Climate Jobs for New York State

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J. Mijin Cha and Lara Skinner write: “New York State can and should act now to protect New Yorkers from the worst impacts of climate change while also addressing growing economic inequality. An ambitious and audacious Climate Jobs agenda creates good, high-road jobs for communities across the state and drastically reduces greenhouse gas pollution. By adopting a Climate Jobs agenda, New York will lead the country and chart the way to a low-carbon, equitable economy.”


About This Report

In Fall 2015, The Worker Institute at Cornell convened the Labor Leading on Climate research, education and policy initiative. This New York State-based initiative brings together unions, workers’ organizations and policy experts to develop job creation and economic development strategies to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution and confront the climate crisis.

The final recommendations and full report from this initiative will be released in spring 2016. The full report will be accompanied by a training curriculum on climate change for unions and worker organizations. For more information about this initiative or to request the final report when it’s released, please contact Lara Skinner at

Summary of Recommendations

  • Building Sector
    • Retrofit all public schools across the state to reach 100 percent of their energy efficiency potential by 2025
    • Reduce energy use in all public buildings by 40 percent by 2025
    • Streamline and expand access to residential retrofit programs
  • Transportation Sector
    • Bring NYC Public Transit to a state of good repair and expand service
    • Construct and improve Adirondack and Empire high-speed passenger rail corridor between Albany and Buffalo, and between Albany and Montreal
    • Establish a Bus Rapid Transit Program in New York State
  • Energy Sector
    • Install 3 GW of solar energy on 100 million square feet of public school rooftops through the New York Power Authority by 2025
    • Install an additional 1GW of solar projects through the New York Power Authority, the publicly-owned power utility
    • Install 7.5 GW of  Off-Shore Wind by 2050 through the New York Power Authority
  • New York State “Just Transition” Task Force

This initiative is possible because of the support of the State of New York. The opinions, findings and/or interpretations of data contained herein are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions, interpretations or policy of the State of New York or of the ILR School, Cornell University.

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