Economic Benefits

Economic Benefits from the New Climate Economy

A low-carbon economy offers enormous and perhaps unexpected opportunities and economic advantages to the U.S., states, towns, and individuals. As the move to a carbon-neutral economy accelerates, the benefits continue to expand.

As a straightforward example, consider what just one state, Wisconsin, will gain from a move to 100% local renewable energy production:

  • $14.4 billion annually
  • 162,100 net jobs (estimated)
  • $25.7 billion in avoided human health damages
  • $568.4 million in state revenue from taxes

This data is taken from a 2019 study1 by the University of Wisconsin. These very concrete advantages are options for every state, translating to energy independence for each state in the union, with more jobs and money to be spent locally on the residents of each state.

As the United States continues to expand its portfolio of clean technologies, the country is positioned to earn “a share in the booming domestic and global cleantech market.”

Additional advantages exist across the U.S.: 

  • “Zero-emissions power generation is responsible for more than twice as many jobs as fossil fuel generation.”
  • Home and utility solar energy is now less expensive than fossil fuels. “The price of solar electricity has dropped 89% in 10 years.”
  • Sustainable building, one aspect of a green economy, generates real income. "More than 2.3 million U.S. workers are taking home $134 billion annually in large part because of green building programs like LEED” (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

A number of actions that fight climate change will actually save the organization money and offer an attractive return on investment.  For example,

  • Switching to LED bulbs everywhere will yield substantial savings.
  • Smart thermostats.
  • Insulation and weatherization.
  • Heat pumps.
  • Energy Star appliances and Water Sense fixtures.
  • Reducing waste: carefully review your value chain.  

Consider evaluating the climate risk to your supply chain and your operations.   Most businesses are at significant risk given the increasing severity and frequency of major weather events.

This is just the beginning of opportunities resulting from the drive to a climate-neutral world.

¹ Abel, David and Katya Spears. “Wisconsin Opportunity in Domestic Energy Production: The Economic and Health Benefits of 100% In-State Energy Production,” University of Wisconsin COWS Think Tank, February 2019.