Jobs In Clean Energy


When it comes to jobs, climate change promises a mixed bag, but concrete action on addressing a warming world presents a singular opportunity for more of the substantial job creation already underway.

A July 2019 report by the International Labour Organization concluded that “[an] increase in heat stress resulting from global warming is projected to lead to global productivity losses equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs in the year 2030.” The estimate is conservative, its authors warned, as it assumes a global mean temperature rise of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Extreme heat is hazardous to human health, so it should not come as a surprise that agriculture, in which 940 million people work, is expected to be the sector most affected by a warmer world. Construction, refuse collection, repair, transportation, tourism, and sports also among the other fields projected to suffer the fallout of hotter temperatures.

But in crisis comes opportunity, and the nascent renewable energy sector offers a surfeit of just that. As the video below states, the two fastest growing occupations in the entire job market are solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians. According to the same International Labour Organization report, decarbonizing the energy sector, electrifying transportation, reforestation, and carbon capture and storage technologies will eliminate some jobs while creating many more. A 2018 I.L.O. report  saw a net gain of 18 million jobs—in construction, manufacturing, copper mining, renewable energy production, and biomass crop cultivation—by achieving sustainability in the energy sector. 

Forbes reported in 2019 that “building new renewable energy is cheaper than running existing coal plants and prices get cheaper every year.” Meanwhile, states’ and utilities’ clean energy goals are driving demand for workers to build renewable energy infrastructure.

In discussing the importance of not building new fossil-fuel infrastructure that would lock in decades of future greenhouse gas emissions, the environmentalist and author Bill McKibben wrote on The New Yorker’s website that the fossil-fuel industry “is losing financial muscle with each passing week” during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.

McKibben referred to a Financial Times interview with BP’s chief executive officer, who “noted that as crude prices have plunged, renewable energy projects had been able to attract funding, suggesting the pandemic has weakened the investment case for oil. ‘It’s the model that is increasingly respected and admired by investors as being resilient and having a different risk profile,’ he said.”

Why Renewable Energy is Good for America’s Workers


Empowered State

Electric planes. Towns powered by waterfalls. Offshore wind farms. This isn't the far-off future of clean energy—it's what's happening right now in New York State. Join three New Yorkers as they explore the clean energy…
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Wanted: 20,000 young Americans to fight climate change

By Lisa Friedman 09/20/23
President Biden intends to use executive authority to train and employ thousands of young people in jobs to fight global warming, Ali Zaidi, the White House national climate adviser, said on Tuesday.
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Decoding: The Green Jobs Revolution

By Jan Jaro 09/19/23
The Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (“Infrastructure Act”) are game-changing pieces of legislation that will catalyze trillions of private-sector green energy and decarbonization investment in the United States. These bills will…
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New Rules Help to Answer Whether Clean Energy Jobs Will Also Be Good Jobs

By Dan Gearino 09/07/23
One goal of the Inflation Reduction Act is to make sure that jobs created by the transition to clean energy have high standards for wages and benefits. The Biden administration is now providing some specifics…
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High-speed rail is a huge opportunity for American workers

By Ray LaHood and Greg Regan 09/03/23
The Biden Administration is planning to use funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to construct multiple high-speed rail lines. This is a very big deal for American workers.
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Environmental groups recruit people of color into overwhelmingly white conservation world

By Todd Richmond 08/27/23
Arianna Barajas never thought of herself as the outdoors type. The daughter of Mexican immigrants who grew up in Chicago’s suburbs, her forays into nature usually amounted to a bike ride to a community park.
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America’s manufacturing boom could add 250,000 jobs in two years — report

By Emily Peck 08/21/23
Roughly 200,000 to 250,000 new manufacturing jobs could be added in the U.S. over the next two years, according to a new estimate from Goldman Sachs.
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Union jobs essential for offshore wind

By Matthew Aracich 06/26/23
The rapidly growing renewable energy industry brings with it a wave of possibility for the type of good-paying careers that can support families and uplift entire communities. New York’s unions remain committed to collaborating with…
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Clean Energy to Add 700,000 New Jobs by 2050, with Alberta in the Lead

By Christopher Bonasia 05/30/23
With a coordinated, nation-wide net-zero strategy, Canada would see clean energy jobs grow 7% each year, adding 700,000 jobs to the sector by 2050 and creating a “pan-Canadian opportunity” for workers across provinces and industries.
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Repealing IRA Energy Tax Credits Would Jeopardize Jobs In Red And Purple States

By Silvio Marcacci 05/30/23
Pensacola, Fla., Cartersville, Ga., Greensboro, N.C., and Ridgeville, S.C., are all at the center of a new energy development. jobs
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Jobs created by net-zero transition will ‘offset’ fossil-fuel job losses in Republican US states

By Josh Gabbatiss 05/30/23
Republican strongholds, such as Texas, Wyoming and Oklahoma, stand to gain hundreds of thousands of jobs in the clean-energy sector as the US moves to a net-zero economy, a new study concludes.
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Rochester groups urge lawmakers to pass climate, clean energy jobs bills

By Jeremy Moule 05/25/23
Roughly 30 people representing several local climate advocacy and social justice organizations turned out Thursday at Washington Square Park to call on state lawmakers to pass a package of climate, clean energy, and green jobs…
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Looking for a job focused on climate solutions? Is your clean energy business or organization hiring? Explore our resources below and join the movement for green jobs!

Jobs and the Energy Economy

An expert panel discussion about the reality of energy-related jobs and the impact of the Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Acts across the sector.

Jobs & Economy Archives – Yale Climate Connections

Stories about the economic costs of climate impacts and the economic benefits of climate solutions.

How Renewables Power 12 million Jobs Globally

Employment trends are shaped by a multitude of factors A key factor in shaping employment is the rate at which renewable energy equipment is manufactured, installed and put to use. During the pandemic, renewable energy…

Climate Action= Jobs

Welcome back to ITM, the ACTION TOOLKIT for the climate movement. Knowing how to take action on climate is tricky, so WE BOIL IT ALL DOWN FOR YOU. We also know how busy you are,…

The Best Environmental Sustainability Jobs Boards and Sites

With 8.1 million job openings and 9.8 million unemployed Americans looking for work, according to Kenan Institute, a partner of University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, there is a lot of career movement in…

Statement by Rewiring America on the release of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan

The intersection of climate progress and economic prosperity is at the heart of our work at Rewiring America and we are thrilled that President Biden has put these issues front and center in his American…

A single nuclear power plant creates more jobs than any other type of energy generation facility.

The nuclear energy industry is a powerful engine for job creation. The U.S. industry directly employs nearly 100,000 people in high-quality, long-term jobs. This number climbs to 475,000 when you include secondary jobs. We cannot afford…

Climate Action = Jobs

Welcome back to ITM, the ACTION TOOLKIT for the climate movement. Knowing how to take action on climate is tricky, so WE BOIL IT ALL DOWN FOR YOU. We also know how busy you are,…

Mobilizing for a zero carbon America: Jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs

From mass unemployment to the threat of climate change, the U.S. will face a number of seemingly unprecedented challenges even after the current public health tragedy has passed. Finding needed solutions won’t be easy and…

The 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report

The U.S. Energy & Employment Report provides a unique window on the people who meet the nation’s energy needs, and identifies important trends and skill sets for the 21st Century energy workforce.


Inslee talks clean energy jobs, Malden rebuild and battling climate change

By Mary Ellen Pitney   05/25/23  
Washington Governor Jay Inslee visited Washington State University’s Pullman campus on Thursday. He spoke with Northwest Public Broadcasting’s Mary Ellen Pitney on climate-related issues including building more electric car charging stations, helping towns become fire…
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Show the green: States ranking high in renewable energy jobs gave generous incentives

By Tom Kertscher   05/22/23  
By one count, U.S. companies have announced 142,000 renewable energy jobs since the climate change-focused Inflation Reduction Act became law in August.
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Biden-Harris Administration Makes Historic, $11 Billion Investment to Advance Clean Energy Across Rural America Through Investing in America Agenda

he Biden-Harris Administration today announced the availability of nearly $11 billion in grants and loan opportunities that will help rural energy and utility providers bring affordable, reliable clean energy to their communities across the country.…
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Green jobs must be good jobs. America’s investment in the energy transition should restore the pathway to the middle class

By Darren Walker   05/15/23  
The United States is leading a green energy revolution, which could transform our economy, the environment, and the lives of working people across the country. New legislation has directed billions of dollars in federal funding…
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Global Solutions Start Here

This 100% online program in Engineering, Sustainability and Health(MESH) empowers you to make a real impact on the environment through sustainable water, energy, and waste management practices.
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Climate Change Jobs: How Business Schools Can Fill The Gap

By David Marchick and Sue Duke   05/10/23  
The global economy is undergoing a massive transformation as the world adjusts to and seeks to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis. Across many industries, this transition is already well underway. A recent study…
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30 Green Careers That Can Help Fight Climate Change

By Betsy Ladyzhets   05/10/23  
On the first Earth Day, inspired by the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 and other disasters caused by growing pollution in the U.S., 20 million Americans gathered in streets and parks to call for…
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In Minnesota, electricians are plugging into a new niche installing EV chargers

By Frank Jossi   05/03/23  
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has trained and certified more than 400 electricians to install commercial EV chargers, while several contractors are finding steady work helping homeowners get their garages ready for at-home charging.…
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Illinois Launches Long-Awaited Job-Training Programs in the Clean Energy and Construction Sectors

By Aydali Campa   04/29/23  
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced $16 million in funds last week toward clean energy workforce development programs and boosting diversity in the industry.  The announcement builds on…
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The Great Electrician Shortage

By David Owen   04/24/23  
wo days before Christmas, rain and high winds knocked down power lines on our road, in a small town in northwestern Connecticut, and that night the temperature dropped to the single digits. I worried that…
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The Real Climate Job of the Future: Carbon Accountant

By Paul Ford   04/22/23  
My children, 11-year-old twins, vaguely college-bound, will be entering the workforce right as the compost hits the turbine. I know I’m supposed to look at them and apologize for the sins of our fossil-fueled world…
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Updating Trade for Job Creation and Climate Protection

By Jonathan Elkind and Benjamin Preneta   04/10/23  
On March 31, the US Treasury Department issued guidance on tax incentives for vehicle batteries and minerals under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Among other features, the new guidance—which is subject to revision after a…
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US details plan to draw clean energy into oil, coal communities

By Jarrett Renshaw   04/04/23  
The Biden administration on Tuesday released final guidance on how clean energy companies can secure additional tax credits when investing in U.S. communities economically tied to fossil fuels like oil and coal.
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U.S. Faces Electrician Shortages As It Tries To Go Green

By Amrith Ramkumar   03/27/23  
America is trying to install electric-car chargers....
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Biden’s clean energy factory jobs may elude U.S. union workers

By Nichola Groom   03/07/23  
President Joe Biden has pledged that fighting climate change will deliver millions of middle-class jobs with good wages to Americans with union membership cards. But in the six months since passage of Biden's signature climate…
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Insight: Biden’s clean energy factory jobs may elude U.S. union workers

By Nichola Groom   03/07/23  
President Joe Biden has pledged that fighting climate change will deliver millions of middle-class jobs with good wages to Americans with union membership cards.
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As oil companies stay lean, workers move to renewable energy

By Clifford Krauss   02/27/23  
Solar, wind, geothermal, battery and other alternative-energy businesses are adding workers from fossil fuel companies, where employment has fallen....
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New York’s Wind Power Future Is Taking Shape. In Rhode Island.

By Patrick McGeehan   02/22/23  
When Gov. Kathy Hochul laid out her plan for accelerating the development of New York’s offshore wind industry a year ago, she promised thousands of jobs for state residents.
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Climate Action Means Jobs: Here’s the Proof

Climate change is no longer a chart of a graph in some far-off future. It’s here now. Thanks to bold, transformational policies like the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) climate investments, we can now say that…
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How Inflation Reduction Act is turbocharging clean energy future for Nevada, US

By Camden Lang   02/17/23  
I represent one of the many hired from the oil and gas industry who now work in the booming clean energy industry. Before making the switch, I worked as an operations engineer in North Dakota…
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As tech is rocked by layoffs, climate jobs and tools for landing them are on the rise

By Lisa Stiffler   02/08/23  
Nations and corporations are setting ambitious carbon goals. The U.S. government is enacting plans unleashing billions of dollars to address climate change. Many investors remain bullish on climate tech startups. Job prospects in the space…
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Inflation Reduction Act has spurred 100,000 new green jobs so far: Here’s where they are

By Emma Newburger and Gabriel Cortés   02/07/23  
Since President Joe Biden signed the historic Inflation Reduction Act into law last August, companies have announced more than 100,000 clean energy jobs across the country, according to a report by the nonprofit Climate Power.
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100K clean energy jobs announced since climate bill became law: analysis

By Rachel Frazin   02/06/23  
More than 100,000 climate-friendly jobs were created in the months following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a new analysis from an environmental group has found.
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The States Gaining the Most Clean Energy Jobs

By Bill Lucia   02/06/23  
A new analysis finds companies have announced more than 100,000 positions in fields like solar and wind power and battery-making since Democrats pushed through a massive climate law.
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100,000 Green Jobs Announced Since US Adopted Climate Law, Study Finds

By Carly Wanna   02/06/23  
Between last August, when President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill became law, and the end of January, companies have announced more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in the US, according to an analysis released Monday…
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‘Recession resilient’ climate start-ups shine in tech downturn

By Erin Griffith   01/30/23  
Tech workers and investors are flocking to start-ups that aim to combat climate change.
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Chart: Clean energy jobs are booming. What sectors are growing most?

By Maria Virginia Olano   01/20/23  
Plus, nearly half of the new clean energy jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree, and most pay more than the national median salary.
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Workers on Solar’s Front Lines

By Lee Harris   12/07/22  
Gary Bylander has spent the last four years traveling the country in his camper installing solar panels, mostly through the temp staffing agency Aerotek. His last job was in San Antonio, where he worked for…
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Want to work in climatetech? Here’s how to get started

By Mike Munsell   11/10/22  
As someone who has worked in the space for close to a decade (though it was called cleantech or greentech back when I got started), I can attest to how exciting it is and the…
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DOE lab: Offshore wind faces ‘recruiting challenge’

By David Iaconangelo   10/19/22  
The U.S. offshore wind industry could support as many as 58,000 jobs by 2030 if the country hits its renewable deployment goals, according to a new federal report that offers the most detailed assessment yet…
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Want a career saving the planet? Become an electrician

By Shannon Osaka   10/03/22  
When we think about solving climate change, we often think about things that, in one way or another, plug into an electrical grid: Solar panels. Heat pumps. Efficient air conditioners. Wind turbines. Electric cars and…
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Chart: Clean energy jobs still lag dirty ones, but they’re growing fast

By Shel Evergreen   09/30/22  
About 40% of all energy jobs in the U.S. last year were aligned with the goal of bringing greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero, according to the U.S. Energy & Employment Report 2022 from…
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As green jobs boom, the Green Workers Alliance wants to make sure workers are paid fairly

By YCC Team   09/05/22  
As lead organizer for the Green Workers Alliance, Nico Ries (they/them) wants to make sure opportunities in clean energy continue to grow and that companies provide workers with fair wages and safe conditions. “So often…
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Inflation Reduction Act could push workers toward the climate industry

CNBC’s Kate Rodgers joins “The Exchange” to share how the Inflation Reduction Act is fueling investor momentum for new jobs in climate and clean energy, specifically those involving software.
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How a four-day workweek could be better for the climate

By Allyson Chiu   08/08/22  
Reducing the workweek to four days could have a climate benefit, advocates say. In addition to improving the well-being of workers, they say slashing working hours may reduce carbon emissions. It’s what you might call…
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Apprenticeship program trains people for clean energy jobs

By YCC Team   07/08/22  
The clean energy industry is booming. And companies need more licensed electricians who can install solar panels, electric vehicle chargers, battery storage, and more. Vaughan Woodruff is director of workforce development at New England-based ReVision…
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DOE: Here’s what’s happened to EV, renewable, fossil jobs

By David Iaconangelo   06/28/22  
Much of the fossil fuel industry continued to hemorrhage jobs last year, even as employment in the electric car sector increased dramatically, according to a report today from the Department of Energy.
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Accelerating toward net zero: The green business building opportunity

By Rob Bland & Others   06/14/22  
A recent McKinsey report found that reaching net zero by 2050 could entail a 60 percent increase in capital spending on physical assets, compared with current levels. The required investments amount to $9.2 trillion per…
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Electric Vehicle Investments Provide Benefits Across the U.S.

This map compiles ZETA research to illustrate EV investments across the country. These private investments are creating tens of thousands of good-paying auto jobs that will reinvigorate communities, generating thousands of additional indirect jobs. And…
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Offshore Wind in New York

Long Island is poised to play a central role in the development of offshore wind (OSW) in New York State. Governor Cuomo has set an ambitious goal of 9,000 megawatts from OSW in New York…
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Detroit nonprofit offers paid training for energy efficiency jobs

By Yale Climate Connections   04/28/22  
Detroit, Michigan, needs more people who know how to make buildings more energy efficient. Sitara Govender of the non-profit Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency says there are more energy efficiency jobs available than workers with…
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What Biden Said—and Didn’t Say—on Climate during the State of the Union

By Adam Aton and Scott Waldman   03/02/22  
President Biden used his first State of the Union address to reset his administration after a year of inflation and crises at home and abroad that has left him with nearly record-low approval ratings.
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‘I’ve found purpose’: Meet the ‘green defectors’ ditching high-flying careers in business and finance to tackle climate change

By Pilita Clark   12/21/21  
Six years ago, Samantha Cooper had a high-powered job in London’s Canary Wharf financial district and a hard-charging life to match it.
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South Fork Wind wins federal OK, launching union jobs at ProvPort

By Mary Serreze   11/26/21  
The Ørsted/Eversource project will power New York homes, but the turbine foundations are being fabricated in Rhode Island.
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Biden’s Build Back Better bill would give young people jobs to fight climate change. What would a new CCC look like?

By Ledyard King   11/16/21  
As the only member of her immediate family who doesn't have asthma or bronchitis, Maricruz Ramirez has seen the threat an unhealthy environment can pose. And as someone who has grown up seeing and smelling…
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Business Schools Respond to a Flood of Interest in E.S.G.

By Jenny Gross   11/14/21  
A decade ago, the hottest M.B.A. courses typically covered topics such as game theory, valuing securities and negotiating mergers. Today, some of the most popular classes are about climate finance, impact investing and social entrepreneurship.
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Nonprofit Grid Alternatives trains women for careers in solar

By YCC Team   11/09/21  
Agrowing number of women work in the solar industry, but they still account for less than a third of solar jobs. To prepare more women for employment in the industry, the national nonprofit Grid Alternatives…
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Solving climate change means creating jobs

By John F. Kerry and Ryan Roslansky   11/08/21  
The world is gathered at COP26, the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, to come together and wrestle with a crisis that affects every country on our shared planet. We are already approaching nearly…
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The 10 most in-demand green jobs right now—some pay over $100,000 a year

By Morgan Smith   10/19/21  
Conversations about climate change have been happening for decades, but recent events, including soaring gas prices and extreme weather, have given these discussions a new urgency. In response, sectors like renewable energy, environmental science and…
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Will US Climate Policy Be Defeated by the Enmity Within?

By Joel B Stronberg   10/19/21  
Washington continues to be in the throes of a knock-down, drag-out fight between Democrats in Congress and the White House over the two pieces of BIG legislation that matter most in terms of national climate…
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