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More than 100,000 clean-energy workers lost their jobs in March

By Sammy Roth, The Los Angeles Times


Highlights

Environmental Entrepreneurs, a clean energy advocacy group, finds that more than 106,000 clean energy workers filed for unemployment benefits in March. 

  •  BW Research projects that the clean energy sector will shed more than half a million jobs, which is 15% of its workforce, in the coming months if the industry doesn’t receive any support
  • The top three effected clean energy job sectors are energy efficiency, renewable electricity, and production of electric and hybrid cars
  • California, which has the largest amount of clean energy jobs, had 20,000 clean energy workers filing for unemployment in March
  • Supporting clean energy technologies within the next stimulus plan would provide a huge jump-start to the economy
  • E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe emphasizes how important the clean energy sector is in the US:

“What these numbers tell us is that clean energy workers are a huge and important part of America’s workforce — and they are hurting badly…Lawmakers simply cannot ignore the millions of electricians, technicians and factory workers who work in clean energy as they consider ongoing economic recovery efforts.”

  • Organizations like Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and The Breakthrough Institute are making suggestions on how to help the clean energy sector by preparing their own stimulus proposals 

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Campaign calls for bold policies to support clean energy investments, including utility reform for community energy resilience. The state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis can help reshape the economy for many decades to come. Legislators have an opportunity to funnel financial relief into climate-safe initiatives while phasing out fossil fuels.


Read more: https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2020-04-15/more-than-100-000-clean-energy-workers-lost-their-jobs-in-march

Renewable energy industry eyes next coronavirus stimulus bill

by Ben Geman, Axios


Highlights

  • The renewable energy sector is advocating for aid during the next phase of COVID-19 stimulus relief as projects are canceled,  layoffs widen, supply chains are disrupted, and companies risk missing deadlines to use tax credits
  • The first bills were mainly emergency rescue and stabilization plans, but the next phase could focus more on stimulus and recovery
  • Though President Trump does not favor renewables, he has mentioned that he would like to address infrastructure needs in phase 4 of the relief bill
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated she would like the energy grid and infrastructure addressed
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) wants to help governments weave climate-friendly provisions into economic recovery packages 

By achieving 100% clean energy we can secure an equitable and climate-safe California. The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California platform aims to secure a positive transition for workers and their families whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuel industries. Endorse the platform here


Read More: https://www.axios.com/renewable-energy-coronavirus-stimulus-bill-53a1eed5-c292-4889-a356-f261c730c0be.html

Farmers in Rockingham County, Virginia check the results of no-till farming in their fields on September 9, 2008, as part of their participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative (CBWI).

A closer look at farmer relief in senate pandemic aid package

from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


Highlights

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by the President to aid businesses and Americans features specific provisions targeting farmers and food insecurity.

  • Agricultural Provisions
    • An important measure of the relief bill helps provide support for producers impacted by the coronavirus, specifically for specialty crop producers, livestock producers (including dairy), and producers that supply local food systems (including farmers markets, restaurants, and schools)
    • Farmers who have lost access to direct markets as a result of social distancing restrictions are estimated to lose more than $1 billion in sales this year
    • The bill lacks specifics on implementation, providing USDA no direction about how either source of funds should be divided, which farmers should receive priority, or how payments should be structured and delivered
    • The largest advocacy organizations that represent the ag industry have already made requests of Congress for more than $20 billion in immediate support
    • Fourteen billion dollars will be going to the Commodity Credit Corporation, a government corporation that helps maintain farm income and prices
  • Nutritional Provisions
    • Congress did not expand benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which will become increasingly important as more Americans face unemployment and may not be able to afford meals
    • The bill boosts funding for targeted emergency food assistance for tribal communities 
    • Child nutrition programs received over $8 billion in funding

Implementing bold and equitable policies that will catalyze carbon sequestration through building healthy soils and restoring healthy habitats will be key to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and net negative emissions by 2035 for a Climate-Safe California.


Read More: https://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/closer-look-farmer-relief-senate-pandemic-package/

We help drive the clean energy economy forward

The Climate Center (CCP) developed the Business for Clean Energy (BCE) program six years ago because we believe that business drives innovation and can play a crucial role in helping to address the climate crisis. The BCE program provides a network and resources to support our members in incorporating sustainability into their businesses and keeping them abreast of the developments in climate protection and clean energy. BCE also supports research and advocacy on policies that help build the clean energy economy.

This year at our quarterly breakfasts we had presentations from Brad Heavner, Policy Director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, who spoke on the big regulatory changes in California and its impact on rooftop solar. Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Wine Growers, did a presentation on what the wine industry is doing to reduce carbon emissions. Assembly member, Marc Levine told members an insider’s perspective on a plethora of climate and energy bills in Sacramento that became laws this year. Just as valuable as these presentations is the peer to peer exchange at every meeting where members share what sustainability initiatives are happening in their businesses. Sometimes you can even see new projects being hatched.

In March of 2016 we hosted the Business of Local Energy Symposium in San Jose, which was attended by 350 people from all over California with an interest in Community Choice Energy. We had state regulatory leaders, leaders of operational Community Choice programs, operators of the electrical grid, and businesses leaders with technical, market, and financing expertise.  It was a day of sharing and incubating new solutions for local communities.

In the fall of 2016 we released a report called “Community Choice Energy: What is the Local Economic Impact?” which used San Jose as a case study. The report examined the potential for economic stimulus if San Jose were to pursue meeting a large percentage of their energy needs through local solar energy production. Under the scenario with the highest level of local solar build out, the report projected that more than 2,000 jobs per year over six years would be created regionally from Community Choice Energy activity, with an associated $1.25 billion of additional economic activity. The forecasting in the report was based on a nationally recognized model created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Now that we know how beneficial local solar development can be to the economy, The Climate Center is working with partners to accelerate this approach. Solutions that create jobs and business opportunities can spread rapidly.  As we race against the clock on the climate crisis, we will need all the speed we can get.