Investments in Green Energy and Electricity Grid could Generate 90,000 Jobs in Ontario



    New report shows green energy = green jobs

    TORONTO, May 9 /CNW/ - Ontario could create up to 90,000 jobs through
investments in green energy and grid upgrades, according to a report released
today by WWF-Canada, Blue Green Canada and the Green Energy Act Alliance.
    "This reaffirms what we already know: green energy equals green jobs,"
said Deb Doncaster, Campaign Chair for the Green Energy Act Alliance. "While
the Green Energy Act gets us part way there, the government will need to make
significant investments in the electricity grid in order to make the system
work properly and drive investment and jobs across the province."
    The study, led by Professor Robert Pollin, an expert in the economics of
building a clean-energy economy and co-director of the Political Economy
Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, assesses the
job creation potential of two investment scenarios. Under the first scenario,
based on European countries that have laws similar to the proposed Green
Energy Act, a total investment of $47.1 billion over 10 years would result in
90,000 jobs per year. The jobs would ramp up over time as investments in
conservation, renewable energy, recycling waste energy into electricity and
smart grid upgrades increased.
    Under the second scenario, based on the green energy investments proposed
in the Ontario Power Authority's plan for rebuilding the province's
electricity system, investments totalling $18.6 billion over 10 years would
result in the creation of 35,000 jobs per year. The Ontario Power Authority is
expected to release a revised electricity plan this summer, once it has gauged
the initial response to the Green Energy Act.
    "This study shows that the Green Energy Act could create far more than
the 50,000 new jobs promised by the government, but only if we raise our level
of green power ambition above and beyond what was in the old electricity
plan," said Dr. Keith Stewart, Climate Change Campaign Manager for WWF-Canada.
The study found that a wide range of jobs would be created, from construction
to professional services, and most jobs would pay over $20 per hour. To ensure
that Ontario maximizes the job creation potential, the study recommends
increasing local content.
    "The members of our union are ready to produce the next generation of
clean energy products and parts, such as steel for windmills and glass for
solar panels," said Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada of the United
Steelworkers, a member of Blue Green Canada. "This study shows that, with the
right policies, we can clean up our environment and also create the good green
jobs of the future."
    "The government has opened the door to a sustainable future for Ontario
and we hope it takes this tremendous opportunity to get the most benefits
possible for the people of Ontario," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director
of Environmental Defence, a member of Blue Green Canada.
    The full report, Building the Green Economy, is available to download on
the Blue Green Canada web site (www.bluegreencanada.ca) and the Green Energy
Act Alliance web site (www.greenenergyact.ca).

    About the Green Energy Act Alliance: The Alliance's vision is to make
Ontario a global leader in green energy development through the use of
renewable energy, distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of
jobs, economic prosperity, energy security, while ensuring climate protection.
Founding groups include: the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community
Power Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, the First
Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey Foundation, the Ontario Federation of
Agriculture and the Pembina Institute. www.greenenergyact.ca

    About Blue Green Canada: Blue Green Canada is an alliance between the
United Steelworkers (USW) and Environmental Defence to advocate for working
people and the environment in key areas of global trade, the use of toxic
chemicals in commercial activity, the creation of green manufacturing jobs,
and in the development of strategies to address climate change.
www.bluegreencanada.ca

    About WWF-Canada: WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the
planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in
harmony with nature by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring
that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the
reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. www.wwf.ca





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232, (647)
280-9521 (cell); Bob Gallager, United Steelworkers, (416) 544-5966, (416)
434-2221 (cell); Keith Stewart, WWF-Canada, (416) 985-5936 (cell)


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