H. Josef Herbert -- Harvard Courant -- New study commissioned by U.S. mayors points way towards a green escape from economic crisis

A major shift to renewable energy and efficiency is expected to produce 4.2 million new environmentally friendly “green” jobs during the next three decades, according to a study commissioned by the nation’s mayors.

The study, released last week by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, says that about 750,000 people work today in what can be considered green jobs — from scientists and engineers researching alternative fuels to makers of wind turbines and more energy-efficient products.

But that’s less than one half of 1 percent of total employment. By 2038, another 4.2 million green jobs are expected to be added, accounting for 10 percent of new job growth during the next 30 years, according to the report by Global Insight Inc.

“It could be the fastest-growing segment of the United States economy over the next several decades and dramatically increase its share of total employment,” said the report, which The Associated Press obtained.