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Environment & Energy Report

About 4% of Americans Work in ‘Green Economy,’ Study Says

Oct. 15, 2019, 1:51 PM

The size of the the U.S. “green economy” has been difficult to evaluate, in part because Congress eliminated funding for data-collection on “green goods and services” in 2013.

But researchers at the University College London accumulated their own data on the U.S. green economy, drawing on hundreds of often private databases containing granular, real-world business and transaction statistics.

They concluded that almost 9.5 million Americans, or about 4% of the workforce, are employed in a “green economy” that generates $1.31 trillion in annual revenue, or about 7% of U.S. annual GDP. That’s about 16.5% of the green economy worldwide, according to the analysis published Oct. 15.

The numbers rose more than 20% over the 2013-2016 fiscal years, led by the renewable energy sector. Growth was also seen in already established environmental businesses, including air pollution, recycling and waste management, land remediation and water treatment.

What the analysis calls “low-carbon” sectors—including electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and green finance—are making an up-and-coming contribution as well. 

To contact the author of this story: Eric Roston in New York at eroston@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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