As California’s economy reopens, numerous labor union representatives at a news conference Thursday morning demanded a safe and equitable transition to the green economy for workers. Union members made their demands virtually at the conference, also sharing their thoughts on a new related report on California jobs by researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
The research, led by economics professor Robert Pollin, says California can create one million new jobs a year through 2030 by investing in energy efficiency, clean renewable energy, manufacturing/infrastructure, and land restoration/agriculture.
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“Our study shows how to get there,” Pollin said.
As California transitions to a greener economy, new jobs can be created while other jobs will be lost.
The report says $76 billion is needed to create 416,000 jobs in energy efficiency and clean renewable energy while $62 billion is needed to create 626,000 jobs in manufacturing/infrastructure and land restoration/agriculture.
Pollin said about 112,000 workers are employed in California’s fossil fuel and bioenergy industries and about 58,000 are expected to lose their jobs by 2030 as those two industries contract and coal use ends.
The damage may be most severe in Kern, Contra Costa, and Los Angeles counties, where 50 percent of all fossil fuel job losses will occur when the state’s fossil fuel industry contracts, according to the study.
But about 350,000 a year can be created with the investments that Pollin’s team suggests.
About 320,000 of those will be created in Los Angeles County.