RENEWABLE ENERGY | New Jobs and a Thriving Economy Ahead for B.C. with Strong Climate Action

By Julia Kilpatrick, Clean Energy Canada

With revisions by TheGreenGazette

 

Economic analysis finds steady GDP growth and 900,000 new jobs by 2050 as British Columbia cuts carbon pollution

Renewing British Columbia’s commitment to climate leadership would create jobs and bolster the province’s economy, new analysis from Clean Energy Canada shows.

A Clean Economy and Jobs Plan for British Columbia would deliver increased economic activity, create new jobs, reduce household energy costs, and better position BC businesses to compete, while also cutting carbon pollution.

British Columbians would have 270,000 more job prospects in 2025 than today, and easily triple that by 2050, with stronger energy and climate policies in effect. These jobs would be spread across sectors and across the province, meaning communities throughout British Columbia will see new economic opportunities.

Provincial GDP would grow at roughly two per cent a year – the same rate projected with or without climate policy – adding a healthy $46 billion over the next 10 years, and nearly doubling by 2050.

Emerging sectors such as renewable electricity, biofuels and manufacturing will thrive, adding 29,000 jobs by 2025 and a total of 59,000 by 2050.

Climate leadership can help keep rural communities diverse and prosperous: B.C.’s traditional resource sectors will see 32,000 new jobs created in the next decade, with a total of 62,000 by 2050.

“Leading on climate and building a prosperous economy are two sides of the same coin,” said Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada. “In the next decade, British Columbia can cut carbon pollution while creating 270,000 new jobs and growing its economy by $46 billion.”

The majority of British Columbians currently work in the knowledge and service sectors, where 210,000 new jobs will be created by 2025, reaching a total of 770,000 by 2050.

Households stand to benefit, too. New climate policies would help British Columbians save money by using less energy. An average rural household would save $1,200 a year and urban households would save roughly $900 per year simply by replacing worn out furnaces and old vehicles over the next 15 years.

The report outlines a mix of policy tools that would position BC to maintain its competitive advantage as a climate leader as the rest of North America follows our lead. It is based on new modelling by Navius Research, commissioned by Clean Energy Canada to quantify the economic, job, and affordability implications of meeting BC’s 2050 climate target.

“This research makes it clear that British Columbian families and industries stand to gain from strong climate policies,” said Smith. “B.C. has the opportunity to create new jobs and economic growth, while being recognized around the world as a climate leader. In other words, climate leadership pays off.”

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