Would a Green New Deal Add or Kill Jobs?

Reprinted from Scientific American

Political candidates in the U.S. have been announcing plans to address climate change at a record pace. With the mounting recognition of local, national and global threats, they want to show they are ready to act. At the same time, elected officials are releasing various forms of carbon tax legislation. These initiatives are rekindling debate about how much of a price to put on carbon and what effects the options would have on the environment and the economy.

Increasingly, the action plans and tax proposals cite estimates of their employment impacts. Among Democratic presidential primary candidates, for example, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts claims that her plan would create 1.2 million jobs in green manufacturing, while former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont say their proposals would provide jobs in the 10-million-to-20-million range. At the other extreme, President Donald Trump has claimed that nationwide climate-change policies would be “totally disastrous, job-killing.”

Some pundits say we cannot save the planet without stalling economic growth. Yet there is mounting evidence that both environmental and economic goals can be met. At the center of this argument are several proposals falling under the banner of a green new deal, as well as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) of 2019. Our independent review of a Green New Deal (GND) proposed by the U.S. Green Party suggests it is possible to rapidly lower CO2 emissions while also expanding employment over the next three decades by an additional 35 million job years (one job for one year).

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