Analysis

Report: Renewables Produce More Bang for Our Buck

A new BlueGreen Canada report suggests that the money the federal government currently spends on oil subsidies could create between 18,000 and 20,000 jobs in clean technology.

In comparison, that same amount of money invested in oil and gas would yield less than 3,000 jobs. That’s a difference of 17,000 jobs.

The report, More Bang for Our Buck, suggests that investments in efforts to reduce pollution create more jobs than comparable investments in fossil fuels. Analysis presented in this report shows six to eight times more  jobs could be created by investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency or public transit compared with similar investments in the oil and gas industry.

Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada is a member of BlueGreen Canada—an alliance of labour unions and civil society organizations.

Today’s report makes a number of recommendations, including:

  1. Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies: Canada should stop handing taxpayer dollars to polluting fossil fuels industries. This creates a financial incentive to make the economic and environmental problems worse.
  2. Develop a Canadian energy strategy: The strategy must prioritize the transition from fossil fuels to non-polluting, renewable energy. It also must identify strategies for the industries — like renewable energy and energy efficiency — to make the transition happen.
  3. Create green jobs: The Canadian energy strategy needs to include a robust strategy to harness jobs in renewable energy and low-carbon industries, and include a just transition plan for current energy workers and others affected by the transition.
  4. Set national targets: The federal government should develop targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency and transit and work with provinces to reach them.
  5. Educate: Build awareness among the Canadian workforce about the green economy and ensure Canadians are trained to take advantage of the jobs created in it.

Canada will continue to produce and use oil for some time to come, and that will have some economic benefits. But it’s the wrong direction if we hope to tap into a growing share of the jobs and opportunity of the global transition towards renewable energy.

Over the past eight years, the renewable energy sector experienced solid growth, despite a global economic collapse and subsequent challenges in the world’s major economies. According to recent estimates, the renewable energy sector employs 5 million people worldwide. With investment in renewable energy now outpacing investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, this workforce is set to grow substantially in the years ahead.

As a member of BlueGreen Canada, Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada has been building broad support for a Canadian energy strategy that would create sustainable jobs, fight climate change, and transition the nation to a lower carbon economy. Polling suggests Canadians place a high priority on such a plan. Join the call for a bold new Canadian energy strategy today.