A Just Transition - Power Without Pollution

Lara Skinner attends Our Power National Convention
Cornell University: Worker Institute: News: A Just Transition - Power Without Pollution
Monday, February 11, 2013

Lara Skinner Presents Labor Climate Curriculum at Our Power National Convening

The Worker Institute's Associate Director Lara Skinner participated in the Our Power National Convening in Richmond, California, August 6-9, 2014. This year's convening – themed 'Power without Pollution. Communities United for a Just Transition' – is focused on creating a pathway from a pollution-based extractive economy towards a new economy that protects workers, communities, and the environment.

Richmond is home to the Chevron Oil Refinery – one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the state of California – and its residents have long been on the frontlines of climate change. The convening will commemorate the second anniversary of the Richmond Chevron refinery explosion that sent 15,000 community members and 19 workers to the hospital in 2012.

Skinner was among 200 participants at the convening, joining representatives of the labor movement, climate justice organizations, indigenous rights groups, and activists working together to develop and advance a just transition to a new economy that addresses the climate crisis, restores ecological balance, and creates good, union jobs and thriving healthy communities.

Lara Skinner has been working with the Climate Justice Alliance, the group that organized the gathering, to develop labor-climate educational curricula for leaders in both the labor and climate justice movements. Lara presented on developing labor-climate curricula at this year's convening. Other sessions addressed the history of just transition, labor-climate justice alliance building, energy democracy, transit justice, and the role of worker and community cooperatives in developing renewable energy.

The Worker Institute at Cornell ILR plays an important role in advancing labor's involvement in the just transition to a new economy. Through research, education and training programs, and policy development, the Worker Institute is helping unions, workers' organizations and their allies to develop solutions to the climate crisis based on worker protections, collective representation, and social and environmental justice.