Report: Net Zero is possible, and good for economic growth
Net zero icon and carbon neutral concept in the hand for net zero greenhouse gas emissions target Climate neutral long term strategy on a green background.

Net zero icon and carbon neutral concept in the hand for net zer
The report projects positive job impacts for 71 different job sectors and 9 aggregated sectors, including electricity, construction, industry, services, transport and agriculture.

The Nature Conservancy in Florida, along with AECOM and Cambridge Econometrics, has published a groundbreaking study on the impacts of decarbonizing Florida’s economy, finding that it is not only doable, but a boon for the state economy.

“The report findings are clear,” Nature Conservancy in Florida Executive Director Greg Knecht said.

“Florida is already making progress in clean energy, and Floridians are eager for the economic opportunities that decarbonization offers. Decarbonizing Florida’s economy will ultimately position the Sunshine State to continue to grow as a hub for innovation and technological advancement, increasing Floridians’ quality of life and economic prospects.”

The report, “Economic Benefits of Decarbonization in Florida,” looks at two decarbonization scenarios — a zero emissions power grid by 2035 and net zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. Decarbonization is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, in manufacturing, transport, energy and other parts of the economy.

The report found that both scenarios can increase job growth and boost prosperity for Floridians by expanding and creating higher-paying job opportunities, creating new opportunities for workers of all skill and education levels and lowering consumer costs.

Economic decarbonization in Florida under both scenarios evaluated could result in a state economy 2% larger than the current baseline for 2050 and would reduce spending on electricity and private transportation, leading to savings consumers could redirect into other sectors.

The report projects positive job impacts for 71 different job sectors and nine aggregated sectors, including electricity, construction, industry, services, transport and agriculture. The transport sector would experience significant long-term job growth with 25,000 more jobs in 2050. Both scenarios predict consistent job growth in the construction sector in every Florida county. About a third of construction jobs pay a living wage and the jobs have a low education barrier for entry.

Those increases are attributable to the increased demand for specific skills and knowledge, including installation, mechanical skills, programming, design and operation control and monitoring.

The report also finds that the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) would continually drop for solar, reducing consumer electric prices and freeing discretionary spending among consumers.

“Florida can have it all: clean energy, a thriving economy and strong workforce,” said Lynetta Usher Griner, Secretary and Treasurer of Usher Land & Timber Inc. and member of the report’s Technical Advisory Committee.

“From silviculture to agriculture, transport to manufacturing — there are countless opportunities for Florida businesses to adopt and take advantage of opportunities to decarbonize their operations and invest in their greatest asset: their employees. Florida’s future is bright, and our state continues to be a profitable place to do business, especially as we advance clean energy markets and infrastructure.”

The report also notes progress already made in the Sunshine State, including the nearly 160,000 clean energy jobs in Florida as of 2021. The report attributes success in Florida to its abundance of sunshine, making it an ideal locale for solar energy production.

In fact, Florida added more solar capacity in the first half of 2023 than any other state, according to the report. And in 2022, the state had the second-highest number of registered electric vehicles in the country.

Funding for the report came from Jane’s Trust Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, VoLo Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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