In 2023, organized labor became core to the climate movement

Source: Grist


2023 was marked by symbiosis between the labor and climate movements. Workers across industries and geographies loudly declared that a world in which their safety and well-being are disregarded is even more dangerous to them and to others in a time of energy transition and climate crisis. After decades of hesitancy, several major unions recognized an urgent need to organize those who will do the hard work of decarbonizing the nation’s economy. It doesn’t hurt that public sympathy, and policy, has grown friendlier toward them. As a result, calls for a just transition rattled union halls and corporate offices as organized labor enjoyed one of its most active years in recent memory and environmental organizations, long uncertain about where unions stood, found new allies.

“The choices and solutions are not really gonna work unless labor is involved with them,” said Dana Kuhnline, director of Reimagine Appalachia. It works with union leaders and environmental grassroots groups to bring good jobs to coalfield communities that need them. “I think that’s a lesson climate activists really have to take to heart.”

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