New Report Highlights How Broadband and Other Technologies Can Reduce Carbon Emissions and Save Energy, as well as Create and Retain Clean Energy Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to unveil its National Broadband Plan, U.S. Representative Ed Markey, Chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and author of the requirement in the Recovery Act mandating the forthcoming National Broadband Plan, today joined labor, environmental and progressive leaders to release a new report highlighting how broadband and related technologies can build a green economic future for America.
“The broadband revolution is ‘Made in America,’ and continues to create millions of jobs while fundamentally transforming business, education and government,” said U.S. Rep Ed Markey. “Ensuring access to broadband while investing in new smart grid technology, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Waxman-Markey clean energy jobs bill will empower the consumer with money-saving energy-efficiency tools.”
The report, Networking the Green Economy: How Broadband and Related Technologies Can Build a Green Economic Future, was released today by the Progressive States Network, Communications Workers of America, Sierra Club and the BlueGreen Alliance, and illustrates how smart buildings, smart grids, telehealth, teleconferencing, digital education – all of which are part of a highly-networked economy – will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, conserve energy resources, and promote and retain good, green jobs.
The report notes that, according to The Climate Group, transforming the way people and businesses use technology can reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 13-22 percent by 2020, and potentially see gross energy and fuel savings of $140-$240 billion. This report, setting forth ideas, research and recommendations to achieve these goals, details three broad areas of energy savings from networked technology that can help achieve energy savings and environmental goals: smart grids to improve the transmission, management, and distribution of energy; smart technologies, like smart meters or other demand management tools that reduce energy use at home or office; and broadband-based services including telehealth, long-distance business communication, and e-commerce to reduce travel and associated fuel costs.
“The National Broadband Plan is an opportunity to build capacity in our states and communities to strengthen this critical infrastructure,” Nathan Newman, Executive Director of the Progressive States Network. “This report illustrates the positive impact that broadband and smart grid expansion will have for both people and the environment.”
“Expanding broadband and smart grid will create good jobs,” said Annie Hill, Executive Vice President of Communications Workers of America. “Investments in the green economy – which includes more efficient use of resources and power – are the job creators of the 21st century. Any national broadband plan must be focused on job creation.”
The report offers several policy recommendations, including increasing access and addressing affordability of broadband technologies, supporting and promoting implementation of smart grids and devices, installing smart meters and implementing real-time pricing in a manner that protects consumers and strengthens the economy through the creation of green jobs, and adopting telehealth practices to decrease environmental impacts.
“Realizing the full potential and benefits of investments in efficiency and renewables will require a significant upgrade in our communications infrastructure,” said Allison Chin, President of the Sierra Club. “And as a nation, we are facing critical choices. We must become global leaders in growing a clean energy economy that puts people back to work and restores America’s leadership, ingenuity and innovation.”
“Investing in new and emerging clean energy technologies will help to establish America as a global leader in the clean energy economy, while preserving our environment for future generations” David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “The jobs of the future should all be good, green jobs, and by taking action now on broadband and other technologies, we are putting ourselves in a position to create jobs and lead the world in the race for a clean energy economy.”