Features, Greenspace June 12, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

Van Jones at Power Shift 2011 in Washington D.C./Kasey Baker

Van Jones at Power Shift 2011 in Washington D.C./Kasey Baker

sayletitle1 Green = Green
When world leaders meet in Rio de Janeiro next week for a conference on sustainable development, they will do so in an economic climate that continues to be marked in red, with high unemployment numbers, sovereign debt crises, and the threat of the Euro Zone’s disintegration. But according to a new report by the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), a promising economic strategy from here forward may come in shades of green. The study concludes that a net gain of as many as 60 million green jobs is waiting to be seized upon worldwide with broad implications for reducing poverty.

Just how opportunities to usher in a new green economy were squandered here in the United States over the past four years is by now a well-worn subject. According to Van Jones, President Obama’s former Special Advisor on Green Jobs, meaningful progress in this country would have required the Senate to follow the House in passing legislation that set a price on carbon. He tells PLANET that the $80 billion dollars in public investments devoted to green industries and projects under Obama was only the first step. While 2.4 million green jobs were added, as estimated by the Brookings Institute, Jones sees that as a small fraction of what might have been possible with the cooperation of Congress.

“Cap and trade would have given the private sector an incentive to play,” Jones said in an interview, suggesting that the business community

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