Low Carbon Leader: California

Business and Job Growth Opportunities
Reading time: 21 minutes
1 April 2006

California is poised to lead in the battle to stop global warming. To do so, the state must continue its multi-decade commitment of promoting efficiency, cleaner technologies, and renewable energy, and pursue a host of new emission reduction measures, including those outlined in the California Climate Action Team Report (CAT report).

What will the impact of these combined measures have on the California economy? To answer this question, The Climate Group reviewed studies documenting benefits California has already recouped from its 20-year investment in energy efficiency, research demonstrating increases in venture capital investment in California's clean technology sector, economic experts' analyses of measures proposed in the CAT report, and market trends that document state-wide growth in renewable energy and other businesses. The results clearly suggest that state action to address climate change will boost state-wide economic growth and position California to lead the worldwide expansion of clean energy and clean technology businesses.


As many as 83,000 new jobs can be created by 2020 through implementation of the Climate Action Team report. Full implementation by 2020 will likely result in positive cost savings to Californians ranging from $2.5 to $59 billion. Venture capital investors put more than $1.6 billion in the North American clean tech sector in 2005, an increase of 34% over 2004. California companies received one-third of this venture capital. State supported energy efficiency, clean technology and renewable energy policies currently in place have already:

  • stimulated California export sales of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy technologies
  • brought over 33 new clean energy and energy efficiency products to the marketplace
  • saved California businesses and consumers over $56 billion
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