washington state

The Low Carbon Prosperity Institute (LCPI) in partnership with Climate XChange have released a new report highlighting measures which the US state of Washington can adopt to recover from COVID-19 whilst addressing climate change.

The Building Back Better Washington: Investing in Jobs and Community health for a Resilient Recovery report states that the state needs to prioritise investments in a resilient recovery portfolio of programmes to achieve a positive return on investment in community health through clean-air benefits and avoided climate damages.

The report urges the state government to prioritise investments in clean transportation, forest conservation and ecosystem restoration, clean energy, water and energy efficiency, low carbon agriculture, and sustainable industry.

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Key study findings include:

  • For every million dollars invested, programmes in the Resilient Recovery Portfolio create an average of 10.1 full-time-equivalent jobs (FTEs). By comparison, the same amount invested in the state’s largest industries would produce 4.3 FTEs or 7.4 FTEs if spread throughout the broader state economy.
  • Every million dollars invested in the Resilient Recovery Portfolio offers $2.4 million in public health and climate benefits, including $1.6 million in clean air benefits.
  • These employment and health benefits are likely to endure and improve over time as Washington moves toward greatly reduced air pollution and a net zero-emissions future. Investing in these types of programmes at the scale necessary to meet the state’s climate goals would unlock net health and climate benefits of $46 billion through 2050 while continuing the demand for the types of jobs highlighted in this report.

Kevin Tempest, research and development scientist at LCPI, said: “This report provides a framework to build back a better Washington.

“Robust, community-centric job growth that generates net local benefits is the outcome we should expect for Washington State. By making smart investments, we can achieve a triple win — high job growth, improved community health, and durable climate benefits.”

Jonah Kurman-Faber, a senior research associate at CXC, adds: “We want to address the challenge of rethinking how we recover from crises.

“Our analysis can help kick-start a new mindset for a truly resilient economic recovery that prioritizes people and community well-being holistically.”

The report is available for download here.