The Green Economy: Changing Jobs and Election Discourse

Uncover the local economic and industrial revitalization driven by climate investment, showcasing new job opportunities within communities.

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Welcome to Climate on the Ballot, the weekly elections email from Covering Climate Now’s editors. Our goal over the next 39 weeks is to help you and your newsroom make the climate crisis an integral part of your coverage of this year’s elections — local, state, and national. Every week, we’ll pass along a topic, offer up some advice on how to integrate it into your coverage, and share inspiring work that you and other outlets are doing.

Vea la versión en español de El clima en La boleta Electoral aquí.

This Week: Jobs

Elections often hinge on how voters feel about their job prospects and the economy, and this year the link between jobs and climate is a campaign talking point. But be wary of candidates who try to portray climate action as a “job killer.” In fact, data from the World Economic Forum and elsewhere make clear that transitioning to a green economy will create jobs — more than offsetting jobs lost to the effects of a warming planet.

Reporting Ideas

  • The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2022, provides more than $370 billion to accelerate the US’s green transition, including funding for wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects. Where is that money going in your state?
  • Profile local businesses taking advantage of IRA money, workers learning new skills and transitioning jobs, and communities seeing the effects.
  • Some politicians who voted against the bill are now taking credit for jobs that IRA money is helping create. Compare voting records with stump speeches.
  • Ask candidates what policies they’ll put forward to ensure a fair transition for workers in your community or state. A new MIT report identifies where workers are most likely to be impacted by the green transition.

Take Inspiration

  • Georgia”s “Battery Belt” has benefited from a surge in electric vehicle battery manufacturing, CBS News’ Ben Tracy reports.
  • Canary Media documents the US shortage of electricians needed to transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • Philadelphia’s WHYY reports on a solar installation and electric work jobs training program for people impacted by the justice system.
  • The policy research group KFF analyzed which workers will be hurt most by weather changes related to climate, by industry.
  • The advocacy group Climate Power reports that the US economy has added more than 200,000 clean energy jobs since the IRA passed in August 2022.

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