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Carbon pricing will create jobs: report

B.C.'s carbon tax is frequently assaulted by the charge that it will kill jobs and cripple B.C.'s economy. That claim is challenged by a new report which suggests that carbon pricing will both create jobs and stimulate the economy.

"Job creation will be the hallmark of the clean energy revolution," writes Joseph Robertson, a Villanova University professor and climate activist who authored the report. "Studies show the potential for millions of new jobs in industries ranging from manufacturing to installation and maintenance, as well as administration, marketing, energy efficiency and other related fields."

Robertson's report, "Building a Green Economy: The Economics of Carbon Pricing & the Transition to Clean, Renewable Fuels," reviews previously published reports and case studies.

The survey, released by the Citizens' Climate Lobby, notes how both developed and less developed nations can benefit from carbon shift strategies:

When Germany shifted its tax-base from income to energy, it spurred a decade of aggressive public and private investment in renewable resources. In just four years, it became the world leader in clean energy export, taking 70% of the world market just eight years after the initial policy shift. ...

Morocco plans to use its desert and mountain terrain, as well as its wind-intensive coastal areas, to generate enough renewable energy to become an export leader for the European market. This model can be duplicated in mountainous, desert-rich and coastal states across the U.S.

Also among Robertson's conclusions:

Carbon pricing is an engine for major private investment. Germany's success in spurring private-sector investments through effective public policy has made it the world leader in exporting clean energy technology...

Regional disparities in carbon tax impact are minimal. The American Enterprise Institute has found that regional disparities in the economic impact —primarily energy costs— resulting from a carbon tax are "sufficiently small that one could argue that a carbon tax is distributionally neutral across regions."

Renewables will out-compete fossil fuels with policy shift. ...the potential for expansion of existing clean energy technologies is sufficient to cover energy needs if a sufficiently smart power grid is deployed to correct for localized fluctuations in wind flow or solar intensity. Putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions can steer investment to energy sources like wind and solar...

Monte Paulsen writes about carbon shift for The Tyee.

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