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Climate Change

Creating Jobs for a Green Economy

Washington State is a national leader in the development and implementation of programs supporting the transition to a greener and more sustainable economy and jobs. The State has strong policies to promote energy efficiency, growth of renewable energy and related technologies, green building design and construction, and other clean energy economy sectors.

Forbes, the national business and financial news publisher, ranks Washington among the very best states on two national scorecards — quality of the environment and the business climate. As of August 2008, Washington is the only state to score in the top three states in both Forbes rankings.

Governor Gregoire was the first Governor to connect reducing greenhouse gas emissions with increasing the number of green jobs in her Executive Order 07-02. As the former head of the state’s Department of Ecology, she knows that policies that are good for the environment are also policies that are good for the economy.

Green Jobs

In 2008, the Washington State Employment Security Department and Washington State University, Extension Energy Program conducted the first Green Jobs Survey in Washington. See the most recent report: Washington State 2011 Green Economy Jobs.

The survey identified 47,194 green jobs in energy efficiency, renewable energy, preventing and reducing pollution, and mitigating or cleaning up pollution. Energy efficiency accounted for over half of the green jobs. A follow up 2009 Green Jobs Survey provided a comprehensive look at private- and public-sector green jobs in Washington State at the time. A third report was published in 2011. See all the Green-Economy Jobs Reports.

In 2009, a report outlining Washington State’s strategic policy framework for a green-economy jobs initiative was delivered to the Governor and the legislature, by the Department of Commerce. See Washington State’s Green Economy — A Strategic Framework (pdf).

The 2009 state Evergreen Jobs Act established the Evergreen Jobs Leadership Team to fulfill the goals of the Act, including coordination of Washington's efforts to secure federal training funds for the green economy.

>> Learn more about training for and finding green jobs.

Resources

Please check the following state agency links for key publications and reports and updates on Washington’s transition to a clean energy economy and green job creation: