Cornell University

Cornell Global Labor Institute

16 East 34th Street, 4th Floor, 212-340-2840

Climate Protection in Cities, States and Regions:  International Perspectives on Job Creation and Retention, Workforce Training and Policy Choices

May 12, 2010

9:00am - 4:00pm 
Cornell ILR Conference Center
16 East 34th Street, 6th Floor
(between 5th and Madison Avenues) in Manhattan

In recent years, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have proliferated at the local and regional levels in many parts of the developed and developing world. In the case of countries with Kyoto targets, these efforts have sometimes been shaped by national commitments. In other cases (such as in the U.S.) they have emerged at the sub-national level in the absence of a clear national strategy or timetable to reduce emissions.

The proliferation of national and sub-national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has produced a body of knowledge and experience that can help us collectively address several key questions. Trade unions and their policy allies in New York State, along with their counterparts in the labor movement from Spain, Germany and France, will discuss climate protection and green job policies and practice. The main focus of the seminar will be on job creation and workforce development and will address a number of key questions:

What are the main policies in place in the various countries (Spain, Germany, France and US) that are intended to drive green jobs creation and climate protection? What climate protection policies are working (or not working) in terms of creating or retaining employment? What policies are likely to be proposed in the near future?

What has been the experience of the implementation of these policies in terms of the institutions and processes (including social dialogue)?

How are workers being trained in these green industries? Are training opportunities universal and inclusive? What’s the relationship between institutions involved in training and the opportunities for employment? How have these countries addressed the ‘skills gap’ issue?


9:00 am Breakfast

9:30 am  Welcome and Introductions

9:45 am Clean Energy Policies and Practice: Reports from Countries and Regions

Ed Murphy, Workforce Development Institute, New York State, US
Werner Schneider, Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB), Germany
Ola Asplund, IF Metall, Sweden
Thierry Dedieu, Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail/ French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT), France. Presentations followed by an open discussion.

12:30 pm Break for Lunch

1:00 pm Presentation/ Working Lunch: How the Super Smart Grid Changes the Potential for Renewable Energy

Antonella Battaglini (by videoconference), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany. Discussion to follow.

2:15 pm Experience Sharing and Problem Solving
Structured discussion based around morning presentations and key questions outlined above.

3:45 pm Closing/ Next Steps