Promoting "green industry" can foster an economy that benefits all Americans and is strong enough to lift people out of poverty, according to "Community Jobs in the Green Economy," a new report from the Apollo Alliance and Urban Habitat. The report's researchers call on the government to offer subsidies to businesses that produce, buy, sell, or distribute energy-efficient or clean-energy products. "Cities must proactively and explicitly prioritize and encourage the development of local jobs across all skill sets in order for green economic development to achieve equitable outcomes for residents," the report states.
Renewable energy alone was a $40 billion industry in 2005 and is projected to quadruple in the next 10 years. "Urban youth, too often fodder for prisons, could instead be trained to create zero-pollution products, heal the land, and harvest the sun," said Van Jones, president of the California-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, in the report. "Those communities that were locked out of the last century's pollution-based economy must be locked into the new, clean, and green economy."