Study: City of San Diego climate policy could create 60-90 jobs a year

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The office of the city’s mayor, Todd Gloria, released a study on building decarbonization policies on Friday to assess the impacts on San Diego’s workforce through an ongoing clean energy transition.

According to a press release from Gloria’s office, the jobs impact analysis also highlights the job-creating potential of planned municipal energy retrofits and “lays the groundwork for continued partnerships with unions around , policies and targeted investments that can help ensure that all workers benefit from the clean energy transition.”

The study found that planned municipal clean energy projects have the potential to create an average of 60 to 90 new jobs per year over the next 13 years.

Gloria’s office said the study was intended to help the city and its partners plan for potential labor needs and employment impacts of building decarbonization policies.

“We understand that a highly skilled, well-paid workforce is needed to decarbonize our built environment and electrify our transportation sector,” Gloria said. “That’s why we proactively analyze the impacts of our emissions reduction efforts on San Diegan workers.

“We worked hand-in-hand with local unions to build our knowledge and partnerships before scaling up our building decarbonization efforts to ensure our clean energy future is truly for all of us,” he said. added.

City staff worked with consultants and union representatives to develop the study, which includes recent state energy code updates, potential local code changes that exceed the requirements of the status and the city’s next municipal energy renovation works.

City officials worked with the Building Electrification Institute and Inclusive Economics to assess the short-term, direct impacts of these specific policies on jobs related to gas infrastructure, utilities and other construction trades in San Diego.

The study team worked with key union partners on data collection, review of assumptions and methodology, and key questions raised by the research.

BEI Director Jenna Tatum said that when local policymakers and the working community “engage early and collaborate on climate change policies, good things can happen”.

“We saw this firsthand in San Diego, where forward-thinking union leaders and city workers demonstrated a solutions-focused approach that will lead the way to building decarbonization while uplifting local workers,” Tatum said.

The job decarbonization discussion isn’t easy, said Nate Fairman, an official with IBEW Local 465, which represents 2,900 electric utility workers in San Diego and Imperial counties.

“Not all environmentalists prioritize worker protections and worker justice, and not all workers’ rights advocates prioritize necessary and immediate action to mitigate a catastrophic climate catastrophe,” he said. -he adds. Fairman said he applauds the city and Gloria “for being proactive and having the courage to bring all stakeholders together to ensure that no worker is left behind as we work to fight change. climatic”.

As part of its climate action plan, the city has proposed to upgrade all municipal facilities to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2035 and have a building code that matches the requirements of the State to shift new construction away from fossil fuel use and increase electric vehicle charging. in new residential and commercial buildings.

At the same time, the city’s municipal energy strategy “is committed to working with labor and labor partners to leverage their municipal retrofits to provide on-the-job training. employment to local interns in new clean energy technologies and equipment, extending the benefits of these retrofits beyond the projects themselves,” Gloria’s office said.

According to Gloria’s office, requiring electrification in most new construction could result in 60-65 fewer jobs per year, mostly related to the installation of gas mains and other infrastructure work in residential developments from San Diego.

In turn, city officials will seek opportunities and policies to transition their skills into clean technologies, Gloria’s office said.

The employment impact analysis is available on the city’s website, sandiego.gov.

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