The Labor Leading on Climate Initiative

The Worker Institute at Cornell University ILR School’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative advances knowledge, policies, and practices to enhance the role of labor and working people in addressing the environmental and climate crises. The initiative’s efforts focus on building a truly sustainable society and economy.

The initiative also helps workers’ rights advocates to better understand the employment and labor implications of environmental, climate and sustainability issues through a variety of activities:

  • Engages in research and produces scholarly articles and reports
  • Assists with leadership development and strategy design
  • Conducts training sessions and develops training materials
  • Offers technical assistance to unions, worker organizations and policy organizations
  • Offers undergraduate/graduate courses on the intersection of labor-environmental issues

The initiative helps unions, workers’ organizations and other advocates of workers’ rights respond to the following questions:

  • What does the transition to a truly sustainable, low-carbon society and economic model mean for unions, workers and their workplaces, communities and industries?
  • Can environmental sustainability and climate protection policies drive job creation and promote greater equality?
  • What type and how many green or climate jobs are needed in the new low-carbon economy?
  • How can a just transition be achieved that protects and supports workers and communities who are negatively impacted by the transition to a low-carbon economy?
  • What role do labor-environmental alliances have in building an equitable, low-carbon and sustainable society?

Selected Resources


Lara Skinner
Executive Director of The Worker Institute
Chair of Labor Leading on Climate Initiative
212-340-2884 |