NRDC, CWA Join Steelworkers and Sierra Club in Movement to Build Green Economy
Minneapolis, MN (October 8, 2008) As the U.S. faces high energy prices and a severe economic crisis, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communications Workers of America today announced that they would join the BlueGreen Alliance. Together with the Sierra Club and United Steelworkers, the Alliance now unites more than four million people in an unprecedented partnership to realize the enormous potential of the green economy.
“We have joined this effort because we know that what is good for the environment is good for the economy, and vice versa,” said Frances Beinecke, President of the 1.2-million-member Natural Resources Defense Council. “We can transform and renew our economy with practical solutions to global warming and building a clean energy economy. This unique partnership demonstrates that we can work together to make the green economy a reality.”
“We are excited to join this effort to create sustainable, middle-class jobs for America,” said Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers of America, which represents 700,000 working men and women. “We share common concerns that runaway economic policies are preventing workers from organizing and bargaining collectively, and fail to direct our economy to create sustainable, middle-class jobs. The global climate crisis must be addressed and we must advance the rights of workers so that we can create exciting opportunities for American families in the green economy.”
The BlueGreen Alliance is working to realize the job-creating potential of solutions to global warming. Specifically, the Alliance is educating the public about the need for solutions that: reduce global warming pollution on a scale and timetable to avoid dangerous global-warming effects, thereby creating millions of jobs and a clean energy economy; restore the rights of U.S. workers to form a union and bargain collectively; include in a just trade policy enforceable labor, environmental and human-rights standards; and curb the use of toxic chemicals in order to enhance public health and promote safer alternatives.
“This uncommon partnership is driven by our common goal to realize that creating good jobs and protecting the environment are inextricably linked,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the 1.3-million-member Sierra Club. “We know that what we do to solve our energy crisis today will have a tremendous impact on the economy of tomorrow, and we know that advancing the rights of workers around the globe is integral to protecting our environment. The green economy will set our country, and the planet, back on track.”
“The effects of globalization have wreaked havoc on our economy and our environment – middle-class jobs are disappearing, our reliance on oil is threatening our security, and global warming threatens our environment,” said Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers, which unites 850,000 workers and is the nation’s largest manufacturing union. “The green economy creates good jobs, it creates them here in the United States, and it is the best way to improve the economy for middle-class people and protect the environment for the next generation.”
By growing to more than four million members, the Alliance is spearheading a movement to harvest the economic benefits of global-warming solutions and the clean-energy economy. “There is a moral and social imperative in the United States and around the world to build an economy that creates good jobs and at the same time, reduces the detrimental impact of global warming,” said David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance.