Labor and Environmental Groups Urge Adoption of a Strong International Agreement to Address Climate Change Aimed at Creating Millions of Jobs Building the Clean Energy Economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 7, 2009) As world leaders begin negotiations on a global agreement to reduce carbon emissions, the BlueGreen Alliance today released a statement outlining its goals to reach an international agreement that reduces worldwide and U.S. emissions with the goal of creating millions of good jobs building the clean energy economy in the United States.
“It is vitally important that, during these difficult economic times, we secure an international agreement that not only confronts our environmental and energy challenges, but one that achieves the objective of creating millions of good, green jobs across the world,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “The labor and environmental partners of the Blue Green Alliance agree that an international agreement will only be successful when it is designed to create good jobs in the clean energy economy – an economy that provides prosperity to working people around the globe.”
The statement, which follows a statement release by the BlueGreen Alliance in March 2009 on domestic climate change legislation, puts forth specific elements necessary for a global agreement that is focused on transitioning our economy and creating good, green jobs in the process. Among those elements are U.S. action to reduce emissions through comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation; reduction of worldwide emissions by 50 percent by 2050, and addressing international competitiveness concerns so that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions achieve the objective of saving and creating millions of jobs in the clean energy economy.
The statement proposed that in order to help secure a strong international agreement, the U.S. must invest in five key pillars of a global agreement, including deployment of clean energy and energy-efficient technologies; a just transition; international adaptation; tropical deforestation emissions reductions; and accountability. The BlueGreen Alliance and its labor and environmental partners agree that U.S. climate legislation and a global agreement must secure a dedicated source of investment in these important opportunities, and that these dedicated tools can be designed to aid in accomplishing effective global emissions reductions while achieving the goal of creating jobs across the world.
Leaders from the environmental and labor partners of the BlueGreen Alliance will attend the UNFCCC Conference in Copenhagen, including Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, Laborers’ International Union General President Terry O’Sullivan, NRDC President Frances Beinecke, Utility Workers Union President Mike Langford, SEIU International Executive Vice President Gerry Hudson, AFT Vice President Richard Iannuzzi and BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster.
The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. Launched by the Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers in 2006, the BlueGreen Alliance has since expanded to include the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Service Employees International Union, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Utility Workers Union of America, Amalgamated Transit Union and the American Federation of Teachers – more than uniting 8 million people in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.