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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.

Originally published in Worker Institute Blog.

Lara Skinner will speak at Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit

Multiple workers building clean energy

 Worker Institute Executive Director, Lara Skinner will speak at the Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit on Sept. 22. Other speakers include U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, Nobel Laureate Marilyn Brown, Bloomberg Philanthropies' Climate Lead Antha Williams, and New York State Climate Policy and Finance Chair Ali Zaidi.


The summit will bring together labor leaders, union climate activists, environmental and environmental justice advocates, clean energy developers, policymakers, and scientists who want to build the clean energy economy of tomorrow with strong union jobs.


Skinner will be speaking on a panel focused on “Green Recovery: Building Clean Energy Industries and a Low-Carbon Economy that Works for All.” Skinner was recently named to the Just Transition Working Group to support the implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act), signed by New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019.


Organizing sponsors for the summit are Climate Jobs NY, Climate Jobs NY Education Fund, The Worker Institute and the Louis Gray Labor Innovation Initiative at Cornell University’s ILR School, and the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. In January, the Worker Institute began partnering with the new Climate Jobs National Resource Center to provide research, policy, training, and education support to unions in multiple U.S. states that are developing bold plans to tackle climate change and reverse inequality through high-quality, union job creation. 


“The Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit will demonstrate that ambitious climate protection and clean energy programs are an excellent way to drive job creation and economic development, especially as we need to find ways to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis that has hit working families so hard,” says Skinner.


Speakers will discuss ways that climate change and inequality are linked, dig into specific opportunities for bold climate action and building new industries, and engage in a holistic discussion about just transition for workers in fossil fuel industries and for their communities.


“Unions, in collaboration with other allies, are coming together in states around the U.S. to advance bold climate plans that will result in high-quality, union job creation. This is critical to ensuring that our response to the climate crisis addresses inequality, rather than exacerbates it with the creation of low-quality, low-wage jobs,” Skinner says.


“Responding to the climate crisis and developing the clean energy economy is also an important opportunity to build a more economically and racially-just economy in the U.S., one that provides high-quality jobs for the many black, indigenous and communities of color that have suffered disproportionately from pollution and environmental harms. I’m thrilled that this summit will provide advocates from labor, the environmental and environmental justice movements, industry, and policymakers the space to come together to share experiences and examine best practices for building the socially-just clean energy economy of tomorrow that we need,” Skinner says.


Convening during Climate Week NYC, the summit will feature keynote speakers, panelists, and breakout session leaders from around the country and the world. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.