by Tim Costello and the Labor Network for Sustainability
[PDF version of this report is available here]
["Labor and Climate Change" is a briefing paper that provides activists inside and outside the labor movement a way to understand the interests and concerns of different segments of organized labor in climate change issues. It was the last major work by Tim Costello, who died in December, 2009.]
This briefing paper provides a strategy for addressing organized labor’s stake in climate change. Its goal is to provide activists inside and outside the labor movement with the information they need to help shape effective, worker friendly climate protection policies and garner support for them from organized labor. (more…)
Over the past couple of years, the American labor movement has become an enthusiastic supporter of expanding “green jobs” that fight global warming. But policies to reduce carbon emissions to levels scientists say are safe have been a harder pill to swallow. Now, in a significant breakthrough, three significant unions have come out for the science-based emissions targets called for by the IPCC.
As 250 international union delegates arrived in Copenhagen for the global climate summit, a statement by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and a joint statement by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) called for a 25 to 40 percent reduction on 1990 levels for developed countries by 2020. (more…)
What might our future look like if we fail to address the climate crisis?
Rising Global Temperatures: Staggeringly high temperature rise by 2100, especially over land, of up to a 10°F increase over much of the United States and extreme temperatures of up to 122°F threatening most of the central, southern, and western U.S. Already the Earth’s ten hottest years ever recorded all have occurred since 1997.
Dramatic Sea Level Rise: Sea level rise of more than 6 feet by 2100, with levels expected to rise faster along the U.S. East Coast than in any other densely populated part of the world. The first 40 inches of rise alone would flood 13,000 square miles of the US, forcing Southern Louisiana and South Florida to be abandoned. (more…)
Over 40 top US labor leaders will travel to the UN Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen next week. The US labor delegation will join hundreds of labor leaders from the international community and thousands of representatives from the environmental, business, government and faith communities to urge President Obama and over 100 other world leaders to take bold action on climate change and work toward achieving a fair, ambitious and binding global climate deal.
US workers have a lot to gain in Copenhagen. Passage of a strong deal that reduces global warming pollution worldwide will help put the US on the path to a new clean energy economy that will create millions of American jobs. (more…)