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.
The initiative also helps workers’ rights advocates to better understand the employment and labor implications of environmental, climate and sustainability issues through a variety of activities:
- Engages in research and produces scholarly articles and reports
- Assists with leadership development and strategy design
- Conducts training sessions and develops training materials
- Offers technical assistance to unions, worker organizations and policy organizations
- Offers undergraduate/graduate courses on the intersection of labor-environmental issues
The initiative helps unions, workers’ organizations and other advocates of workers’ rights respond to the following questions:
- What does the transition to a truly sustainable, low-carbon society and economic model mean for unions, workers and their workplaces, communities and industries?
- Can environmental sustainability and climate protection policies drive job creation and promote greater equality?
- What type and how many green or climate jobs are needed in the new low-carbon economy?
- How can a just transition be achieved that protects and supports workers and communities who are negatively impacted by the transition to a low-carbon economy?
- What role do labor-environmental alliances have in building an equitable, low-carbon and sustainable society?
Cornell University, ILR School
The Worker Institute
Labor Leading on Climate
570 Lexington Ave., 12th floor
New York, NY 10022