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Less Carbon = More Jobs

by Adam Stern

An interactive map locates companies that will be helped by climate legislation.

A common criticism of proposals to fight global warming is that the U.S. (and the rest of the world) can't afford it right now because we're in the middle of a deep recession. Critics also argue that any federal action on climate will cause job losses at a time of high unemployment.

The Environmental Defense Fund paints a very different picture with its new web site, In one of the better examples of a Google Maps mash-up, EDF has catalogued companies whose products or services are helping to reduce carbon emissions. Click on a state and the map shows the location of the companies -- along with details on what they make and the number of employees. You can also find information on the local media markets -- a handy link that can prompt reporters to write stories about new jobs in the green economy.

These companies will probably grow more if a cap and trade bill passes in Congress. The goal of the web site is to help build a positive political force for climate legislation and counter the effect of fossil-fuel dependent industries that only highlight potential job losses.

EDF strategically chose 12 swing states-- places where the 2008 election was particularly competitive -- for the initial release of the site. Director of Sustainable Technologies Jackie Roberts told me in Washington last week that the site will cover the whole country later this year. If you know of companies that ought to be included on the LessCarbonMoreJobs map, you can submit them here.

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Thank you for this great post. Its encouraging that there will be supporting to those new industries working to offer carre track jobs that directly preserve or enhance our environmental quality.

I think Van Jones said it best: when we think of what "green jobs look like...we should rather imagine Joe the Plumber with a hard hat and a lunch bucket..."

As the old chinese parable goes: "before enlightenment: chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment: chopping wood, carrrying water." Okay, the new environmental economy will be a little different than this...

Elliott Wright
Sempervirens Fund

Posted by: Elliott Wright on 14 Mar 09

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