For all their talk of building a green economy — one flush with jobs that help protect the environment — most politicians have not said exactly where the new jobs would come from. A new study from Duke University tries to fill in the gaps.
Released Tuesday and sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and labor unions associated with the AFL-CIO, the report said the nation's manufacturing sector could be a significant beneficiary of the green movement.
"Some people have tried to pit the environment against the economy," said Marcy Lowe, a co-author of the report. "But it's not an either, or."
Researchers evaluated the value chains of five carbon-reducing technologies, including LED lighting and high performance windows. A value chain encompasses the steps in creating a product and helps illustrate where people are needed in the process.
A high-performance window, for instance, has about 10 components, the report said. And each component requires materials and labor to produce. People have to create glass and frames and foam. They have to move the windows from factories to stores.
The report cites Durham-based Cree, which makes chips used in LED lighting, as an example of the growth possible in the green industry. Since 2002, its work force has almost quadrupled to more than 3,000 employees.
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