP—in energy efficiency and clean renewable energy, the United States can cut CO2 emissions by 40 percent while also generating nearly 3 million new jobs that can benefit working people throughout all regions of the country. Most of the new investments will need to come from the private sector, but the key to success will be a dynamic public- and private-sector partnership.”

The report focuses on three areas of analysis, including the need for a substantial wave of mostly private investment in advanced energy technology, as well as higher performing infrastructure such as buildings. It also outlines ways for the United States to reduce its fossil fuel consumption by 40 percent in the next 20 years. The report shows that investment in clean energy will not only reduce the likelihood of some of the most alarming climate change consequences from coming to fruition but that the increased private and public investment will create a net increase of 2.7 million new jobs.

Click here to read the report. 

Click here to read quotes of support.

For more information on this topic, contact Tom Caiazza at 202.481.7141 or [email protected].