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Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 9:00am to 6:00pm

Virtual Event

The virtual Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit will bring together labor leaders, union climate activists, environmental and environmental justice advocates, clean-energy developers, policymakers, and scientists who want to build the clean-energy economy of tomorrow with strong union jobs. The Summit features speakers and panelists from across the country and around the world.

Speakers will discuss the many ways that climate change and inequality are inextricably linked, identify specific opportunities for bold climate action and building new industries, while engaging in a holistic conversation about just transition for workers in fossil fuel industries and their communities.

At a time that calls for public investment on a scale not seen since the Great Depression, let’s ensure that we’re investing in the economy of the future. Let’s make sure that we take action at a scale climate science demands. Let’s take on three crises at once: the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and the crisis of extreme inequality that cannot be ignored.

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Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit Agenda

9:00 AM     Welcome, Purpose and Review of the Day 

  • Gary LaBarbera, President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
  • Mike Fishman, Climate Jobs National Resource Center and Former Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU

9:10 AM     Opening Lightning Round: Combating Climate Change, Reversing Inequality

  • Xiye Bastida, Youth Climate Activist
  • Jim Slevin, National President, Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO
  • Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Director of Climate Policy, Roosevelt Institute
  • Antha Williams, Environment Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO

10:00 AM   Break

10:20 AM   The Importance of Labor Leading on Climate

  • Chair: Vincent Alvarez, President, NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Nikki Budzinski, Strategic Advisor, Climate Jobs National Resource Center
  • Lisa Dix, New York Senior Representative, Sierra Club
  • Rick Levy, President, Texas AFL-CIO
  • Edwin Lopez, Executive Secretary, New York Electrical Contractors Association

11:10 AM   Break
 11:30 AM   Green Recovery: Building Clean Energy Industries and a Low-Carbon Economy that Works for All

  • Chair: Lara Skinner, Executive Director, Worker Institute at Cornell University ILR School
  • Marilyn Brown, Regents’ and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems, School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech
  • Alex Laskey, Founder and Executive Chair,  Rewiring America
  • Matt Schlobaum, Executive Director, Maine AFL-CIO
  • Ali Zaidi, Deputy Secretary, Energy and Environment and Chairman, Climate Policy and Finance, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

12:30 PM   Lunch Break, Live Music by Percussionist Valerie Dee Naranjo and Pianist Ken Levinsky
1:30 PM     Keynote Conversation with John Podesta and Mike Fishman

  • John Podesta, Founder and Board Member, Center for American Progress
  • Mike Fishman, Climate Jobs National Resource Center and Former Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU

2:00 PM    Securing an Effective Just Transition: What Do We Want? How Do We Win It?

  • Chair: Mijin Cha, Assistant Professor, Urban and Environmental Policy Dept. at Occidental College
  • Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Michael Leon Guerrero, Executive Director, Labor Network for Sustainability
  • John Murphy, International Representative United Association of Journeymen and Apprentice of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the US and Canada
  • Samantha Smith, Director, Just Transition Centre

2:50 PM     Break

3:10 PM     Concurrent Sessions, Round 1
Session 1: Climate Change, Racial Justice and Economic Justice

  • Chair: Henry Garrido, Executive Director, AFSCME District Council 37
  • John Cartwright, President, Toronto & York Region Labour Council
  • Candis Tolliver, Political Director, 32BJ SEIU
  • Larry Williams Jr., Labor and Coal Coordinator, Economic Justice Program, Sierra Club

Session 2: Building a Robust, Equitable Offshore Wind Industry in the U.S.

  • Chair: Roger Clayman, Executive Director, Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
  • Julia Bovey, Director, External Affairs, Equinor Wind US
  • Christopher Erikson, Business Manager, IBEW Local 3, and International Board Chair, IBEW
  • Doreen Harris, Acting President and CEO, NYSERDA
  • Michael Northrop, Program Director, Sustainable Development Grantmaking Program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE and Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance

 4:05 PM     Break  4:20 PM     Concurrent Sessions, Round 2
Session 1: The Next Generation of Buildings: Best Practices for Energy Efficiency and Solar Retrofits

  • Chair: Kyle Bragg, President, 32BJ SEIU
  • Beth Cheverie, Market Expansion Coordinator, New York State Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust Fund
  • William Lynn, Local 30 Business Manager, Financial Secretary and Vice President, International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Lee Smith, Managing Member, American Solar Partners (ASP)

Session 2: Strong Unions, Sustainable Transport: Building a 21St Century Transportation System

  • Chair: JP Patafio, Vice President, TWU 100
  • Elizabeth Bunn, Former Director, Organizing Department for the AFL-CIO
  • Alana Dave, Urban Transport Director, International Transport Workers Federation
  • Micah Mitrosky, Environmental Organizer, IBEW Local 569
  • Michael Yee, Director, Educational and Cultural Trust Fund of the Electrical Industry

Session 3: Maine, Texas, Illinois, Connecticut: Building Climate Jobs Organizations State by State

  •  Chair: Mike Fishman, Climate Jobs National Resource Center and Former Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU
  • Pat Devaney, Secretary-Treasurer, Illinois AFL-CIO
  • Monserrat Garibay, Secretary-Treasurer, Texas AFL-CIO
  • John Harrity, Board Chair, CT State Council of Machinists
  • Cynthia Phinney, President, Maine AFL-CIO

5:15 PM     Break

5:30 PM     Closing Remarks and Awards

Climate Jobs NY is presenting its Build Back Better Award to the following recipients for their leadership on building a sustainable future with good union jobs:

  • Chair: Henry Garrido, Executive Director, AFSCME District Council 37
  • Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator for New York
  • John Samuelsen, President, TWU International
  • Gina McCarthy, President and CEO, NRDC
  • Nella Pineda-Marcon, Registered Nurse and Board Member, New York State Nurses Association

Register Now


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ILR Outreach, ILR School


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##ClimateJobsNY, #WindWorksLI, #BuildBackBetter #RenewableEnergy #WindWorks

Contact E-Mail


John Podesta

Speaker Affiliation

Founder and Member of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress

Dept. Web Site

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