New State Policy Framework Will Help Policymakers Navigate Transition to Cleaner, Cheaper Sources of Energy
The United States Climate Alliance (USCA), in partnership with the BlueGreen Alliance, released the Just and Equitable Transition State Policy Framework and an accompanying Resource Guide to assist policymakers as they create legislation for the United States’ transition to cleaner, cheaper sources of energy. The massive investment in clean energy required to do this creates tremendous opportunities, but also challenges for workers and communities with economies that depend on fossil fuels.
“The BlueGreen Alliance is excited to have partnered with USCA to assemble a toolkit and framework that states may refer to as they contemplate future policy initiatives to support workers and communities as they transition to cleaner energy options,” said BlueGreen Alliance Western States Director Chris Markuson. “These documents reinforce that, while additional thinking and collaboration on transition policies is needed, much has been learned and developed across the country.”
This toolkit is structured around the four guiding principles of Just and Equitable Transition—a concept created by the USCA Transition and Equity Working Group:
- Transition to a clean and equitable economy;
- Enable and elevate worker and community voices through stakeholder engagement and collaborative planning processes;
- Ensure an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable workforce, including access to high-quality jobs and support for impacted workers; and
- Achieve community health, longevity, and resilience.
States have already started paving the way for impacted workers to transition to jobs in the clean economy. With a focus on the closure of coal mines and power plants, 13 states have either introduced or passed transition legislation to combat job loss, define a timeline for transition, provide resources for transition strategy implementation, and support long-term regional economic development efforts with positive health and environmental outcomes.
“This policy framework highlights strategies that recognize that states working together with workers and communities, finding ways to avoid job losses, and equipping communities with adequate resources to plan their own future are critical ingredients to ensuring transitions support and create good-paying jobs in energy-dependent regions,” said Markuson.
The BlueGreen Alliance unites labor unions and environmental organizations to solve today’s environmental challenges in ways that create and maintain quality jobs and build a clean, prosperous, and equitable economy. The BlueGreen Alliance was integral to the development of Just Transition policy in Colorado and within the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.