Getting to Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Could Generate Nearly 20 Million Jobs

New Study from Columbia Institute Finds Exciting Potential for Job Growth in Building Trades as Canada Moves to Low-Carbon Economy

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| Source: Columbia Institute

VANCOUVER, B.C., Aug. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Columbia Institute released a landmark study: Jobs for Tomorrow - Canada’s Building Trades and Net Zero Emissions. Commissioned by Canada’s Building Trades Unions, this study explores the historic role of Canada’s construction industry and potential for low-carbon economy job growth as we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Meeting Canada’s climate goals could generate millions of jobs in the building trades by 2050.

“Canada’s building trades’ professionals have a proud history of building the infrastructure, businesses and homes in this country,” said Bob Blakely, Canadian Operating Officer for Canada’s Building Trades Unions. “And, as we mark this milestone anniversary, this study shows the important and continuing role for our members as we transition to a low-carbon economy.” He continued, “This neither means nor implies the sudden end of the use of fossil fuels, but it does mean a shift in how fossil fuels are used and in what quantities.”

Jobs for Tomorrow is the first study to predict potential impacts on the construction industry if Canada implements policy and investments, both public and  private, to meet our Paris Agreement goals.

“If Canada is serious about meeting our climate commitments, we need to move faster in areas like renewable energy, green building construction, building retrofits, and transportation infrastructure,” said Columbia Institute’s Executive Director Charley Beresford. “Meeting our climate goals is good for the planet and good for the economy and job creation.”

The Numbers
Getting to net zero emissions by 2050 could generate millions of jobs - nearly 4 million direct building trades jobs, which in turn would generate 20 million indirect, induced and supply chain jobs.

Green Buildings and Net-Zero Retrofits: Based on current construction employment figures in the green building sector, with eco-friendly standards, the green building sector as we approach a 2050 net zero scenario amounts to 1,997,640 direct non-residential building construction jobs.

District Energy Systems: Building small district energy systems in half of Canada’s municipalities with populations over 100,000 would create over 547,000 construction jobs by 2050.

Renewable Energy: Moving to an electrical supply grid composed primarily of hydroelectric (40 percent) new wind, solar, geothermal and tidal power generation (43 percent combined), and legacy nuclear (5 percent), would result in over 1,177,055 direct construction jobs by 2050.

Transportation: Building out $150 billion of urban transit infrastructure—including rapid transit tracks and bridges, subway tunnels, and dedicated bus lanes— between now and 2050 would create about 245,000 direct construction jobs.

About the Columbia Institute
The Columbia Institute is a Vancouver-based, Canada-focused public policy think-tank. Established in 2000, the Columbia Institute is a national charitable organization. http://www.columbiainstitute.ca/

Read the study and backgrounder: http://columbiainstitute.ca/resources/jobs-tomorrow

For more information contact: 
Charley Beresford
cberesford@columbiainstitute.ca
778-772-8188