NYC Can Create Nearly 40,000 Jobs a Year Addressing Climate Change

If Mayor de Blasio goes bigger and bolder on addressing climate change, he can create nearly 40,000 good jobs a year. That is the major finding of an eye-opening new report.

December 19, 2014

Environmental Justice Organizations, Labor Unions, and Community Groups Unveil “Climate Works for All” Agenda Urging Mayor de Blasio to Make NYC a National Model for Reducing Greenhouse Emissions While Creating Thousands of Good Jobs for Local Residents 

New York, NY— If Mayor de Blasio goes bigger and bolder on addressing climate change, he can create nearly 40,000 good jobs a year, and transform the future of New York City.

That is the major finding of an eye-opening new report, Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers, released today by ALIGN, along with the National AFL-CIO, the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the BlueGreen Alliance, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and a large number of endorsers and supporters.

The report brings together the best analysis, evidence, data, and policy thinking to show how New York City can tackle income inequality and climate change at the same time. It includes ten pragmatic proposals that, if enacted together, would create nearly 40,000 good jobs a year. Those proposals include:

  1. Requiring Large-Building Energy-Efficiency Retrofits
  2. Replacing Damaged NYCHA Boilers with Combined Heat and Power Units and
  3. Renewable Energy Systems
  4. Expanding the Green Jobs – Green New York Program for NYC
  5. Installing Solar Energy on the Rooftops of NYC’s 100 Largest Schools
  6. Replacing Leaking Natural Gas Lines throughout NYC
  7. Upgrading NYC’s Energy Distribution Systems by Investing in Microgrids
  8. Improving Flood Protection and Stormwater Management Infrastructure
  9. Reducing Transportation Emissions by Investing in Increased Bus Rapid Transit and
  10. Restoring Cut Train Lines
  11. Improving NYC’s Public Health System by Investing in Resilient Public Hospitals
  12. Increasing the Efficiency of Commercial Waste Hauling and Recycling Rates

The announcement comes on the heels of a well-attended forum at Local 32BJ SEIU earlier this week in which a broad range of approximately 200 allies met to strategize a Climate Works for All campaign for 2015 that will build on the success of the People’s Climate March and urge the de Blasio administration to take aggressive action to advance a robust climate jobs agenda.

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio set a bold goal of reducing New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. The Climate Works for All agenda is a roadmap for reaching the 80×50 goal while creating a more equitable economy and a massive number of new employment opportunities for struggling families, especially in lower-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

“Many of the same leaders and groups involved in the People’s Climate March helped develop this Climate Works for All agenda. This is a blueprint for creating the best quality jobs while enabling vulnerable communities to become more resilient and sustainable. With strong leadership from Mayor de Blasio, we can get this done and lead the way for the rest of the country. We have both an opportunity and an obligation to create a climate that truly works for all,” said Matt Ryan, Executive Director, ALIGN.

“The time is right for the bold proposals to combat climate change and create good new jobs in the Climate Works for All agenda,” said Brad Markell, Executive Director, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council. “We are encouraged that labor and community are coming together behind this agenda and by what seems possible in New York City right now.”

“The Climate Works for All agenda is long overdue, especially in lower-income communities and in communities of color where income equality and climate change are most deeply connected. Enacting these proposals will create good quality jobs and career paths for New Yorkers who are exposed to the greatest hazards of climate change and economic unfairness. New York City can become the national leader on climate jobs, and elevate the grassroots voices of people on the frontlines of the environmental justice movement,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to do right by our workers and communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change by building infrastructure in a sustainable way,” said Kim Glas, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director. “Efforts to curb emissions are a good start, but there is a vast and untapped potential that exists in initiatives that mandate energy efficiency retrofits in New York’s largest buildings and replace inefficient boilers for example. Strategies like these can truly transform New York into a safer, more equitable city of the future.”

“As we work to ensure that our city is prepared for the effects of climate change, it is imperative that the working men and women performing these infrastructure upgrades have the union protections, wages, and benefits that will allow them to pay rent, raise families, and invest in their local communities,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Climate protection, economic justice, and the creation of good, union jobs must go hand in hand as we move forward in the push for a more livable New York City.”

The Climate Works for All agenda is endorsed and supported by the following organizations:

1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

350.org

American Federation of Teachers

American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter

Citizen Action

Communications Workers of America District 1

Community Voices Heard

El Puente

Environmental Defense Fund

Faith in New York

Good Old Lower East Side

Housing is a Human Right

International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 16

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 12

Make the Road

Metallic Latherers& Iron Workers

Morningside Heights/West Harlem Sanitation Coalition

Mutual Housing Association of New York

New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

New York Communities for Change

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

New York State Nurses Association

Nos Quedamos

Pratt Center for Community Development

Professional Staff Congress CUNY

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

Rockaway Wildfire

Sandy Storyline

Service Employees International Union 32BJ

Sierra Club

Sustainable South Bronx

The Point

Transport Workers Union Local 100

United Autoworkers Region 9A

UPROSE

VOCAL-NY

WE ACT

Working Families Party

Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice