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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.

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

Labor Standards Can Help Us Build Back Better

The Worker Institute's Labor Leading on Climate team examines the American Jobs Plan and explains why the built-in labor standards are critical to the proposal’s success.
Labor Standards

Cunningham Facilitates LI Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Training

Zach Cunningham, Training and Education Extension Associate, delivers Climate Change and Offshore Wind (OSW) Training to LiUNA members on Long Island.
Union members listening to Offshore Wind training presentation

Double Trouble: How the PRO Act Could Solve Two Crises at Once

The Worker Institute's Labor Leading on Climate research team provides insight into the PRO Act and the climate crises.
State Climate Labor Risks

Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit

September 22, 2020

Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit Videos

Green Recovery - Building Clean Energy Industries and a Low-Carbon Economy That Works for All

  • Chair: Lara Skinner - Executive Director, Worker Institute, Cornell University ILR School
  • Marilyn Brown - Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Tech
  • Alex Laskey - Founder and Executive Chair, Rewiring America
  • Matt Schlobohm - Executive Director, Maine AFL-CIO
  • Ali Zaidi - Deputy Secretary to Governor Cuomo for Energy and NYS Chair of Climate Policy and Finance

Labor in the Time of Trump

This chapter outlines approaches to three major tensions that must be addressed to build a pro-­ union climate movement.
Labor in the Time of Trump Cover

Transitioning to a 21st Century Energy System

A Workforce – Focused White Paper on Just Transition from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of New York State
Power Plant

Reversing Inequality, Combatting Climate Change

In 2017 the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School published the report, “Reversing Inequality, Combatting Climate Change: A Climate Jobs Program for New York State."
Reversing Inequality Cover

Training and Education

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
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.

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

In the News

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The Promise of Offshore Wind

The American Prospect logo
“It’s great to get the construction work to put the turbines up, but there’s a lot of work—most studies say twice as much work—in the manufacturing and assembly,” says Lara Skinner, director of Cornell University’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative.
Wind Turbines

Virtual Boston Labor Conference: Labor, Climate Change, and Political hosted by the Labor Resource Center (LRC)

On Friday, March 12, the Labor Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston hosted the Virtual Boston Labor Conference: Labor, Climate Change, and Political featuring the Worker Institute's Lara Skinner.
Sign that says Climate Crisis

A Worker-First Green New Deal with Lara Skinner | Jacobin Show

Lara Skinner, director of the Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative at Cornell's ILR School, joins the show to discuss the critical role of unions in the fight for climate protection and clean energy and why the Green New Deal must begin with the labor movement.
Lara Skinner on The Jacobin Show Flyer

Our Partner

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

Lara Skinner

  • Director, Labor Leading on Climate Initiative

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

  • Education and Training Extension Associate

  • Research and Policy Development Extension Associate

  • Program Administrative Assistant

Hunter Moskowitz

  • Research Assistant

  • Communication Specialist

  • Research and Policy Development Extension Associate

  • Senior Project Administrator