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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.

2022 Climate Jobs Summit

From Ambition to Action

The Climate Jobs Summit on September 21 and the accompanying Week of Action brought together climate jobs coalitions, labor leaders, union climate activists, environmental advocates, policymakers, scientists, and allies in our shared mission to build an equitable renewable energy economy powered by good union jobs.

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The 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. 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.

Several workers in clean energy
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The 2020 Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit

The 2020 Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit brought together labor leaders, union climate activists, environmental and environmental justice advocates, clean-energy developers, policymakers, and scientists to discuss how to build the clean-energy economy of tomorrow with strong union jobs.

Workers building clean energy
2020 Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit Videos

Scaling the US OSW Supply Chain with a Global Perspective

Avalon Hoek Spaans, Cornell ILR outreach extension faculty member with help from their student research assistant Scott Siegel advised a group of Columbia Climate School graduate students on how to answer the question: “How can offshore wind deployment in the US be accelerated while ensuring local high-quality job creation?”
Denmark
Scaling the US OSW Supply Chain with a Global Perspective

Labor Leading on Climate Trains Unionists from Four States as part of Climate Jobs Summit and Week of Action

Cunningham facilitates first training for rank-and-file union members on Sept. 22nd, as part of the Climate Jobs Summit’s Week of Action. Members attended the training via Zoom with in-person sessions to hear about the climate crisis, share their experiences, and learn more about ongoing campaigns in their areas.
Zoom screenshot of participants
Labor Leading on Climate Trains Unionists from Four States as part of Climate Jobs Summit and Week of Action

When Data Works: Creating High-Quality Green Jobs

Anita Raman, Cornell's Research and Policy Development Associate, explores the big questions: How can we maximize emissions reductions to create the greenest jobs? How do we make sure these are high-quality jobs? How can we use data to achieve these outcomes?
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When Data Works: Creating High-Quality Green Jobs

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

Trainings

In the Winter of 2020, 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.

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

Skinner Speaks at the 2022 WSLC Constitutional Convention

“There is great potential to grow a pro-union climate plan in Washington that addresses the climate crisis at scale and grows and builds the labor movement,” said Lara Skinner, Director of the Labor Leading on Climate program at Cornell.
Lara Skinner speaking at the 2022 WSLC
Skinner Speaks at the 2022 WSLC Constitutional Convention

2022 Climate Jobs Summit and Week of Action

Join us for the Climate Jobs Summit on September 21 and Week of Action from September 19 to 23!
2022 Climate Jobs Summit and Week of Action Banner
2022 Climate Jobs Summit and Week of Action

Join us for a webinar on creating equity in the emerging clean energy workforce

The Labor Leading on Climate participates in the Worker Institute co-hosted, Equity in Focus: Building a Diverse, Inclusive Clean Energy Workforce on June 29th, 2022.
Union woman working on solar panels
Join us for a webinar on creating equity in the emerging clean energy workforce

In the News

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Biden Promised “Good-Paying Union Jobs,” But It Will Take Organizing to Get Them

"People have to see how building a new clean energy economy improves their lives, expands their access to jobs, increases their pay and benefits, protects and supports existing good jobs, lowers energy bills, expands prosperity and makes our communities healthier,” said Skinner at the Climate Jobs Summit.
Biden Promised “Good-Paying Union Jobs,” But It Will Take Organizing to Get Them

After Successful Bike Parking Demo, DOT is Rightfully Being Asked, ‘What Now?’

A recent study by Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate recommends converting 5 percent of street parking spaces into 150,000 sheltered bike parking spaces by 2025.
After Successful Bike Parking Demo, DOT is Rightfully Being Asked, ‘What Now?’

Changing Power Sources Starts With Changing Minds

Melanie La Rosa discusses the relevance of the Climate for Change: A Complete Climate Jobs Roadmap for New York City report as an opportunity "to a climate labor force [that] could spur thousands of new jobs,” in her recent OpEd.
Changing Power Sources Starts With Changing Minds

Student Engagement

Student Research Fellowships

Experience LLC @ Cornell

The Labor Leading on Climate Research Fellows will research a variety of topics related to climate change, and contribute to the creation of multi-state “climate jobs” policy papers and Canva presentations that address topics including job and training quality standards in energy efficiency and renewable energy work and exploring innovative financing models for climate mitigation activities. 

Learn more about our research fellowships
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Student Testimonials

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

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

  • Education and Training Associate

  • Research Support Specialist

  • Research and Policy Development Associate

  • Research Support Specialist

  • Labor Leading on Climate Associate

  • Research and Policy Development Associate

  • Labor Leading on Climate Associate