Irene HongPing Shen
International Program on Labor, Climate and Environment
CUNY Murphy Institute
The Climate Leadership Immersion for Union Officers and Staff builds the capacity of the labor movement to engage effectively on critical issues related to climate change and climate policy, by providing union leaders and staff a sound knowledge of the key scientific, technical, political, and historical issues and questions. The Immersion also builds a community of “climate leaders” across the labor movement.
WHY: Climate change has emerged as the greatest challenge of our time. As seen in the People’s Climate March in 2014 and 2017, and the growing number of campaigns in the last several years, the climate movement is growing.
But what, exactly, can be done about climate change, and by whom? What does the science say about the future (or possible futures) we face? And what role should unions play in ensuring that the right policies are developed and implemented in a way that helps workers and communities, builds worker power, and promotes greater equality?
Labor can play a major role in the social and economic transition that needs to occur. To play this role, union leaders, staff and active members need a solid grasp of “climate literacy” to make sense of the policy options and to be able to advocate for and organize around real solutions.
WHO: The Climate Leadership Immersion is designed for union officers, committee chairs, and research, education and policy staff. The Immersion is aimed at union leaders who have been called upon to represent their organizations on climate and environment issues, or who want to help their union play a more effective role in future.
Through guest speakers and videoconferencing, the Immersion draws on the experience of climate scientists, policy experts, climate movement leaders, union leaders, and other domestic and international allies and experts. The Immersion discusses current debates within the climate community, assesses the effectiveness of existing policies and identifies and considers ways to promote real solutions to the climate crisis.