The COVID-19 pandemic has launched the U.S. economy into a recession, and according to expert opinion, it is likely to get worse before recovering. There is an increasingly vocal point of view that even as the government takes steps to stimulate the economy, the focus should be on doing so in a way that is more resilient to future disruption. If the country seeks a more sustainable approach while rebuilding the economy, we will be better prepared to face the potential future challenges presented by climate change. The following article presents key opportunities to invest in sustainable infrastructure.
Improve the Energy Efficiency of Buildings
Adapting millions of commercial and residential buildings to be more energy-efficient will create new jobs, many of them local. Many of the efficiency measures will call for the installation of energy-efficient equipment which has the potential to employ hundreds of thousands of workers spread all over the country, especially in the manufacturing and construction industries that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. While three times more jobs are created in the energy-efficiency sector compared to the fossil-fuel industry, the money saved by energy-efficiency measures will additionally mean more purchasing power channelled into the economy. According to https://www.energy.gov, buildings consume 76% of electricity and 40% of all primary sources of energy in America while being responsible for massive emissions of greenhouse gas. The cost savings will also lead to the improved profitability and competitiveness of small businesses that form the backbone of employment in the nation, observes Adam Veron.
Upgrading Transmission Infrastructure
The renewal of America’s energy infrastructure may lead to an increase in employment opportunities and, consequently, substantial economic growth. The outdated infrastructure needs not only extensive investment for modernization to be efficient but also to be able to handle the rapidly changingdemands for renewable energy over traditional sources. Modern transmission infrastructure will be more resilient and expected to deliver lower-cost energy across the entire country. Mathematical modeling reveals that for every $1 of investment in this sector will create $2.4 for the economy, as well as 13,000 years of full-time employment.
Invest in Emission-Less Public Transport, Advises Adam Veron
The public transit system in America, though used by millions is aging and requires modernization. The pandemic has also created additional pressure on its economics as fewer people are using it while more money is being spent on sanitization. By investing heavily in the transit system to one with zero emissions, commuters will get not only the benefit of modern and efficient infrastructure, but also local economies would see a significant increase in employment through required equipment manufacturing and associated functions. According to the American Public Transportation Association, an investment of $232 billion in 10 years will generate $928 billion, or four times the investment, over 20 years. If this was not enough justification, more than 50,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion invested in public transport. Additionally, there are significant savings in operating a modern electrically powered fleet over the traditional buses running on fossil fuel.
It is evident that by strategically investing in the low-carbon economy, it is possible to boost economic development while creating a massive number of jobs, apart from leading the way in reducing environmental pollution and sustainable development.
Author bio-Adam Veron is a Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the investment management industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Budgeting, Business Planning, Operations Management, and Sales. Strong business development professional with over 20 years of Marketing and Networking experience. https://adamkverongrant.com/