Skip to main content

The Worker Institute

Advancing worker rights and collective representation

Menu

Initiatives

Train in a subway

Labor, Environment and Sustainable Development

The Labor, Environment, and Sustainable Development Initiative advances knowledge, policies, and practices to enhance the role of labor and working people in addressing the environmental and climate crises. The initiative's efforts focus on building a truly sustainable society and economy.

The initiative also helps workers’ rights advocates to better understand the employment and labor implications of environmental, climate and sustainability issues through a variety of activities:

  • Engages in research and produces scholarly articles and reports
  • Assists with leadership development and strategy design
  • Conducts training sessions and develops training materials
  • Offers technical assistance to unions, worker organizations and policy organizations
  • Offers undergraduate/graduate courses on the intersection of labor-environmental issues

The initiative helps unions, workers’ organizations and other advocates of workers’ rights respond to the following questions:

  • What does the transition to a truly sustainable, low-carbon society and economic model mean for unions, workers and their workplaces, communities and industries?
  • In a time of high unemployment, can environmental sustainability and climate protection policies drive job creation and promote greater equality?
  • What type and how many “green” or “climate” jobs are needed in the new Green Economy?
  • How can a “just transition” to new sources of stable employment be ensured for workers who today work in environmentally harmful industries?
  • What role do labor-environmental alliances have in building an equitable, low-carbon and sustainable society?

Selected Research

Contact

Lara Skinner, lrs95@cornell.edu
Alex Colvin, ajc22@cornell.edu