Green Expectations

Green Expectations, published by the U.K. think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, reports on a learning exchange in March 2011, when the Institute led a group of community leaders, trade union and NGO representatives to California to meet with politicians, business people, academics and civil society leaders engaged in the emerging green economy. The report draws together case studies and analysis of key literature about green job creation and the quality of green jobs. Three case studies are presented: Community Workforce Agreements (Clean Energy Works, Oregon); Community Mobilisation Initiatives (Green Justice Coalition, Massachusetts), and a joint industry-union training partnership, (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors’ Association (NECA), California).

 

The report draws policy implications for the green economy in the U.K., and points out that “the US experience demonstrates how strength emerges from a broad base: strong coalitions are needed between the government, trade unions, employers and environmental and community groups to build a ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon economy, to advocate for greater policy stability and to defend existing policy”.

 

There are also valuable appendices: Appendix A compiles and summarizes U.S. Green Economy job projections and estimates from 12 major studies; Appendix B describes some important U.S. Green economy organizations: Apollo Alliance, Emerald Cities, Richmond BUILD, Green for All, and the Ella Baker Center Green Jobs campaign. Appendix C presents Green Economy coalitions and organizations in the U.K.: East London Green Jobs Alliance; Global Action Plan; TUC Green Workplaces; Claverhouse Group; Greener Jobs Alliance; Capacity Global’s Greener Jobs Programme.

 

LINKS:

Green Expectations: Lessons from the US Green Jobs Market, published by the Institute for Public Policy Research in the U.K. at: http://www.ippr.org/images/media/files/publication/2011/07/green-expectations_July2011_7756.pdf

Detailed Data and Policy Recommendations for the U.S. Clean Economy

Sizing the Clean Economy, published by the Brookings Institute in July 2011, claims to be “the first study of the U.S. clean economy to provide timely information that is both comprehensive enough in its scope and detailed enough in its categorization to inform national, state, and regional leaders on the dynamics of the U.S. low-carbon and environmental goods and services “super-sector” as they are transpiring in regions and metropolitan areas”. Of the U.S. green economy between 2003 to 2010, the report finds: Clean economy jobs are predominantly in manufacturing (26%, compared to 9% green jobs in the economy as a whole) and provide more opportunities with better pay for lower-skilled workers. Highly trained innovators-scientists, engineers, and architects-are disproportionately demanded by the clean economy. 64 percent of all current clean economy jobs and 75 percent of its newer jobs created between 2003 to 2010 congregated in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The report’s discussion and policy recommendations emphasize the need for detailed regional and local market labour market information.

LINKS:

Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment at:

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/Programs/Metro/clean_economy/0713_clean_economy.pdf

Modelling the Impact of Clean Energy Innovation

Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google Inc., has released an analysis using McKinsey and Company’s U.S. Low Carbon Economy model to estimate the potential impact of clean energy innovation on the U.S. energy system and economy by 2030 and 2050. The results compare a “business as usual” approach with other scenarios of aggressive technological innovation and strong government incentives for clean energy. It concludes that strong technological innovation alone could result in over 1.1 million net new jobs by 2030, while improving economic output and reducing emissions.

LINKS:

The Impact of Clean Energy Innovation: Examining the Impact of Clean Energy Innovation on the United States Energy System and Economy at:

http://www.google.org/energyinnovation/The_Impact_of_Clean_Energy_Innovation.pdf

Education and Competency Standards for Green Occupations in Canada

ECO Canada has released the 2011 survey of the state of environmental programs in Canada’s post-secondary educational institutions, updating its 2010 report. As of 2006, there was a total of 127,170 enrolments in environmental programs in universities and colleges in Canada, compared to 109,074 in 2001. Measuring enrolment numbers between 2006 and 2008, the report notes a transition in enrolment from colleges to universities, especially in 3 programs: natural resources and conservation, biological and biomedical science, and physical sciences.

 

In June 2011, the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and the Environment Careers Organization of Canada (ECO Canada) announced an Environmental Professional in Greenhouse Gas – EP (GHG) – designation. This title is available to professionals who have been working for 5 or more years in the areas of GHG quantification or verification. (A trainee designation is also available for those with less than 5 years experience). ECO Canada has also released a scoping study for building operators, as a step toward defining and measuring a profession which can help reduce the amount of energy used in buildings in the commercial and institutional sectors.

LINKS:

Post-Secondary Environmental Education in Canada at:

http://www.eco.ca/pdf/ECO-Secondary-Education-RPT-2011.pdf

Competencies for GHG Professionals: National Occupational Standards at:

http://www.eco.ca/pdf/2009-NOS-for-Greehouse-Gas-Professionals.pdf

Building Operators Scoping Study: 2011 Labour Market Research Study at:

http://www.eco.ca/pdf/2011-Building-Operator-Scoping-Study.pdf

Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Program Moves Closer to Arbitration at the WTO

On July 20, 2011, the World Trade Organization established a panel to arbitrate the case of “Canada – Certain Measures Affecting the Renewable Energy Generation Sector” (DISPUTE DS412), to determine whether feed-in tariff programme violates WTO law by providing guaranteed long-term pricing for the output of renewable energy generation facilities that source up to 60% of their inputs from Ontario. Although the panel has been established, no members have been appointed yet. All documents are compiled at:

http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds412_e.htm

Quebec Cap and Trade

On July 6, the government of Quebec tabled regulations for a cap-and-trade system, based on the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) model. A 60-day consultation period is underway. The planned implementation of the system will be January 1, 2012, with only the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon trading required in year one. Read Dale Marshall’s remarks from the David Suzuki Foundation website at: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/climate-blog/2011/07/quebec-takes-next-step-towards-a-cap-and-trade-system/

Oil Sands Monitoring

Canada’s Environment Minister released a monitoring plan for the oil sands region on July 21, 2011. Following the 2010 recommendation of an independent Oil Sands Advisory Panel, the new plan includes components for monitoring air quality, biodiversity, and the next phase of water quality monitoring. The federal government and the government of Alberta will implement the plan, according to the Environment Canada press release at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=714D9AAE-1&news=DA1E8CBC-D0A6-4304-A1DD-A9206D0818AB

See the full plan at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=56D4043B-1&news=7AC1E7E2-81E0-43A7-BE2B-4D3833FD97CE

Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks in Canada and the U.S.

On August 9, 2011, Canada’s Environment Minister released a consultation document for proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel efficiency of new on-road heavy-duty vehicles, including full-size pick-up trucks, tractor-trailers, freight, delivery, service, cement, garbage and dump trucks, as well as buses, beginning with the 2014 model year. The proposed regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, in early 2012. At that time, there will be a formal 60-day consultation period. Regulations are scheduled for later in 2012, with an implementation date to be aligned with that of the U.S.

 

This initiative has been in the works since May 21, 2010, when Canada and the U.S. announced their intentions to proceed with joint North American regulations. On August 9, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published the U.S. regulations.

 

LINKS:

Environment Canada. Consultation Document for Discussion of the Main Elements of the Proposed Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Engines at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=E826C69F-1

United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Regulations and Standards website compiles links to regulations and background information at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm

Canadian Trucking Alliance submission re the GHG reduction plan at: http://www.cantruck.ca/imispublic/Environment1/AM/ContentManagerNet/ContentDisplay.aspx?Section=Environment1&ContentID=8373

Australian Legislation Includes Carbon Pricing

The Australian government released drafts of several bills, including a carbon pricing mechanism, in a Clean Energy Legislative Package on July 28, 2011. See Securing a Clean Energy Future: the Australian Government’s Climate Change Plan, and especially Chapter 5, Supporting Jobs, at: http://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Consolidated-Final.pdf

International Renewable Energy Industry

Renewables 2011: Global Status Report was released in July by the Renewable Energy Global Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). Since 2005, this annual has benchmarked market and industry trends (including investment flows & national policies) for all renewable energy sectors: solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric. Note the table re:employment in renewables, by sector in Chapter 3. Renewables 2011 at: http://www.ren21.net/Portals/97/documents/GSR/REN21_GSR2011.pdf

United Nations 2011 World Economics and Social Survey

The Great Green Technological Transformation is available at: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wess/wess_current/2011wess.pdf. The report focuses on three themes: transition to renewable sources of energy; promotion of small-holder agriculture and environmentally-intelligent farming technology; and development of new technology to reduce disaster risk to adapt to climate change.