The San Diego Green New Deal Alliance, in concert with the San Diego Labor, Environmental, and Community Coalition, the San Diego Climate Hub and the Progressive Labor Alliance, are hosting a talk by Dr. Carol Zabin of the UC Berkeley Labor Center on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 p.m. The San Diego community will be engaged in an informative discussion about a just transition to an economy that reduces CO2 emissions. The virtual event is free and open to the public.
Zabin will be discussing her report “Putting California on the High Road: A Jobs and Climate Action Plan for 2030,” which provides a statewide vision for integrating economic and workforce development into climate policies and programs. Her work highlights potential pathways to grow, diversify and upskill California’s workforce to ensure the survival of our planet and equity within our communities. Zabin’s report provides critical insight for state officials driving the transition to a green economy.
“Unless we are intentional about supporting workers who are affected by climate policies, we are likely to see continued growth of low wage jobs and undermining of unions. Just as California’s climate policies have led the nation in creating demand for zero-emission vehicles and renewable electricity, the state can send strong policy signals to ensure quality job creation in our transition to a carbon-neutral economy,” says Zabin.
Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Zabin sits on the Executive Council of the California Workforce Development Board and has consulted with numerous unions and nonprofits on strategies and policies to improve jobs in human services and the green economy. Her research has addressed key labor and economic development issues in the United States, paving the way for a more equitable and just nation.
“As we move toward a sustainable future for California and the country as a whole, Carol Zabin’s work is crucial as it provides a roadmap for how to do so without leaving workers behind,” says Jim Miller, chair of the San Diego Labor, Environmental, and Community Coalition and vice president of AFT 1931.
In 2019, more than half a million Californians worked in clean energy across the state, which is roughly 1,000 percent more than all coal jobs in the U.S. combined. Leading up to 2019, the state’s clean energy industry saw years of consistent growth, rising up to three percent of California’s entire workforce. During the COVID-19 pandemic, clean energy jobs in the state have been impacted significantly. To meet California’s climate action goals, the state must take strategic action toward transitioning its workforce.
“This event is the beginning of many important conversations we need to have about how we achieve a climate-safe, zero carbon future in a way that ensures a just transition for workers,” said Maleeka Marsden, chair of the San Diego Green New Deal Alliance.
According to E2’s 2020 report on clean energy jobs in the U.S., San Diego ranked 10th for clean energy jobs among the country’s top 50 metropolitan areas. The policies and pathways outlined in Zabin’s work taps into the significant potential of building our local green economy, while helping the region reach zero carbon and meet other climate targets outlined in the City and County of San Diego’s Climate Action Plans. To learn more about the Green New Deal Alliance and the effort to achieve a zero carbon future that supports local, family-sustaining union jobs in San Diego County, visit greennewdealsd.org.
“I am excited to hear Carol Zabin speak on how to be intentional about protecting workers in our climate policy and not leave job outcomes to the market,” said Rick Bates, a research analyst for UNITE HERE Local 30, the hotel workers union, and vice chair of the San Diego Green New Deal Alliance.