Canada’s Green Energy Sector Supplies More Jobs than Infamous Tar Sands

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Canada’s Green Energy Sector Now Employs More People Than Its Tar Sands

Climate Progress, December 2, 2014

Between 2009 and 2013, employment in Canada’s clean energy sector increased by 37 percent — meaning it now supplies more jobs than the country’s infamous tar sands, according to a new report.

Tracking the Energy Revolution — released Tuesday by Clean Energy Canada, a climate think tank — defined clean energy jobs as any work involved in the production of clean power; in the manufacture of the related equipment; in creating energy efficiency technology or services, like smart grids and building energy savings; in infrastructure for green transpiration; and in biofuels. All told, those sectors employed 23,700 people in Canada as of 2013, while the tar sands industry employed only 22,340.

“Clean energy has moved from being a small niche or boutique industry to really big business in Canada,” said Merran Smith, the director of Clean Energy Canada.

Green energy tends to be more labor intensive than energy from fossil fuels, meaning that every unit of energy produced by green sources tends to employ more people than those sources that come along with carbon emissions. In America, research suggestsgreen jobs are more accessible to workers without a college education, that green sectors grow a bit faster than the economy as a whole, and that they more successfully weathered the 2008 recession.

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