Growing a Green Economy for All

By Al Weinrub

A recent report from the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, called Growing a Green Economy for All: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership, has a host of information about initiatives to build public,cooperative, and collective ownership of clean energy enterprise.

The report looks at ten precedent-setting case studies, about half of them renewable energy or solar installation enterprises, that represent non-traditional ownership strategies and community wealth building models. The focus is on entities in which ownership is broadly shared, locally rooted, and directed toward the common good. The study discusses the challenges of building an equitable green economy, some of the opportunities that now exist, and public policies that could advance this effort.

“While many billions of dollars in public monies will be devoted to building the green economy and its jobs,” says the report, “little discussion has been held about who, in the end, well be the beneficiaries of the vast wealth that will be created through this investment.” It goes on to argue that the emerging green economy is not only an opportunity to create millions of new green jobs but also “represents a historic moment to organize those jobs so that they significantly broaden ownership over wealth and capital.”

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