CJNY Release (6.2.17)

 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2017

CONTACT:

Matt Ryan at mryan@climatejobsny.org

Cara Noel at cnoel@nycclc.org

 

NEW PRO-CLIMATE, PRO-WORKER COALITION OF NEW YORK’S ENERGY, TRANSPORT AND BUILDING TRADES AND SERVICE UNIONS

 

Climate Jobs NY advocates for New York State to lead the nation by implementing an ambitious climate jobs program to reverse inequality and combat climate change

 

Coalition partners with Governor Cuomo to announce new renewable energy and building efficiency initiatives that will help create 40,000 good jobs by 2020

 

Climate Jobs NY is a new coalition of labor unions in the energy, buildings, and transport sectors united to combat climate change and reverse inequality. The growing coalition brings together workers that are directly-impacted by New York’s energy advances, including the Greater NY Building & Construction Trades Council, Utility Workers Local 1-2, United Association Plumbers and Pipefitters in New York State, the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, 32BJ SEIU, TWU Local 100, and more. Climate Jobs NY members include solar installers, building engineers, MTA trackworkers, power plant operators, heat and frost insulators and many other “climate workers.”

 

The coalition represents a breakthrough repositioning of New York labor to combat  climate change. With its launch, Climate Jobs NY will build a broad, inclusive, dynamic and powerful campaign with unions, environmental, climate justice and community organizations for climate and economic justice.

 

Climate Jobs NY is advocating for New York State to continue to lead the nation on combating climate change by implementing an ambitious 10-point climate jobs program. The coalition’s policy agenda will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse inequality through major investments in renewable power, transit, and building energy efficiency. Investments will create good union jobs, more equitable communities, and a more resilient New York.

 

Climate Jobs NY applauds Governor Cuomo’s recent commitment to partner and announce new renewable energy and building efficiency initiatives that will help create 40,000 good jobs by 2020. The new initiatives include solicitations for as much as $1.5 billion in large-scale renewable projects, the first in a series that will develop 40 to 60 of these projects over the next few years, capable of powering 320,000 homes. Others include an expansion of energy efficiency and solar in public buildings, and a commitment to studying the feasibility of the types of economic efficiencies that can be achieved through the use of a Project Labor Agreement. The announcement represents a transformative direct link made between climate policy and efforts to address economic inequality. Climate Jobs NY looks forward to ongoing work with the Governor to advance similar initiatives in the energy, transport, and buildings sectors to promote a “climate jobs” program for New York State.

 

The Climate Jobs NY campaign can trace its spark to a three- year initiative convened by The Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School, called Labor Leading on Climate. In the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, The Worker Institute convened unions to open a dialogue over solutions to the climate crisis that could simultaneously support good jobs, worker protections and economic justice. The Worker Institute’s newly released report, “Reversing Inequality, Combatting Climate Change: A Climate Jobs Program for New York State,” builds off of the three-year initiative and is co-authored by J. Mijin Cha, Assistant Professor at Occidental College and Lara Skinner, Associate Director at the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School.

 

The report, “Reversing Inequality, Combatting Climate Change: A Climate Jobs Program for New York State,” can be found at http://bit.ly/2sjUJGR.

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Gary LaBarbera, President, Greater New York Building Construction Trades Council, said "On behalf of 100,000 union building trades members, I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership to address climate change while also supporting the working men and women of New York. This announcement demonstrates the Governor's commitment to good jobs in a growing sector of the economy."

 

Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said "We welcome this partnership with Governor Cuomo to strengthen the economy, while addressing climate change.  Expanding the state's commitment to renewable energy projects is not only an opportunity to make New York a leader in the clean energy industry, it's an investment in long term, sustainable middle class jobs in our state. Good paying jobs with benefits allow working men and women to provide for their families while supporting local businesses in their community."

 

"This initiative would help create good jobs while protecting and improving our environment," said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.  "I commend Governor Cuomo on helping to make this groundbreaking partnership a reality." 

 

“I have worked for climate sustainability for many years and believe that working people have to be at the center of climate solutions, said Michael Fishman, past Secretary Treasurer of Service Employees International Union. “Our new partnership with Governor Cuomo represents a huge step forward and together we can combat climate change and reverse economic inequality.”

 

Lara Skinner, Associate Director of The Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School, said “Today’s launch of the Climate Jobs New York campaign and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement to dramatically increase the state’s effort to combat climate change represent a historic breakthrough. The campaign positions working people and unions as an engine to tackle the climate crisis and the Governor’s announcement elevates New York state’s commitment to lead the nation in transitioning to an equitable clean energy economy. I’m pleased that our convening of building, energy and transport unions through the Labor Leading on Climate initiative for the past three years helped spark these efforts.”

 

Christopher Erikson, Business Manager, IBEW Local 3, said “We need an energy transition to clean energy and we need to do it so we protect the good union jobs of those who construct, operate, and maintain power plants in this country. I commend the Governor’s leadership and this first step towards meeting the needs of climate and workers together and, the IBEW Local 3 is devoting the resources needed to train the next generation of skilled electrical workers for a clean energy future.”

 

John Samuelsen, International  President, Transport Workers Union of America, said "Today's announcement represents New York seizing the opportunity and responsibility to address the growing crisis of climate change in a way that creates good jobs and begins to reverse inequality. On behalf of our 140,000 members, we commend Governor Cuomo as he shows the nation how to lead the fight on climate and jobs."

 

James Slevin, President, Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2, said “As a union leader who represents thousands of workers currently employed in New York’s energy system and whose livelihoods depend on those jobs, I am very concerned about protecting their jobs and addressing climate change which affects my members, their families and their communities. This initiative represents the best hope for protecting my members, ensuring new energy jobs are good union jobs, and addressing climate change.”

 

John J. Murphy, International Representative for New York State, United Association Plumbers & Pipefitters, said "As New York transforms our energy economy to address the realities of climate change, we need to ensure investments support workers and communities. Today's announcement demonstrates we can do big things together to harness the transition for the benefit of all New Yorkers. The United Association training programs are on the cutting edge of green technology and our members stand ready to partner with NYS while creating good, sustainable jobs.”

 

Climate Jobs NY is a growing coalition of labor unions united to combat climate change and reverse inequality. CJNY educates fellow workers, builds alliances, and advocates for policy solutions that demonstrate we do not have to choose between a healthy planet and good jobs.

 

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