World Business Chicago and Mayor Johnson Recently Traveled to Canada to Boost Chicago’s Blue-Green Economy | World Business Chicago

NEWS

06.06.2024

World Business Chicago and Mayor Johnson Recently Traveled to Canada to Boost Chicago’s Blue-Green Economy

World Business Chicago and Mayor Johnson Recently Traveled to Canada to Boost Chicago’s Blue-Green Economy

World Business Chicago and Chicago Mayor Johnson recently joined Investissement Québec International for a business roundtable featuring leaders from sustainable development, transportation, water management, and clean energy sectors. The roundtable aimed to attract international investment in Chicago’s burgeoning blue-green economy.

“Chicago’s proximity to one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world is a competitive advantage that has been historically underutilized….We are working hard to identify and interact with economic sectors where we have an edge so that we can attract sustainable businesses and good jobs to our city for long-term success. My vision for a blue-green economy is centered around growing our overall economy without sacrificing the health and safety of our residents.” – Mayor Brandon Johnson

The “Chicagoland’s Green Future” report, released by WBC in October 2023, found that Chicagoland’s green economy produced over $18 billion in economic output in 2022, growing nearly 180% between 2016 and 2022. In 2022, Chicagoland’s green economy employed over 65,000 workers, ranking fifth among the top ten metro areas for employment in this sector.

The transitioning green economy, which includes clean energy and climate technology, employed over 500,000 people in 2022. Charles Smith, Vice Chair of WBC, emphasized, “There is a correlation between good policies and business growth. We are working to boldly position Chicago as a global leader in the blue-green economy by leveraging our strategic position as the transportation hub of the Midwest.”

“At Current, we believe that Chicago deserves to be the center of a globally significant blue economy engine,” said Alaina Harkness, Executive Director of Current. The report “Upstream Illinois: Strategies to Boost Illinois’ Blue Economy,” prepared for Current, highlights that Illinois’ blue economy was a $16.7 billion industry in 2020, employing 186,000 people. The broader blue economy accounted for nearly 30% of the state’s employment (Upstream Illinois).

In January, the National Science Foundation awarded a $160 million grant over ten years to the Great Lakes Water Innovation Engine (ReNEW) initiative, anchoring Chicago as a leader in water-based innovation for the next decade.

 

For more information, contact World Business Chicago at CEO@worldbusinesschicago.com

 

 

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