Cornell University

June 1 2012

Tapping Cornell Strengths

Global Labor Institute awarded $100,000 for jobs-climate sustainability project

A Global Labor Institute project uniting climate protection and job creation has been funded by a $100,000 award from Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Academic Venture Fund. The institute is a program of the Worker Institute at Cornell.

Experts from four university colleges will work on the project.

Their work begins with developing a "Jobs-GHG Mitigation Index" to assess the types and numbers of jobs needed to meet the New York State Climate Action Plan's emissions reduction goals. "GHG" is an abbreviation for greenhouse gas.

The index will be used to design a policy and administration plan for a climate jobs program. The project will also consider how New Deal-type public works programs could play an important role in putting people to work in ways that reduce emissions in key sectors.

"Climate protection can be a major source of new jobs for the state, but there needs to be an effective climate jobs program to do what private markets have thus far struggled to achieve," said Lara Skinner, the institute's associate director of research.

Skinner will work on the project with Sean Sweeney, institute director; ILR Professor Alexander Colvin; Huaizhu Gao, Cornell School of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Kevin Pratt, Cornell Department of Architecture, and Brandon Hencey, Cornell’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

The Atkinson Center's Academic Venture Fund is designed to stimulate original, cross-disciplinary research in sustainability science.

Thirty-one proposals were submitted; 10 were funded for a total of about $735,000. More information is available at www.acsf.cornell.edu/AVF.