But what will these “jobs, jobs, jobs” look like? While investments in tackling climate change inevitably lead to the creation of new jobs, many existing jobs – in the fossil fuel industry, for example – will start to disappear.
But this is not a zero-sum game, as many of the “new” jobs will require workers with experience in “old” industries to be successful.
The climate-focused jobs will span multiple industries. Here’s what some of those roles might look like:
- Obsolete oil and gas well plugging
- Recovery of abandoned coal mines
- Installation of solar panels
- Car charging port mechanic
- Electric retrofit
- Wind turbine mechanic
- Water treatment supervisor
- Battery technician
- Electric vehicle mechanic
- Electric Truck Driver
- Drone pilot
- Smart windows installer
- Deploy carbon-free power generation resources
- Renovation of homes and commercial buildings
Biden’s vision for green jobs
During his campaign, Biden’s climate agenda included the goal of creating 10 million new jobs in the clean energy industries, and now the U.S. Jobs Plan aims to help. The new jobs are built into Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan. In addition to emphasizing climate-smart technology, the plan includes a $ 16 billion investment to plug countless oil and gas wells and reclaim coal, hard rock and uranium mines. abandoned. The Biden administration says this program alone will put hundreds of thousands of people into union jobs.
The plan also set a 2035 deadline for each US state to produce all electricity from energy sources that do not produce climate change-related carbon emissions. This transition alone would trigger a massive boom in spending on wind and solar power, at least doubling the pace of investments currently underway. This shift could also lead to a huge employment boom, potentially dispersing energy-related job opportunities in states across the country. Specifically, in his speech to Congress, Biden said the US jobs plan “will put engineers and construction workers to work to build more energy efficient buildings and homes.”
Climate change and job creation go hand in hand for Biden. All that remains is to gather support. Along with his remarks to Congress, Biden spoke to 40 world leaders at a two-day climate summit in late April, highlighting the economic opportunities that would open up as a result of tackling climate change.
Biden specifically focused on employment opportunities on the second day of the summit, saying, “Today’s final session is not about the threat of climate change, but about the opportunity offered by the struggle. against climate change ”.
But getting there will not be easy.
Clean energy jobs grew by about 2% in 2019 and 4% in 2018, according to a report from Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national, non-partisan group of business leaders, investors and professionals. Based on those gains, for Biden to create just one million new clean energy jobs in his first four years, it would need a 6.7% annual increase, and that’s after the economy returns to pre-Covid employment levels.
CNN’s Matt Egan, Holmes Lybrand and Ronald Brownstein contributed to this report.