posted Friday, January 16, 2009        

Organizing Questions:

Language of business

How can our economy become more localized, so local needs are met through local jobs, networks, resources (sunshine) and community?

What is keeping the Sustainability advocates in Tucson from being able to reach out to the business community who could be such a forceful partner in community sustainability as it is in so many other communities? Are we using the wrong language?

How can we get every home and every business in Tucson using solar energy as their main source by 2015?

How do we get the resources to make the changes, particularly money?

How can the process of sustainability provide better paying job opportunities and not provide lower paying jobs that already exist: i.e. expanded development balanced with sustainability growth?

What is the definition of “green jobs”? What needs to be done to create a sustainable Tucson? Create a new workforce and a new mindset that values sustainability – a “green jobs initiative.”

How do we maintain jobs in a no-growth, maintenance or transition economy?

How do we create the political and public will to fund the components of a sustainable future? Common vision. Shared responsibility. Equitable funding.

If we can educate homeowners and rental property managers about the value of improving their properties from the standpoint of sustainability, incomes will rise.

Educate the check writers. Trade-offs/priorities we Can’t have it all.

Group Discussion:

Economic Sustainability

Funding Paying for sustainability – what we need and want.

Check: Payee: Tucson’s Future Signed by Us

Green jobs and business

1. How do we pay for it? Green is expensive.
2. Low-tech hot water heaters. Opportunity for local job creation
3. Government responsibilities – Keeping society’s options open
a. Language of business need to be reduced to
b. Leading by example – convener
4. Pro Forma*
5. Remove barriers and regulations
6. Training for Green Jobs
7. Green on a budget/or fixed income.
a. Want to but can’t afford it.
b. How does green fit in the gap between the haves and have nots?

8. Too much of local economy is based on growth. Gov’t deficits
9. Freeze growth until we can pay our current bills with current income.
10. Green is not necessarily sustainable. Living beyond our means.
11. Up front capital is needed. Money for replacement of old building systems. 175,000 homes by $15,000
12. Solar residential – payback is minimum 5 years

Key Points

1. Bring in money, private investment (but not people)
2. Education, recruitment of clean business, ability to compete with Austin, Albuquerque, Portland
3. Not going back – no more cheap gas or water – use this period to prepare for economy returns.
4. Traditional finance means won’t be there in the future. 20% reduction in workforce in next 5 years.
Peer to Peer financing
Borrowing Pools

Need innovative financing – not traditional

Priscilla Storm writes:

How to pay for the initial investment in sustainability is a legitimate concern, especially when cash and credit are not available or in short supply.  Also the benefit of sustainable development is greatest when owner occupied, so that the party incurring the initial expense also benefits from the cost savings over time.  Many buildings are not owner occupied and the construction expense is incurred without the sales or lease price paying a premium to address the buyer or tenant benefits of reduced operating expense over time. This serves as a disincentive for non-owner occupied buildings.  I think this is an important current reality that we should recognize and see if there are any current tools available to assist in these scenarios.

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