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Report Touts California's "Clean Jobs" Progress

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The solar PV industry is among the biggest job creators of California's clean-economy industries, says a new report. Credit: Skytech Solar/gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov
The solar PV industry is among the biggest job creators of California's clean-economy industries, says a new report. Credit: Skytech Solar/gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov
December 4, 2015

Sacramento, Calif. - About 368,000 Californians are working in what's been dubbed the "clean economy," including 71,000 new jobs in the past five years. According to a new report, similar job growth is taking place all along the West Coast as the states work together to reduce the pollution associated with climate change.

The report from the Delphi Group said the clean economy is about more than producing cleaner energy and using less energy. Co-author Paul Shorthouse, Delphi's regional director, said it's also about sparking innovation.

"In California, we've seen explosive growth of the solar photo-voltaic industry," he said. "We're also seeing upticks in clean-energy patents over 2010; very interesting pilot projects in battery and energy-storage space."

The report said solar PV alone employs 28,000 Californians and can boast almost $12 billion in investments since 2013.

Since 2010, Shorthouse said, every member of the Pacific Coast Collaborative - all three West Coast states and British Columbia - have grown jobs at a rate more than twice that of new jobs overall.

Gov. Jerry Brown has delayed his trip to France for the global climate conference known as COP 21, but he's expected to speak there next week on behalf of the Pacific Coast Collaborative. As a region, Shorthouse said, the West Coast is playing a leading role in cutting carbon emissions, and others are taking notice.

"We're seeing, obviously, these discussions at COP 21 right now in Paris about the shift toward a clean economy," he said. "The world is moving in that direction and showing leadership is allowing the region not only to take advantage of the domestic opportunities but also from an export perspective."

Brown also will tout an agreement this week between a dozen states and nations, including California and Oregon, to ensure that by 2050, new passenger vehicles sold there will be emission-free.

The report is online at delphi.ca.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - CA