America’s New Climate Economy: A Comprehensive Guide to the Economic Benefits of Climate Policy in the United Statesby and -
This working paper draws on the latest economic research to demonstrate how climate policy and investments in low-carbon infrastructure can reboot America’s economy and set it up for long-term success. On the other hand, delaying action on climate will further expose the United States to costly damages from climate impacts, air pollution, and public health crises.
The United States has made substantial progress towards a low-carbon economy over the past several years. Low-carbon technologies have become more efficient and affordable, and U.S. clean energy investment and deployment grew to new heights, creating millions of jobs. Whether this continues will depend on how the government responds to the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition, addressing climate change can allow the United States to secure a share in the booming domestic and global cleantech market by manufacturing and exporting low-carbon technologies. Moreover, it will help revitalize rural communities by diversifying rural economies and providing affordable clean energy.
Inequalities highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis make it clear that the United States must ensure that moving forward climate policies are fair and equitable by supporting fossil fuel workers and communities and ensuring the benefits of climate policies are shared by all.
- The COVID-19 crisis emerged at a time when the U.S. low-carbon transition was experiencing significant momentum. Low-carbon technologies have become more affordable compared to fossil fuels, and U.S. clean energy investment and deployment have reached new heights.
- The impact of COVID-19 on the low-carbon transition has yet to be fully determined and will depend on how the federal government responds.
- This paper draws on the latest economic and policy research, which demonstrates that strong climate action and investments in low-carbon infrastructure can be effective ways to stimulate jobs and investment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and secure the economy’s long-term success.
- In contrast, delaying action on climate change will further expose the United States to costly damages from climate impacts, air pollution, and other public health crises.
- The United States can improve its manufacturing competitiveness by building a domestic market for low-carbon technologies and tapping into foreign markets. Moreover, climate action will help revitalize rural communities by diversifying their economies and providing affordable clean energy.
- The United States can ensure that climate policies are fair and equitable by supporting fossil fuel workers and communities, providing quality jobs, and ensuring the benefits are shared by all.