Profiles of British Columbia’s Green Economy

British Columbia is one of the members of the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC), along with California, Oregon, and Washington. The PCC commissioned GLOBE Advisors and the Center for Climate Strategies to identify opportunities for accelerated job creation and investment in a clean economy, defined as clean energy supply and energy efficiency, green buildings, clean transportation, and climate resiliency. The resulting report, The West Coast Clean Economy, released in March 2012, estimates clean economy contributions of $47.2 billion to GDP, and more than 508,000 full-time equivalent direct production jobs for the entire West Coast region in 2010. British Columbia is profiled, summarizing key policy, program and investment initiatives; B.C.’s 2010 current clean economy GDP is estimated at $7.4 billion and the number of direct jobs at 62,593.

 

A briefer profile based on a broader definition of green economy was released by B.C.Premier Christy Clark at the 2012 GLOBE Conference in Vancouver on March 14. B.C.’s Green Economy: Growing green jobs summarizes the policy initiatives which promote investment, cites exemplary companies, and provides statistics on job creation and training in each of B.C.’s clean tech, mining, forestry, tourism, agriculture, and transportation sectors. Statistics are given for 2008, estimating 117,160 direct and 48,840 indirect full-time equivalent green jobs (or 7.2% of total employment) for the entire province.

LINKS:

The West Coast Clean Economy is at:

http://globeadvisors.ca/media/3322/wcce_report_web_final.pdf

 

B.C.’s Green Economy: Growing green jobs is at a B.C. government website at: http://www.bcge.ca/BCs_Green_Economy_print.pdf

Ontario Feed-In Tariff Review Affirms Domestic Content Regulations, Lowers Prices

The Ontario government announced on March 22 that it will accept all recommendations contained in the 2-year review of the Feed in Tariff program, including continuation of the domestic content regulations which encourage local manufacturing, and “creating more jobs sooner by streamlining the regulatory approvals process for projects”. The report states that “Since 2009, it is estimated that the program has created almost 2,000 direct manufacturing jobs… Other jobs related to the FIT Program are construction-based… For every 10,000 construction jobs created by the clean energy sector, almost $500 million in economic activity flows back into Ontario communities”. It also states that Ontario’s public colleges and universities have introduced new programs including training for wind turbine technicians; green business management; renewable energies technicians; sustainable energy and building technology; and clean and renewable energy engineering technology. In a statement entitled Moving Clean Energy Forward, the government outlines its future actions, including the development of a Clean Energy Economic Development Strategy by the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. No target date is provided.

LINKS:

Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff Program: Two year Review Report is at: http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/docs/en/FIT-Review-Report.pdf, and the Ontario government’s reaction is at Moving Clean Energy Forward at: http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2012/03/moving-clean-energy-forward.html

 

Response by Blue Green Canada to the FIT Review and the legislative debate concerning the Green Energy Act is at: http://www.bluegreencanada.ca/node/127 .

Northern Gateway Pipeline Job Creation – Another Analysis

On March 21, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released an analysis which reviews the economic case for the Northern Gateway Pipeline, with a focus on the claimed and projected employment impacts. Enbridge claims that the pipelines will create 63,000 person-years of employment during its construction phase, and 1,146 full-time jobs once completed. Marc Lee, author of the CCPA report, argues that these projections are “grossly overstated, and based on modeling that makes many unjustified assumptions”. He also criticizes Enbridge for ignoring the economic costs and environmental risks of the pipeline, including disruption to existing employment, potential job losses due to oil spills, and the economic costs of carbon emissions. Lee concludes that “The only jobs we can bank on are approximately 1,850 construction jobs per year for three years, and a handful of permanent new jobs once completed”. Lee also discusses the additional job creation opportunities that even minimal processing of oil sands bitumen in Canada would bring, and the greater job creation that could result from redirecting the $5 billion investment from oil sands to green jobs and industries.

LINKS:

 

Enbridge Pipe Dreams and Nightmares: The Economic Costs and Benefits of the Proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline at:

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2012/03/CCPA-BC_Enbridge_Pipe_Dreams_2012.pdf 

 

For links to earlier studies on the Northern Gateway pipeline, see the February 2012 issue of the Work and Climate Change Report at:

Job Creation from Energy Efficiency Improvements

On March 1, Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors (DBCCA) and The Rockefeller Foundation in the U.S. released a report which estimates that a $279 billion investment in retrofitting of residential, commercial and institutional buildings in the U.S. could reduce that country’s CO2 emissions by nearly 10% per year and produce more than a threefold return on investment by the end of the decade. It estimates that the retrofits, including upgrades to lighting, heating, and cooling, could create 3.3 million job years, equivalent to employing 330,000 full time workers for 10 years, mostly in the residential sector. The report concludes with a discussion of financing models for such investment.

 

LINKS:

 

United States Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Market Sizing and Financing Models is available at:

3.1 Million Jobs in Green Goods and Services in the U.S.

The inaugural issue of Employment in Green Goods and Services was released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 22, revealing that in 2010, 3.1 million jobs, or 2.4% of total employment in the U.S., were associated with the production of green goods and services. Manufacturing had 461,800 GGS jobs, the most among any private sector industry. The BLS green jobs definition contains two components: an output-based definition which includes jobs found in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, and which is the subject of the March report. The second, process-based definition includes jobs where duties involve making production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. A report on process-based jobs is scheduled for Summer 2012.

 

LINKS:

 

Employment in Green Goods and Services 2010 is available at:

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ggqcew.pdf.

 

Two related websites with technical information about data and definitions:the GGS website at: http://www.bls.gov/ggs/; the U.S. BLS Green Jobs website at: http://www.bls.gov/green/ .

Business Attitudes and Actions Toward Adaptation

In a report released in March and directed to Canada’s business community, the National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment presents case studies of the practical adaptation actions, experience and advice of what they call “climate pacesetters”. The thirteen Canadian firms profiled are: B.C.Hydro, Cameco, Coca Cola Canada, EBA Engineering Consultants, Entenergy, Hydro Quebec, J.D. Irving, Munich RE, Rio Tinto Alcan, Royal Bank of Canada, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Tolco Industries, and Whistler Blackcomb. Companion documents: A Business Primer and an Advisory Report to Government, with research and recommendations on how government can support greater business adaptation to climate change.

 

Another recent report by Siemens UK surveyed six hundred businesses concerning their attitudes toward energy management and conservation, as well as the position of the Energy Manager within the company. The goal of the brief report is to serve as a foundation for the construction of a “Green League” of companies. Some sobering findings: while 79% of respondents claimed to take energy management seriously within their companies, 46% admit that they don’t know their current CO2 emission levels; 7% had investing nothing in the last 3 years on energy efficiency improvements, and 94% of energy managers have no formal qualifications relating to their role.

LINKS:

Facing the elements: building business resilience in a changing climate: case studies Report #5 in the NRTEE Climate Prosperity series at:

http://nrtee-trnee.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/cp5-case-studies.pdf

 

The Green League: How businesses are reacting to the green agenda is at: http://www.siemens.co.uk/pool/news_press/news_archive/2012/greenleaguereport.pdf

 

Environmental Cuts in the 2012 Canadian Budget

The budget of the federal government of Canada, released on March 29, 2012, includes changes to “streamline” environmental assessments, cut the budget of Environment Canada, and eliminate the National Roundtable on the Economy and the Environment (NRTEE).

LINKS: 

See the budget documents at the government’s website at: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2012/home-accueil-eng.html;

read a summary in the Toronto Globe and Mail at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ottawa-clears-hurdles-to-resource-development/article2386106/.

For reactions, see Marc Lee at the Canadian Centre for Policy Analysis website at: http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2012/03/29/a-budget-that-screws-the-planet-for-short-term-profits/

or Andrea Harden-Donahue at Rabble.ca at:

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/council-canadians/2012/03/budget-2012-good-big-oil-bad-people-and-environment.

Ontario’s Climate Adaptation Strategy Assessed

On March 7, 2012 the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario released a review of the 2011 Climate Ready adaptation strategy and planning document. The Commissioner states that the plan “represents a significant contribution towards a growing national and international policy movement”. However, he calls for improvements such as prioritizing the actions that are needed, setting specific targets and timelines, identifying dedicated funding, and outlining the responsibilities of key government ministries. He calls on the province to support local and municipal initiatives such as the Community Adaptation Initiative, whose funding ends in March 2012.

 

LINKS:

Ready for Change? An assessment of Ontario’s climate change adaptation strategy at: http://www.eco.on.ca/uploads/Reports-special/2012-Adaptation/Ready-for-Change-bookmarked.pdf

 

Climate Ready: Ontario’s Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan, 2011-2014 at: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@ene/@resources/documents/resource/stdprod_085423.pdf

Update on British Columbia: Carbon Tax Under Review; Natural Gas Strategy Projects Job Growth

In February, British Columbia released two strategy documents, fleshing out plans for the natural gas industry which had been previously mentioned in the B.C. Jobs Plan.   The government press release claims that development of LNG will produce approximately $20 billion in new private sector investment, create 800 new long-term jobs in LNG facilities, up to 9,000 more jobs during construction, and thousands of spin-off jobs in transportation, engineering, construction and environmental management.

 

The B.C. government’s budget speech in late February confirmed that the government will increase the carbon tax as scheduled in 2012, but the tax will be frozen after that while the government conducts a one-year review of the impact on B.C.’s economy, especially on the agricultural sector. The budget press release is at: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/02/budget-2012-focuses-on-a-stable-economy.html.

 

LINKS:

British Columbia’s Natural Gas Strategy: Fuelling BC’s economy for the next decade and beyond at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/ener/popt/down/natural_gas_strategy.pdf

Liquefied Natural Gas: A Strategy for B.C.’s Newest Industry at:

http://www.gov.bc.ca/ener/popt/down/liquefied_natural_gas_strategy.pdf

Impact of a Spill on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Cornell’s Global Labor Institute has released a second report about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Although a comprehensive spills risk assessment for the pipeline hasn’t been conducted, authors Lara Skinner and Sean Sweeney used economic data and interviews to estimate the potential impacts in the six states along the proposed route, and describe how the Kalamazoo River spill in 2010-to date the largest tar sands oil spill in the U.S.-caused significant economic damage.

LINKS:

The Impact of Tar Sands Pipeline Spills on Employment and the Economy is at: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/globallaborinstitute/research/upload/GLI_Impact-of-Tar-Sands-Pipeline-Spills.pdf

Call for Just Transition in U.K. Green Jobs

The Greener Jobs Alliance is a U.K. advocacy group founded by the Trades Union Congress, University and College Union, Greenpeace, and others. It released a 4-page Green Skills Manifesto in January 2012, which criticizes the 2011 government green skills policy and calls for policies based on equality, just transition, fair and decent jobs. The Green Skills Manifesto is available at: http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/p/i/Green_skills_manifesto.pdf

OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050

A new document released by the OECD on March 15 updates and projects what the environment will be like in 2050. Based on model projections done jointly by OECD and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, it focuses on four areas which were identified as needing urgent attention by an earlier OECD Outlook published in 2008. Chapter 2 discusses socio economic developments, for example highlighting that nearly 70% of the world population will be urban by 2050, magnifying challenges such as air pollution, transport congestion, and waste management. OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction is available in various formats and languages from links at:

http://www.oecd.org/document/11/0,3746,en_2649_37465_49036555_1_1_1_37465,00.html

Global Guidelines for Forests

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) released a working paper in March 2012, intended as a foundation for the global guidelines it is developing for forest managers to understand, assess and implement climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. It examines all types of forests (boreal, temperate, and tropical), and includes all management objectives (production, conservation, protection and multipurpose). It includes a section on Socio-economic impacts, as well as a discussion of policy instruments such as the REDD+ and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

 

LINK:

Forest Management and Climate Change: a literature review. (Forests and Climate Change Working Paper #10) at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/md012e/md012e00.pdf