Bezdek, Roger (Lead Author); Tom Tietenberg (Topic Editor). 2008. "Environmental protection, the economy, and jobs." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment).
Environmental protection, the economy, and jobs
The relationship between environmental protection, the economy, and jobs has been an issue of harsh contention for decades. Analysts and policymakers of all points of view seem to agree that a strong relationship exists between environmental protection and jobs; the debate is over the sign of the correlation coefficient. Does environmental protection tend to harm the economy and destroy jobs or to facilitate economic growth and create jobs? If the latter is the case, can the positive affects be quantified and estimated at a meaningful level of detail?
Here we address this issue by summarizing the initial results of the Jobs and the Environment Initiative, a research effort funded by nonprofit foundations designed to quantify the relationship between environmental protection, the economy, and jobs. We estimate the size of the U.S. environmental industry in 2003 and the numbers of environment-related jobs created at the national level and in the states of Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The problem is identifying what is a green job. Here I agree with the authors:
More specifically, what constitutes an “environmental job?” While a definitive analysis of this important topic is outside the scope of this report, our review of the literature indicates that there is no rigorous, well-accepted definition of an environmental job. Rather, the definitions used are often loose and contradictory.
This paper tries but I remain unconvinved. It is still a useful reference that I will need to return to (hence this post).