A new report by the environmental nonprofit Climate XChange suggests that every $ 1 million invested in green industries could create 14 jobs in Massachusetts – almost twice as many as the state’s 10 largest industries combined. And the biggest winner could be the construction industry.
“[Solving] The climate crisis is not an easy task, ”said Jonah Kurman Faber, director of research at Climate XChange and lead author of the report. ”
Investing in a Better Massachusetts: An Analysis of Job Creation and Community Benefits from Green Investments, the report tracked how funding for more than two dozen environmental projects, either planned or ongoing, could affect the state economy. The researchers found that green investments are among the most effective jobs in the state and can lead to other benefits such as cleaner air, lower energy costs, fewer traffic accidents and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The report does not provide a definitive forecast of the total number of jobs Massachusetts will create as a result of current federal or state climate legislation. Instead, the number of jobs created per $ 1 million and the cost savings per $ 1 invested are projected into green industries such as clean energy, infrastructure, and natural resource conservation.
Faber said the report creates a model for policy makers to analyze potential recovery projects.
“In the next few months we as a state will have a lot of discussions about how to spend money,” he said. “And every time we have this conversation, this data can be applied.”
The report also suggests that every $ 1 million invested in green industries brings about $ 1.1 million in public health benefits from cleaner air, increased physical activity from infrastructure improvements, and fewer road deaths because more people use public transport.
The report notes that equity is a problem in relation to green jobs: “Clean energy jobs are predominantly occupied by white men and workers who are currently under-represented in the clean energy workforce often do not benefit from them benefits discussed in this report. “
Kerry Bowie, founder and executive director of Browning the Green Space, an organization committed to the advancement of justice and the inclusion of clean energy, said policy makers must intend to fill that void and ensure the opportunities highlighted in the report be noticed by all communities.
“The big thing for me is that we are not doing for or for the community, we are doing with the community,” said Bowie.
Faber said an important question people should ask themselves in order to build on the report is, “How is the public involved in these decisions so that the real people are prioritized?”
Climate XChange is currently working on a report on the priorities of the frontline communities in Massachusetts, which Faber said they will publish in the coming weeks.