The “green” or “clean” or low-carbon economy—defined as the sector of the economy that produces goods and services with an environmental benefit—remains at once a compelling aspiration and an enigma.
As a matter of aspiration, no swath of the economy has been more widely celebrated as a source of economic renewal and potential job creation. Yet, the clean economy remains an enigma: hard to assess. Not only do “green” or “clean” activities and jobs related to environmental aims pervade all sectors of the U.S. economy; they also remain tricky to define and isolate—and count.
The clean economy has remained elusive in part because, in the absence of standard definitions and data, strikingly little is known about its nature, size, and growth at the critical regional level.
Seeking to help address these problems, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings worked with Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice to develop, analyze, and comment on a detailed database of establishment-level employment statistics pertaining to a sensibly defined assemblage of clean economy industries in the United States and its metropolitan areas.
This book reflects the speech and presentation given by Bruce Katz, Vice President of the Brookings Institution and Director for the Metropolitan Policy Program, at the release of the “Sizing the Clean Economy” report on July 13, 2011.