The Common Agenda — Goal 3
Green Jobs in A Green Economy
One generation from now, the engines of a robust economy are businesses and technologies that provide safe, well-paying jobs and enhance environmental quality and public health. With an economy that now accounts for the costs of public health and environmental harms, new technologies have designed-out hazards that once were viewed as acceptable risks of modern life. Resulting jobs meet the market demands of a green economy by providing a skilled labor force to retrofit America’s cities with new energy efficient technologies, construct new mass transit infrastructure, grow our nation’s food with sustainable practices, and enhance greenspace for the well-being of people and nature.
The Promotion of Sustainable Technologies and Renewable Energy is a Primary Strategy for Economic Prosperity
Policies, investments and incentives drive the proliferation of safe and sustainable technologies. The primary sources of energy used in the United States are renewable. Initiatives to promote conservation and reduce per capital energy use are prevalent and successful. Manufacturers are producing and users are demanding non-toxic renewable materials that produce no extraction, synthesis, or production waste. New technologies are developed to support sustainability goals including substitution of more dangerous technologies, rigorous consideration of environmental, health and social implications, and public involvement in the technological development process. Publicly funded green job projects further regional sustainability efforts by using locally manufactured materials wherever feasible. Public and private job creation strategies at the local, state and national levels have created millions of new, well-paid, career-track jobs as well as jobs for those workers displaced by the transition to a green economy. Economic growth in support of a green economy provides pathways out of poverty and racial injustice. Unions are recognized as key partners in assuring this just transition.
Full Cost Accounting Encourages Environmental Restoration and Protection
The full costs of the environmental and health impacts of producing goods and services are identified. Policies are in place to assign those costs across the supply chain, reflecting the full lifecycle of the product or activity—from extraction and production to consumption and waste disposal. These policies acknowledge the inequitable cost burdens of sustainable products and account for hidden costs of unsustainable products. Product pricing reflects the true costs of pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, and depletion of natural resources. This helps to stimulate innovative technologies and solutions that avoid such costs and improve environmental restoration and protection.