Labor Energy Partnership formed to create framework for 21st Century energy system

Published on April 24, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) have launched an initiative that seeks to create a framework for a 21st century energy system that creates jobs and addresses the climate crisis.

The initiative – called the Labor Energy Partnership (LEP) – is based on a shared commitment to creating high-quality jobs, social equity, and workers’ rights.

“The energy sector is a key driver of the American economy, providing good jobs across a wide range of technologies,” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said. “As we look at how to return to work safely and begin to recover from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes, one of our most important responses should be significant federal support for high-quality energy jobs. We can put a lot of people to work by ramping up energy investment and becoming the global leader in energy technologies across the board.”

The partnership will focus its work on a series of critical policy analyses that will provide practical, achievable solutions to the technological, social, and regional barriers to implementing a 21st Century energy transition.

“This partnership is being forged at a time of crisis that poses great economic challenges to our nation,” Ernest Moniz, the founder and CEO of EFI, said. “We have seen over the last decade how the early stages of the low-carbon energy transition have driven job growth, so modernizing our energy system must be a central component of the coming economic reconstruction. Our Labor Energy Partnership will offer realistic pathways to accelerate the energy transition by meeting and then exceeding our Paris commitments while creating high quality jobs across all energy technologies.”

The partnership will center on four principles. One, energy policy must be based on solid scientific review that acknowledges that climate change is real, anthropogenic, and represents an existential threat to human society. Two, solutions to climate change must be based on an all-of-the-above energy source strategy that is regionally focused, flexible, preserves optionality, and addresses the crisis of stranded workers. Three, an essential priority of all climate policy solutions is the preservation of existing jobs, where possible, and the creation of new, better jobs. Four, climate policy represents an economic opportunity through the creation of quality jobs and competitive domestic supply chains.