Skip to main content
Cornell University mobile logo

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.

The 2022 Climate Jobs Summit and Week of Action

SAVE THE DATE!

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

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
Watch Livestream on Facebook

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

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

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

See all news stories

Updating aging NYC school buildings will reduce the city’s carbon emissions: energy advocates

NY Daily News logo
Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate released, “Climate for Change: A Climate Jobs Roadmap for New York City” in partnership with Climate Jobs New York which urges the city to adopt a plan for carbon free and healthy schools
Updating aging NYC school buildings will reduce the city’s carbon emissions: energy advocates

Op-ed: A road map for making inroads into climate change in New York

Anita Raman, research and policy development associate with Cornell’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative details how New York City can ensure future net zero emissions, create millions of community-sustaining jobs, and reduce inequality.
Op-ed: A road map for making inroads into climate change in New York

For a Living Wage and a Habitable Planet, We Need Climate Jobs Programs

Cornell's Labor Leading on Climate released “Building a Just Transition for a Resilient Future: A Climate Jobs Program for Rhode Island” in partnership with Climate Jobs Rhode Island which outlines an approach to reduce carbon emissions while also creating good union jobs.
For a Living Wage and a Habitable Planet, We Need Climate Jobs Programs

Student Engagement

Experience LLC @ Cornell

Student Research Fellowships

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
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 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