How can the United States actually meet the targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that climate scientists say are necessary to forestall catastrophic climate change without catastrophic economic impacts on American workers? Green Growth: A U.S. Program for Controlling Climate Change and Expanding Job Opportunities by Robert Pollin, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, James Heintz, and Bracken Hendricks represents a significant step forward in answering that question. This massive report details how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced 40% by 2035. It shows 4.2 million new jobs will be created, but that 1.5 fossil-fuel related jobs will be lost, giving a net increase of 2.7 million jobs and a 1.5 percent reduction in the rate of unemployment. It proposes a “Superfund” and other protections for workers and communities whose livelihoods have been harmed by climate protection. But it also provokes some important questions that climate-protection strategies need to address. This review by LNS’s Jeremy Brecher explores those questions.
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