Cornell University

Cornell Global Labor Institute

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

Labor Leaders Climate Forum

Since 2008, the GLI has been working with the US and international labor movement on climate protection through the Labor Leaders' Climate Forum project. 

The GLI's Labor Leaders Climate Forum brings trade unions together to advance climate protection in a way that promotes a transition to a low carbon future while creating a more equitable society.  The Forum consists of representatives from the AFL-CIO and over 20 US affiliates as well as the Blue-Green Alliance, Center for American Progress, Institute for Policy Studies, Labor Network for Sustainability, the US Climate Action Network, and many other environmental and environmental justice organizations.

The Forum works to:

  • assist union leadership to better understand the challenges and opportunities involved in implementing bold climate protection policies at the sub-national, national and international levels;
  • through interaction with the International Trade Union Movement and engagement at the COP, consolidate and develop progressive, science-based and equitable climate protection policies among unions;
  • construct a new conversation around energy and power generation in order to develop a trade union vision for a planned energy transition based on decarbonization, environmental sustainability, equity and just transition;
  • continue to strengthen relationships between the labor movement and environmental, environmental justice, and other policy organizations.

This project was built upon the GLI's 2007 climate work which included both organizing the first labor conference on climate protection and the US trade union delegation to COP 13 in Bali. The project was officially launched on July 18-19, 2008 at the first Labor Leaders' Climate Retreat at the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The focus of the Forum for 2012 is the promotion of a "climate jobs" approach to job creation in the energy, transport and the building sectors.

For more information about the Forum project or to learn how your union can get involved climate protection, energy and sustainable transportation issues, please contact Jill Kubit at 212.340.2840 or