Making a Living on a Living Planet

About the MLLP Project

Over the past year LNS has launched a new project, Making a Living on a Living Planet, dedicated to strengthening the relationship between the labor and environmental movements by developing policies necessary for an economy that is both just and environmentally sustainable, and a political strategy for realizing them. In collaboration with Kalmanovitz Initiative at Georgetown University, we have hosted three convenings dedicated to addressing this challenge.

The first brought together high-level participants from labor and environmental movements and allies in the US with a partner project in Canada called Work in a Warming World to confront the “jobs vs. environment” frame, focus on climate change as the real job killer, and have a frank conversation about the difficult times faced by ordinary workers and the dire environmental prospects we all face. The second, Toward a More Just and Sustainable Economy, focused on solutions. Meeting participants ended that session by finding unity in a joint statement that outlines a framework for broader consensus between the two movements. Twenty-seven labor and environmental advocates and experts signed on. This spring, we hosted a third convening of 50 labor, environmental, and democracy leaders, to begin thinking together in earnest about how to craft a set of strategies and solutions that will address both the ecological and the economic crises we face. Learn More…

MLLP Mission Statement:

Labor-Environment Solidarity for a More Just and Sustainable Economy

This statement grows out of a discussion at Georgetown University on February 15, 2013 among leaders and organizers from the labor, environmental, and democracy movements sponsored by the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) and Georgetown’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor (KI).

For decades, there have been initiatives by labor and environmental leaders at local, state, and national levels to forge closer ties between these two communities, from Environmentalists for Full Employment in the 1970s to the Blue-Green Alliance and the Labor Network for Sustainability today.

Despite these efforts, there have been times of tension and conflict. The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline today is only the most recent of such moments. Many in the environmental movement have made stopping the pipeline a top priority for 2013, and many but not all in organized labor are backing the pipeline as a source of good jobs. There have been a number of instances in recent years where leaders in each of these communities have failed to acknowledge the concerns of the other. Continue Reading…