Jobs In Clean Energy

JOBS IN CLEAN ENERGY

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

HOW WILL CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT THE JOB MARKET NEGATIVELY?

As the world transitions from coal, oil and gas to clean energy, jobs will clearly be lost in the fossil fuel industries. Extreme heat, a significant consequence of global warming, 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 a sector deeply 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.

ARE THERE JOBS THAT WILL THRIVE?

In crisis comes opportunity, and the renewable energy sector offers a surfeit of just that. In the United States, solar jobs have seen tremendous growth. The National Solar Job Census 2022, the latest report to date, shows that as of December 2022, there were 263,883 solar workers in the U.S. This represents an increase of 8,846 jobs, or 3.5% growth since 2021. Decarbonizing the energy sector, electrifying transportation and infrastructure including homes and offices, reforestation, carbon capture and storage technologies will eliminate some jobs while creating many more. Already in 2019, Forbes was reporting that “building new renewable energy is cheaper than running existing coal plants and prices get cheaper every year.” Meanwhile, the clean energy goals mandated by both states and utilities are driving demand for workers to build renewable energy infrastructure. 

ARE YOUNG PEOPLE TRAINING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE JOBS?

In the fall of 2021, according to the NYT, some of the hottest MBA courses were about climate finance, impact investing and social entrepreneurship. This interest reflects an increase in jobs that require knowledge in environmental, social and governance, or E.S.G., topics. 

DOES AN INTERNSHIP HELP?

Getting an internship is an effective way to start. Great coaching on Intelligent.com.

ARE THESE CHANGES ACTUALLY HAPPENING?

  • By January 2023, Bloomberg was predicting that 24 million green jobs could be created globally by 2030 as tackling climate change transforms the labor market.
  • In May 2030, The World Economic Forum weighed in with support reporting that companies are facing pressure to accelerate their green transitions as just over 1 in 4 adults say sustainability is one of their top non-negotiables for a new job.
  • In July of 2023, USA Today reported that environmental and green careers are flourishing as many job seekers are looking for work in companies aligned with climate goals. A survey of Gen Z and Millennial workers found more than 40% either have or plan to change jobs due to climate concerns. A Deloitte report adds that environmental and sustainability studies are booming in colleges as increasing numbers of students want to advocate for change through where they work.

WHAT JOBS WILL BE IN DEMAND?

America will need electricians, HVAC technicians, and gardeners. Careers like wind turbine services technicians, hydrologists, atmospheric and space scientists, solar photovoltaic installers, soil and plant scientists, conservation scientists, environmental science and protection technicians, environmental engineers, and environmental scientists and specialists will all see growth.

DOES THE GOVERNMENT PUBLISH A JOBS REPORT?

The U.S. Department of Energy publishes a national jobs report every year here. The 2022 fact sheet can be found here.

JOB DIRECTORIES AND RESOURCES 

For more on where the clean energy jobs are, check out  the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. Other job directories are:

Our own ORGANIZATIONS page is another resource as some organizations such as the U.S. Climate Alliance and Wildlife Society host their own job boards.

CURRENT NEWS

Biden Builds a Domestic Green Army

By The Editorial Board 04/02/24
Who says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has no influence? Her vision to mobilize a government Climate Corps to promote green politics is becoming a reality. President Biden wants to shrink the real Army, but his budget…
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Wind and solar energy are booming in surprising places

By Shannon Osaka 11/15/23
a county named for its coal deposits — a power company is building hundreds of wind turbines. In Mingo County, W.Va., where many small towns were once coal towns, the Adams Fork Energy plant will…
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Governor Hochul Announces Clean Energy Jobs at Highest Level Ever in New York State

11/15/23
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the number of individuals with clean energy jobs in New York State reached the highest level ever with a record 171,000 workers at the end of 2022, reflecting the quality…
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Displaced Miners Find Work in Renewable Energy Boom

By Benjy Sachs 10/30/23
Dale Davis, a retired coal miner in Cadiz, Ohio, left the profession because of a lack of job security. Laid off four times in the course of more than three decades in mining, Davis has…
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Empowered State

09/25/23
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.
Read more

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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Jobs That Will Thrive in the Climate Change Era

09/15/23
The employment landscape is changing because of climate change. The future or current working lives of this generation will be, to an extent, influenced by the climate crisis as the world is pushing for a…
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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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KEY RESOURCES

Can your career actually give you the power to save the planet?

10/03/23
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…

Find your dream climate job

05/11/23
Search for roles across hundreds of exciting climate organizations. Discover companies and organizations that need your skills to achieve their mission.

CLEAN ENERGY CAREERS NY

04/27/23
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!

How To Get An Internship

04/05/23
Getting an internship is one of the most important things you can do to start your career off right. Decades ago, a college degree would have been the only thing you needed to get hired…

Welcome to Offshore Wind Training New York

03/29/23
This website, supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will introduce you to career pathways and training opportunities in the growing offshore wind industry to help jumpstart or further your…

Nature Tech Jobs

01/13/23
The climate jobs platform focused on naturetech, nature based solutions and the biodiversity crisis. Explore jobs and organizations focusing on nature tech.

Jobs and the Energy Economy

01/12/23
An expert panel discussion about the reality of energy-related jobs and the impact of the Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Acts across the sector.

Welcome to eeJOBS

11/25/21
Welcome! eePRO is the global online community for everyone who cares about education and creating a more just and sustainable future. Connect with other EE professionals, participate in discussions in eePRO groups, and find and…

Jobs & Economy Archives – Yale Climate Connections

11/09/21
Stories about the economic costs of climate impacts and the economic benefits of climate solutions.

How Renewables Power 12 million Jobs Globally

10/29/21
Upward trajectory confirms the sector’s consistency in generating socio-economic gains, even during a pandemic.

Find Your Green New Career


08/13/21
When we invest 10 trillion dollars in green infrastructure, we can stop the climate crisis and create millions of Green New Careers in the process.

The Best Environmental Sustainability Jobs Boards and Sites

05/26/21
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

05/26/21
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.

05/18/21
The nuclear energy industry is a powerful engine for job creation. The U.S. nuclear energy sector directly employs nearly 100,000 people in high-quality, long-term jobs. This number climbs to 475,000 when you include secondary jobs.…

Our Plan: Labor Leading on Climate

05/06/21
Over the next three years, CJNRC will be building Climate Jobs organizations in 11 additional states that have strong political leadership, a strong labor presence, and elected officials who are committed to making progress on…

Advancing a Pro-Worker, Pro-Climate Agenda

05/06/21
We are a growing coalition of labor unions representing 2.6 million working men and women at the center of New York’s economy. We are committed to building a clean energy economy at the scale climate…

5 Ways State and Local Governments can make climate Jobs good Jobs

05/06/21
As state and local governments pursue projects to address climate change—such as building wind farms and solar fields, installing electric vehicle infrastructure, and improving building efficiency—they should use their powers in a way that delivers…

The weekly action toolkit for the climate movement

04/30/21
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

10/01/20
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 Growth Of America’s Clean Energy & Sustainability Jobs

08/27/20
Over the past several decades, the United States has been transitioning into a more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient economy. New business models, goods and services, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, have emerged,…

Clean Energy and Jobs

08/27/20
Energy industries and others have argued that policies to reduce carbon emissions or promote new energy sources could impose debilitating costs on the economy. Some labor and consumer groups have also raised concerns that such…

Frequently Asked Questions on Climate Change and Jobs

08/27/20
Climate change will seriously impact employment across economic sectors and regions. These impacts will result from extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, heavy precipitation, and increased occurrence and intensity of cyclones, or from…

Green Jobs in Your Community

08/05/20
Green infrastructure is often perceived as costly and "job-killing", but the case for its cost effectiveness, multiple community benefits, and job creation potential is not mere wishful thinking. Across the nation, communities are proving that…

Find Out Where the Green Jobs Are in Your State

08/05/20
This U.S. state by state section is part of a larger and evolving group of related resources that include valuable information of cleantech, sustainability and environmental employment trends and green sector by sector employment outlook…

Make climate your career

08/04/20
Discover jobs at thousands of organizations working on climate solutions.

The 7 Highest-Paying Careers in Climate Change and Sustainability

01/21/20
As it turns out, most opportunities to simultaneously do good for the planet and your bank account exist in science and management fields. To land them, you’ll need to have advanced levels of education and…

The 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report

12/10/19
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. Download the 2020…

How can I get a job that fights climate change?

08/01/19
But times have changed, and in 2019, high-schoolers are kicking most adults’ rent-paying, voting (or not) asses when it comes to adequate concern about the climate crisis. That makes sense, since by the time we’re…

Fact Sheet – Jobs in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Resilience (2019)

07/23/19
This fact sheet focuses on employment in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in the United States and around the world. According to the 2019 U.S. Energy Employment Report (USEER), 611,000 people worked in…

Climate Corps

01/07/19
Climate Corps is a 10-month fellowship program that provides incredible professional development opportunities for emerging climate protection leaders through implementation of climate change resiliency projects with local governments, non-profits and for-profit businesses. Fellows participate in…

MORE NEWS

Fossil Fuel Companies Took Billions in U.S. Coronavirus Relief Funds but Still Cut Nearly 60,000 Jobs

By Nicholas Kusnetz   04/02/21  
When Congress looked to prop up a tanking economy and stanch its hemorrhaging of employment as the pandemic spread last year, the oil industry was among those that sought relief.
Read more

The Promise of Offshore Wind

By Brittany Gibson   03/24/21  
Wind farms in 42 states provided about 7 percent of U.S. power needs in 2019, a figure that is expected to grow. But offshore wind is the exciting growth area for technology and jobs, as…
Read more

New Video: Climate Action Means Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

By Peter Sinclair   02/25/21  
We are moving in that direction, away from fossil fuels and non-renewables, but in a capitalist way. Certainly not something that goes against Republican philosophy. The next hurdle I see is getting gas stations to…
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The Energy 202: China, Europe way ahead of U.S. when it comes to clean energy jobs

By Alexandra Ellerbeck   02/12/21  
President Biden has promised that U.S. efforts to combat climate change will create millions of jobs. But the country will be playing catch-up, especially when it comes to battery technology critical for powering electric cars…
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How Biden’s new Civilian Climate Corps would work

By Adele Peters   01/28/21  
In 1933, when millions of Americans were out of work because of the Great Depression, the newly created Civilian Conservation Corps—part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal—hired a “tree army” of young men who eventually…
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An $80,000 Per Year Job of the Future: EV Charging Station Technician

By Steve LeVine   01/26/21  
Techno-optimists tell us not to fear the age of robots and automation — that new jobs will replace those that are wiped out. Such talk has tended to ring hollow. What sort of jobs do…
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Oil And Gas Industry Must Get Serious About Climate Change To Compete For Millennial And Gen Z Workforce

By Emily Pickrell   01/12/21  
While the younger generations are eager to see climate change and carbon management addressed, they are more reluctant to accept jobs where their talent and enthusiasm is most needed to address it – in the…
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‘A Slap in the Face’: The Pandemic Disrupts Young Oil Careers

By Clifford Krauss   01/03/21  
But the collapse in the demand for oil and gas during the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted her well-laid plans and is forcing her to consider a new path.
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Oil Jobs Are Big Risk, Big Pay. Green Energy Offers Stability And Passion

By Camila Domonoske   10/22/20  
In 2008, Daimon Rhea moved to Utah to find work in the oil fields. He didn't have any experience — and he didn't need any. "I was out there for two days and I had…
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PERI Releases Pair of New Studies Detailing Clean Energy Job Growth Programs for Ohio and Pennsylvania

10/21/20  
UMass Amherst institute proposes a recovery program as a counterforce against the region’s economic collapse while building a foundation for long-term recovery.
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Oklahoma Energy Workforce Consortium promotes new energy career cluster

By Staff Reporter   10/20/20  
The Oklahoma Energy Workforce Consortium (OEWC) is launching a new energy career cluster to promote the benefits of pursuing careers in energy.  Energy is the highest-paying industry in the state, averaging more than $100,000 annually.…
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Wind energy jobs in Iowa expected to double or triple by 2030

By Angie Bergenson   10/10/20  
The renewable energy market is expected to see tremendous growth over the next decade.Even in the current economic struggles recorded worldwide, wind energy jobs are expected to take off over the next ten years. Iowa…
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Gov. Laura Kelly announces nearly 1,000 permanent jobs, $8 billion of total investment to Kansas

Photo by Ben Rumbaugh.   10/01/20  
Gov. Laura Kelly joined Kansas Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary for Business Development Bill Murphy and Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Invenergy Kris Zadlo on Sept. 30 to announce Invenergy’s new Grain Belt…
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Decarbonization can fix the jobs crisis and the climate crisis, scientist says

By David Broncaccio and Rose Conlon   08/11/20  
There’s this notion that slowing climate change is an economically costly task. To wean ourselves off of fossil fuels means massive job losses for the traditional energy industries like coal, oil and natural gas —…
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How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly

By David Roberts   08/06/20  
The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035.
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Let’s Hire Laid-Off Oil and Gas Workers to Fight Climate Change

By Michael R. Bloomberg   08/03/20  
The fact is, the U.S. oil and gas sector was in trouble even before the pandemic struck. Last year more than three dozen producers declared bankruptcy, hobbled by declining energy prices and rising debt. The…
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Let’s Hire Laid-Off Oil and Gas Workers to Fight Climate Change

By Michael R. Bloomberg   08/03/20  
This turmoil has hurt oil and gas workers — some 100,000 have been laid off this year alone — and communities that depend on fossil fuel extraction are suffering. The bankruptcies have also left scars…
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To recharge America’s job market, build a green electric grid

By Saul Griffith & Alex Laskey   07/29/20  
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have the highest unemployment we’ve seen since the Great Depression. Many of those jobs will disappear forever in the post-COVID world, and others will take years to…
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Joe Biden’s climate bet: putting jobs first will bring historic change

By Emily Holden   07/29/20  
Some campaigners remain unconvinced that he could be as aggressive as necessary with the fossil fuel industry, but his campaign believes they are on the winning path by connecting the environment with jobs.
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11 of the Fastest Growing Green Jobs

07/24/20  
Green jobs benefit both the economy and the environment, and include everything from alternative fuels to tasty foods.
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Green Industries Can Accelerate a True Jobs-Focused Recovery

By Daniel Quiggin   07/03/20  
As of the beginning of May, 33 million Americans had lost their jobs in the preceding seven-week lockdown - equivalent to a 14.7% unemployment rate, and quadrupling the 2019 rate of 3.5%. In China, although…
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Biden’s climate plan tries to bring unions into clean energy

By Amy Harder   07/03/20  
Why it matters: Wind and solar energy have grown immensely across America over the last decade, but associated union jobs have not. The Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee is trying to change that, which politicians and…
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Heat Waves, Solar Rooftops, And Renewable Energy Jobs: Climate Equity Should Guide Decarbonization

By Nives Dolsak and Aseem Prakash   07/03/20  
Floods and hurricanes also disproportionately hurt low-income communities. People experiencing poverty, who are often forced to live in low-lying areas, face the brunt when rivers overflow due to extreme precipitation. Worse still, when natural disasters…
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Want jobs and clean energy? This overlooked technology could deliver both

By Sammy Roth   07/01/20  
Sunrise Powerlink carves a twisting path through the deserts and mountains of Southern California, skirting the U.S.-Mexico border and cutting through a national forest on its 117-mile path from the rural Imperial Valley to urban…
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This Minneapolis microgrid could serve as a jobs training and resiliency hub

By Frank Jossi   07/01/20  
The racially diverse neighborhood of North Minneapolis could become the site of a novel educational and social equity collaboration.
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Mobilizing for a zero carbon America: Jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs

By Saul Griffith and Sam Calisch   07/01/20  
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…
Read more

Congress set to vote on major job-creating, national infrastructure bill

By Felice Stadler   06/26/20  
Three months into the COVID-19 crisis, it’s clear that the American economy and the nation’s workforce needs more help. Millions are still out of work and experts have declared a recession. To address this need,…
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New Hampshire clean energy industry looks to create jobs — and workers

By David Thill   06/01/20  
A recent report indicated that clean energy employers were struggling to find workers before the pandemic struck.
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Focusing the recovery on green infrastructure could create millions of jobs

By Adele Peters   05/14/20  
A $1 million investment in energy efficiency creates around eight full-time jobs, nearly three times as many as an investment in fossil fuels.
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Pandemic costs clean energy sector nearly 600,000 jobs

By Kelsey Tamborrino   05/14/20  
The clean energy sector has shed nearly 600,000 jobs since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and losses are expected to worsen in the coming months, according to a report released Wednesday by industry groups.
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Climate change is looming. But America has lost 600,000 clean energy jobs

By Sammy Roth   05/13/20  
The United States shed more than half a million clean energy jobs in March and April, a new report says, reversing years of growth in an industry that has helped reduce lung-damaging air pollution and…
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Clean Energy Generates Jobs. Why Does Washington Look Away?

By Andy Stone   04/30/20  
The post Clean Energy Generates Jobs. Why Does Washington Look Away? appeared first on Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
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CLEAN ENERGY COULD GET AMERICANS BACK TO WORK POST-PANDEMIC

By Justine Calma   04/30/20  
The basic idea is that federal spending on a cleaner future would put Americans back to work, shift the balance of power away from polluting industries with big lobbying budgets, and meet key deadlines for…
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Massachusetts solar jobs growing again, but not as quickly as national average

By Sarah Shemkus   03/11/20  
Solar advocates blame policy uncertainty for recent declines and say the industry still faces headwinds in the state.
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Indigenous people are already working “green jobs”

By Nick Estes   09/24/19  
From Standing Rock to the Unist’ot’en Camp, land defense and water protection are necessary for the continuation of life on a planet teetering on collapse....
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Minnesota grows business, jobs as it greens the local economy

By Neal St. Anthony   09/15/19  
Renewables now account for 25% of total Minnesota power production. Policymakers and utilities are talking about doubling that by 2030.
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Goldman Sachs’ new sustainable finance group is looking to hire

by Beecher Tuttle   07/29/19  
Late last week, Goldman Sachs announced the creation of a sustainable finance group – a new team that will focus on impact investing as well as financing sustainable commercial projects. Here are some key takeaways…
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A career in energy efficiency could be one man’s path to financial security

By YCC Team   06/05/19  
As companies and governments look for ways to save energy and money, new career paths are opening up for people like Richard Quaofio. Quaofio: “I’m originally from Ghana, and I grew up in a poor…
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Jobs, equity and economic justice are at the core of new Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau   05/16/19  
Suburban drivers, Amazon deliveries and Uber rides are now the bigger source of greenhouse gases, presenting a new challenge for policy.
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Wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing job in Iowa

By Kevin Hardy and Yuejun Chen   07/25/18  
The organization's projections for Iowa identify wind turbine technician as the state's fastest-growing job: Those positions are expected to grow 13.2 percent between 2017 and 2019.
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Energy storage, wind, and solar companies are recruiting coal miners for their work ethics and high-tech skills

By Jim Marston   05/08/18  
When a California battery company officially moved its headquarters and manufacturing to Kentucky coal country last week, generous state tax subsidies certainly played a role – but so did something often lost in the debate…
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Clean Energy and Jobs

By James P. Barrett and others   02/01/02  
In the wake of rising energy prices, rolling electricity blackouts, threats to world energy markets, and ominous news of global climate changes, a broad consensus is emerging that the U.S. needs to improve its energy…
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