Cap-and-Trade the Focus for Labor, Green Groups Partnership

Cap-and-Trade the Focus for Labor, Green Groups Partnership

A coalition of labor unions and environmental groups called for a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system and supporting legislation last week as a means of jump-starting job growth.

The Blue Green Alliance is advocating for emissions reductions of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, while individual members recommend a 2020 target of 14 percent to 25 percent fewer emissions compared to 2005 levels.

The Alliance wants legislation to also include a series of provisions that will spread any financial burden more equitably. For example, it advocates emissions allowances are allocated to energy-intensive industries to avoid job losses from international competition. It also wants to help low- and moderate income pay for what will likely be higher energy costs.

"Meeting the challenge to tackle climate change will allow us to build a clean energy economy right here in the United States -- making the parts for wind and solar power and fuel efficient vehicles are just some examples," said Jim Clark, President of IUE-CWA, the Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America. "The economic and climate crises afford us an opportunity to create good, middle-class green jobs."

The Blue Green Alliance members are the United Steelworkers, Sierra Club, Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Laborers' International Union of North America and Service Employees International Union.