Sustainable Development can create nearly 104,000 jobs by carlos matíAS
Sustainable Development can create almost 104 thousand jobs in Alaska; eliminate 43 million tons of CO2 in thirty years and reduce state energy, health, and climate costs from $23.2 billion per year to less than $17.4 billion per year; that is, it can generate savings of approximately 25% per year in these expenses.
At the recent 2022 Just Transition Summit, these figures were discussed in various presentations and assessments. If such calculations are confirmed, it would mean that Alaska does not have to be destined to always be an “oil state,” intimately linked to the energy development of fossil fuels. The idea is to begin, right now, “a just transition to a regenerative economy.”
A group of community organizations from across the state have come together in the Dena’ina territory to explore sustainable concepts and how a more equitable and prosperous economy can be built. “Just Transition” is a movement to move from current economies based on “extractive and violent systems” to other, more regenerative, and restorative Sustainable Development economic models across the board; away from exclusive dependence and subsidies on oil, gas, and coal, to investing in community and commercial solar, wind and hydrothermal energy.
This also means shifting from “corporate ownership of crops and land” to “localized agricultural ownership and food allocation.” In other words, indigenous peoples “back to being stewards of the land.” It involves making cities more walkable and funding for education, affordable health care and other public services “steady and stable.”
All of these “transitions” to other industries, workforces, energy sources and food is possible. In fact, already today, renewables have grown to be supplying 30% of current and total electricity demand in Alaska. There seems, therefore, no reason to think that a more equitable, clean, and sustainable economy cannot be built between now and 2050, and in all future years thereafter.
The report “The Future of Renewable Energy in Alaska: New Jobs, Affordable Energy” was released at the meeting, and provides the above data and highlights that “Alaska has an ample endowment of renewable energy resources” and that “renewable energy technology costs continue to decline, while local and global fossil fuel costs continue to rise.” “Renewable energy technologies are on track to affordably replace fossil fuel energy systems in the 2030-to-2050-time horizon.” The nearly 104,000 jobs created (103,554 across Alaska) would contrast with “jobs lost as fossil fuels become obsolete.” Initial investment costs are estimated at about $128 billion over 30 years, and “can be mitigated through federal and state co-investment.”
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE NEWS, LLC. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska