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 value for taxpayers and benefits working people. The need to address climate change is clear and urgent, as record heat, severe flooding, and smoke-filled skies continually remind. So, too, is the need to create high-quality jobs: Wages for most workers have been stagnant for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing problems in the economy.
Reaching a clean energy future will transform major sectors and spur new employment opportunities. In 2019, the clean energy economy employed more than 3.3 million workers. Climate policies present an opportunity to create high-quality union jobs and make the economy more equitable for people of color, women, and other disadvantaged groups.The above excerpt was originally published in Center for American Progress. Please click here to view the full issue brief.