US green economy shows strong growth

The US green economy grew by 20% between 2013 and 2016, employing an additional 1.5 million people and generating more than $1.3trn in revenue per year. 

The findings from University College London also show that the US now accounts for 16.5% of the world’s green economy, employing a total of 9.5 million people. And despite president Donald Trump proposing thousands of new jobs for the fossil fuel sector over the next 30 years, the US coal industry lost around 37,000 jobs from 2013-2016.

“The green economy is of huge importance to the US in terms of economic growth and employment,” said study co-author professor Mark Maslin. “Further investment in the fossil fuel industry is incompatible with economic trends, and could end up damaging the US economy as other countries invest in their green economy.”

Broadly defined as an economy that is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive, the global green economy is estimated to have enjoyed revenue of $7.87trn in 2015-16. The strongest areas of growth in the US that year were in the renewables sector, particularly consultancy and wind energy, which saw increases of 9.36% and 8.56% in economic value respectively. However, the researchers said other countries would soon compete, with China set to generate 13m clean energy jobs by 2020.

“Given the climate change emergency and the employment slump in fossil fuel industry, it only makes sense that future investment should focus on growth in the green sector,” Maslin added.


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