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Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy

Abstract

This article analyzes the potential jobs and community health benefits created by a sample Resilient Recovery Portfolio of investments in Washington State. This type of investment mindset can kick-start job growth, shared economic prosperity, cleaner air, and climate-resilient communities, thereby serving as a template for Building Back Better in Washington and elsewhere. A Resilient Recovery Portfolio supports over ten jobs per million dollars invested in clean transportation, forest conservation and ecosystem restoration, clean energy, water and energy efficiency, low carbon agriculture, and sustainable industry programs. By comparison, the state’s ten largest industries support 4.3 jobs per million dollars invested. This portfolio prioritizes labor-intensive productive businesses in the state, outperforming multiple benchmarks on contributions to employee compensation and gross state product. Additionally, we find that every million dollars invested in these programs accrues $2.4 million in clean air and climate benefits, with the most cost- effective returns from wildfire prevention and preparedness. Sustaining these and expanding to additional programs in order to meet the state’s climate goals can unlock net health and climate benefits of $46 billion through 2050 while continuing demand for the types of jobs highlighted in this report.

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