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Labor Leading on Climate Initiative

Union woman worker wearing a hard hat and standing in front of solar panels

The Labor Leading on Climate Initiative advances knowledge, policies, and practices to enhance the role of labor and working people in addressing the environmental and climate crises.

 

Hear from labor leaders, and members, some of whom work on the frontlines of climate change, about the urgency to take on climate change by building a new renewable energy industry powered by good, family-sustaining union jobs.

2021 Climate Jobs Summit

The Second Annual Virtual Climate Jobs Summit took place on September 21, 2021, during Climate Week NYC. The Summit convened climate jobs coalitions, labor leaders, union climate activists, environmental and environmental justice advocates, clean-energy developers, policymakers, scientists, and allies in our shared mission to build an equitable renewable energy economy powered by good union jobs.

With speakers and participants from the labor and climate movements, the Summit presents a unique opportunity to dismantle the false “climate versus jobs” narrative and rally critical support for investment in infrastructure, jobs, and tackling climate change among labor leaders, climate advocates, and progressive thought leaders.

Throughout the Summit, emphasis was made on the urgency of taking action to lift up America’s working families through bold climate investments that create millions of family-sustaining union careers.

 

Watch Livestream on Facebook
Several workers in clean energy
Watch Livestream on Facebook

New Report from Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate Provides Roadmap to Exceed NYC Climate Goals, Create Over 1 Million Jobs

A new report released today by Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate in collaboration with the Climate Jobs NY coalition outlines a comprehensive climate jobs action plan for NYC to fight the climate crisis, make NYC safer and address racial and economic inequity by investing in a pro-worker renewable energy transition.
NYC Skyline
New Report from Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate Provides Roadmap to Exceed NYC Climate Goals, Create Over 1 Million Jobs

Cunningham facilitates Offshore Wind Training for IUOE Local 30

Zach Cunningham, Extension Associate for the Worker Institute and Mariah Dignan, of Climate Jobs NY deliver a riveting presentation on Climate Jobs and Offshore Wind (OSW) to IUOE Local 30
IUOE Local 1
Cunningham facilitates Offshore Wind Training for IUOE Local 30

Skinner speaks on Energy Policy Now Podcast

Lara Skinner, Director of Labor Leading on Climate Initiative Cornell University ILR School spoke with The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy the University of Pennsylvania on a podcast: "Organized Labor Sees Promise in Transition to Clean Energy.
Man in Hard Hat
Skinner speaks on Energy Policy Now Podcast

New Report from Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate Provides Roadmap to Exceed NYC Climate Goals, Create Over 1 Million Jobs

A new report released today by Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate in collaboration with the Climate Jobs NY coalition outlines a comprehensive climate jobs action plan for NYC to fight the climate crisis, make NYC safer and address racial and economic inequity by investing in a pro-worker renewable energy transition.
NYC Skyline
New Report from Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate Provides Roadmap to Exceed NYC Climate Goals, Create Over 1 Million Jobs

A New Report from The Worker Institute Outlines a Climate Jobs Agenda for Maine

A new report released today by climate and labor experts at Cornell University examines the intersecting crises and then offers a series of “climate jobs” recommendations for Maine.
Maine lighthouse
A New Report from The Worker Institute Outlines a Climate Jobs Agenda for Maine

New Report Details how Rhode Island Can Create a Clean-Energy, Worker-Centered Economy

A new report released today by climate and labor experts at Cornell University in collaboration with the Climate Jobs Rhode Island Coalition outlines a comprehensive climate jobs action plan to put Rhode Island on the path to building an equitable and resilient clean-energy economy.
Wind energy
New Report Details how Rhode Island Can Create a Clean-Energy, Worker-Centered Economy

Education and Training

The Labor Leading on Climate Initiative works with our partners to design and deliver training for union members on climate change and clean energy.

Our training provides affiliate leaders and members with the knowledge, confidence and motivation to participate in key debates and decision-making processes on climate protection and energy policy.  Our objective is to build a robust, equitable clean energy economy both locally and nationwide.

Union construction workers
Educational Resources

In addition to our workshops, we have developed written materials to help you learn about climate change and clean energy, talk with coworkers about these topics, and explore different union-led campaigns to create green, union jobs.

Explore our educational resources
Explore our educational resources
Trainings

This past winter, the Labor Leading on Climate Initiative launched its newly-developed “Climate Jobs and Offshore Wind (OSW)” training in partnership with Climate Jobs NY - a coalition of 2.6 million members. 

We look forward to continuing this work and expanding it into other states, in the upcoming years.

Learn more about our trainings
Union members listening to Offshore Wind training presentation
Learn more about our trainings

Skinner Recognized on PoliticsNY Labor Power Players

Skinner, Director of Labor Leading on Climate, is featured on the PoliticsNY Labor Power Players list.
Photo: Lara Skinner
Skinner Recognized on PoliticsNY Labor Power Players

Podcast: Organized Labor Sees Promise in Transition to Clean Energy

Lara Skinner, Director of Labor Leading on Climate Initiative Cornell University ILR School spoke with The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy the University of Pennsylvania on a podcast: "Organized Labor Sees Promise in Transition to Clean Energy.
Image of Climate Jobs Banner
Podcast: Organized Labor Sees Promise in Transition to Clean Energy

Watch the recording of "A Climate Jobs Plan for Rhode Island"

On Friday, March 4, researchers from Cornell University joined with leaders of the Climate Jobs RI coalition, a group of labor, climate, and community groups in Rhode Island, and discussed a new report unveiled last month that outlined a comprehensive action plan for RI.
Rhode Island Lighthouse
Watch the recording of "A Climate Jobs Plan for Rhode Island"

In the News

See all news stories

Labor unions' climate agenda for City Hall includes cutting school emissions, adding bike lanes

“We are really thinking about how do we take on climate change at scale and the pace that science demands,” said Lara Skinner, Director of Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate program.
Labor unions' climate agenda for City Hall includes cutting school emissions, adding bike lanes

Skinner Appears on Community Voices for Change

Skinner appears on Portland’s Maine WMPG Radio, Community Voices for Change, to discuss how Maine is working to build a new renewable energy economy with good union jobs.
Skinner Appears on Community Voices for Change

Labor Unions Form New Group to Combat Climate Change in Maine

Labor unions in Maine say they have a lot of ideas on how the state can combat climate change and create clean energy jobs. The unions partnered with Cornell University's Labor Leading on Climate to study climate change and have set 11 goals for creating clean-energy jobs in Maine.
Labor Unions Form New Group to Combat Climate Change in Maine

Student Engagement

The Worker Institute's Labor Leading on Climate Initiative is committed to engaging Cornell ILR undergraduate and graduate students through our courses, research fellowships, and graduate programs.

Learn more about our work with students.
Wide shot of ILR Building in Ithaca, NY
Learn more about our work with students.

Alex Foley

Alex Foley, BSILR '22, details his research project on green hydrogen production in the United States as part of a larger project within the Labor Leading on Climate Initiative.
Alex Foley
Alex Foley

Scott Siegel

Scott Siegel, BSILR ‘24, discusses his summer project and how he was able to apply his ILR studies to his project.
Scott Siegel
Scott Siegel

Nathan Lamm

Nathan Lamm, BSILR '22, shares his summer experience with working with the Labor Leading on Climate team.
Nathan Lamm
Nathan Lamm

Our Partner

Watch Lara Skinner discuss her work which helped spark the formation of Climate Jobs New York (CJNY).

Climate Jobs Resource Center Logo

The Worker Institute's Labor Leading on Climate Initiative is the university partner of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center (CJNRC).

The Initiative provides research, education and training programs to unions on climate change and clean energy across multiple U.S. states.

As in New York, this work will help unions proactively and positively engage in climate change and clean energy work and forge a stronger link in the public discourse between the crises of inequality and climate change. 

About the Initiative

Find out more about the Initiative

The Labor Leading on Climate Initiative at the Worker Institute advances knowledge, policies, and practices to enhance the role of labor and working people in addressing the environmental and climate crises.

Labor has an important reframing of this issue: we have two crises, not one. A crisis of climate change and a crisis of inequality and we need solutions that address both. Solutions to the climate crisis cannot exacerbate the crisis of inequality by creating low-wage, low-quality jobs; Addressing climate change needs to reverse inequality by creating high-wage, family and communities sustaining union jobs. The initiative's efforts focus on building a truly sustainable society and economy.

 

Faculty, Staff and Fellows

  • Director, Labor Leading on Climate Initiative

  • Fellow, The Worker Institute
  • Assistant Professor, Urban and Environmental Policy, Occidental College

  • Education and Training Extension Associate

  • Program Administrative Assistant

  • Communication Specialist

  • Research and Policy Development Extension Associate

  • Senior Project Administrator

  • Research and Policy Development Extension Associate