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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.

In the News

How the US labor movement is getting to grips with the climate crisis

The Guardian
Skinner, Director of the Labor Leading on Climate Initiative, provides a strategy to reframe the climate crisis with an emphasis on addressing economic and racial inequalities.
US Labor Movement
How the US labor movement is getting to grips with the climate crisis

'Everyone Wants a Good Job': The Texas Unions Fighting for a Green New Deal

At the Texas AFL-CIO’s annual convention on July 27th, 121 unions voted in favor of a resolution for a green jobs plan. The proposal was written by the Texas Climate Jobs Project, a project of the state labor federation and Cornell University’s Worker Institute in consultation with 27 unions statewide.
Eric Herchaft
'Everyone Wants a Good Job': The Texas Unions Fighting for a Green New Deal

Why Texas fossil fuel unions signed onto a climate plan

Grist logo
Skinner, Labor Leading on Climate Director, says “there’s been a real focus on the carbon impact of proposals and not enough emphasis on what type of jobs are these activities going to create, what are the quality of these jobs, are they actually going to help reverse inequality.”
Gist Article
Why Texas fossil fuel unions signed onto a climate plan

Canary in the Mine: Striking Miners in Alabama

The American Prospect logo
The UMWA local in Alabama has been on a five-month strike against Warrior Met Coal. Zach Cunningham, from the Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate, proposes focusing on making the transition to renewable-energy sources one that provides good-paying jobs, rather than a narrative of “good jobs versus the environment.”
Alabama Strike
Canary in the Mine: Striking Miners in Alabama

Energy transition could create 1.1 million jobs in Texas, report says

Lara Skinner, Director of Cornell’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative, provided insight into the number of jobs that could be created in various aspects of growing the renewable energy and climate tech industries in Texas.
HoustonChroniclepic
Energy transition could create 1.1 million jobs in Texas, report says

Texas Unions Launch Major Effort to Combat Climate Change, Tackle Inequality in US Energy Capital

A new report by climate and labor experts at Cornell University, Northeastern University, and Occidental College, in consultation with 27 Texas labor unions, accompanied the launch and outlays out a comprehensive climate jobs action plan to put Texas on the path to building an equitable clean-energy economy.
Man installing solar panels
Texas Unions Launch Major Effort to Combat Climate Change, Tackle Inequality in US Energy Capital

DOE's Granholm highlights need for 'place-based' climate investments

S&P Global News
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm requested Lara Skinner's research on renewable energy labor standards as a possible model for the federal government,
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm
DOE's Granholm highlights need for 'place-based' climate investments

Skinner Appears on City & State’s 2021 New York State Labor Power 100

Lara Skinner, Director of the Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate, makes the 2021 New York State Labor Power 100.
Profile Pic
Skinner Appears on City & State’s 2021 New York State Labor Power 100

A Just Transition?

Inside Climate News logo
Lara Skinner, Director of the Worker Institute's Labor Leading on Climate, provides insight on the importance of including labor standards on clean energy work.
Aroldo Garcia discusses a major offshore wind development coming to Brooklyn with Summer Sandoval, a campaigner with the environmental justice group UPROSE.
A Just Transition?

NYS Passes Labor Standards on Clean Energy Work

NY is the first state in the country to pass a comprehensive suite of labor standards on clean energy work
solar panels upstate
NYS Passes Labor Standards on Clean Energy Work

The Race To 52%: Little Old NJ Leaps Into US Offshore Wind Industry Lead

Skinner, director of the Labor Leading on Climate, and member of the Just Transition Working Group in support of the Empire State’s climate goals. Earlier this year she drew an optimistic picture of the nation’s ability to grow a vigorous wind industry workforce, especially in the offshore area.
Wind farms in the ocean. Photo courtesy of GE Renewables
The Race To 52%: Little Old NJ Leaps Into US Offshore Wind Industry Lead

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
The Promise of Offshore Wind

New York’s Building Trades Unions Are Showing the Way Forward on Green Jobs

"Climate change impacts working people. There are some major opportunities here for labor if we can get ahead of this thing. What we’ve done is a very investment-led strategy, a very jobs-led strategy,” says Lara Skinner.
Image of Construction Hard Hats
New York’s Building Trades Unions Are Showing the Way Forward on Green Jobs

Jacobin: New York’s Building Trades Unions Are Showing the Way Forward on Green Jobs

Lara Skinner, Director of the Worker Institute Labor Leading on Climate at Cornell, shares insight on the impact that climate change has on working people.
Image of Construction Hard Hats
Jacobin: New York’s Building Trades Unions Are Showing the Way Forward on Green Jobs

Four Cornellians Tapped for NYS Climate Advisory Panels

The New York State Climate Action Council has chosen Lara Skinner, director of the Labor Leading on Climate Initiative at the ILR School, to serve on the Just Transition Working Group.
NYS Climate Action Council Logo
Four Cornellians Tapped for NYS Climate Advisory Panels

Lara Skinner Named to Just Transition Working Group

Lara Skinner, executive director of The Worker Institute at the Cornell University ILR School has been named to the Just Transition Working Group that will support the implementation of New York state’s national leading climate law.
Photo: Lara Skinner
Lara Skinner Named to Just Transition Working Group

What’s the Connection between COVID-19 and Climate Change? Inequality

The triple crises of COVID-19, climate change and soaring inequality present a moment of great peril and opportunity for the U.S.
sign on a post saying: "one world" over a graphic of the globe to illustrate unity and the planet
What’s the Connection between COVID-19 and Climate Change? Inequality

Labor Leading on Climate selected as Educational Partner for Climate Jobs National Resource Center

The Initiative will provide research, education and training support to unions on climate change and clean energy across the United States.
Logo of Climate Jobs National Resource Center
Labor Leading on Climate selected as Educational Partner for Climate Jobs National Resource Center

New York Takes the First Step to Put Thousands to Work Building Offshore Wind Power

Skinner commends Governor Cuomo and his administration’s commitment to building this industry with strong labor, community and environmental standards.
Governor Cuomo Signing Offshore Wind Legislature
New York Takes the First Step to Put Thousands to Work Building Offshore Wind Power

New York aims to fight climate change by creating green union jobs

The Guardian
“We brought together more than a dozen unions, and said things are not good at the national level in terms of how unions are relating to environmental organizations and the climate movement,” said Lara Skinner
The Guardian Logo
New York aims to fight climate change by creating green union jobs

Organizing to Win a Green New Deal

Jacobin News
The labor movement has to be central to winning a Green New Deal and reversing climate change. Recent labor victories show how we can do just that, from the ground up, and quickly.
Climate Justice protestors at a march. Photo by Lawrence Makoona
Organizing to Win a Green New Deal

State Commitment to Wind Industry Workers is Historic, Skinner Says

Gov. Andrew Cuomo orders 800 megawatts of offshore wind energy, significantly strengthening outlook for wind industry workers.
Image of Wind Turbine
State Commitment to Wind Industry Workers is Historic, Skinner Says

An attack on public sector unions is an attack on democracy

The Hill
At a time when non-standard work arrangements and technology are rapidly changing the economy, and more people are engaging in unprotected “gig” work, the need for robust labor protections is stronger than ever, says Lara Skinner.
Protestors with Stand With Workers Signs
An attack on public sector unions is an attack on democracy

The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era

The Guardian
“Our carbon footprint is a lot smaller than it could be because we move around millions of people on public transport rather than car, but mass transit is often overlooked,” said Lara Skinner.
The Guardian Logo
The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era

Fueled by Cornell Initiative, Governor and Labor Unions Announce Climate and Jobs Program

Governor Cuomo announces major climate and jobs initiative in partnership with the Worker Institute at Cornell University ILR's School and Climate Jobs NY to help create 40,000 clean energy jobs by 2020.
Image of Lara Skinner sitting around table with others
Fueled by Cornell Initiative, Governor and Labor Unions Announce Climate and Jobs Program

Governor, labor unions announce climate jobs program

“The national debates on climate change are often defined as ‘jobs versus the environment’ or ‘workers against environmentalists,’” said Lara Skinner
New York State Logo
Governor, labor unions announce climate jobs program

Facing ‘Reckless’ Trump, The Empire State Strikes Back

Lara Skinner, associate director of The Worker Institute at Cornell, noted a “historic breakthrough” in the global effort to combat climate change.
Sea legs: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announce state funding for Long Island-based coastal-water initatives Friday on Shinnecock Bay.
Facing ‘Reckless’ Trump, The Empire State Strikes Back

Fueled by Cornell Initiative, Governor and Labor Unions Announce Climate and Jobs Program

Today’s launch of the Climate Jobs New York campaign and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement to dramatically increase the state’s efforts to combat climate change represents an historic breakthrough.
Climate Jobs Now! Summit
Fueled by Cornell Initiative, Governor and Labor Unions Announce Climate and Jobs Program

Labor Leading on Climate: Creating Good Jobs While Combating Climate Change

Since 80 percent of the state’s population lives in the Hudson River corridor, a project such as high-speed rail, which would take about 10 years to build, could have a major positive impact on the environment and on employment
Lara Skinner of The Worker Institute speaks with labor leaders
Labor Leading on Climate: Creating Good Jobs While Combating Climate Change

IBEW Local 3 Highlights Worker Institute's Climate Jobs Program

Lara Skinner, associate director of The Worker Instiute and coordinator of the Labor, Environment and Sustainable Development Initiative and Worker Institute Fellow Mijin Cha are leading a collaborative effort with IBEW Local 3 and several other unions and worker organizations ito develop a Climate Jobs Program.
Labor at the People's Climate March
IBEW Local 3 Highlights Worker Institute's Climate Jobs Program