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Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s climate change plan aims to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050 through major investments in building out national clean energy infrastructure. The plan is very much a jobs plan and Biden emphasizes that an American under his leadership will “fulfill [its] obligation to workers and communities who powered our industrial revolution and subsequent decades of economic growth” while also empowering labor unions to protect workers.
While at the onset of Biden’s presidential bid, the inclusion of unions in planning the economy of the future was an important way to get buy-in for his climate plan, in the wake of record job loss following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become an essential focus to protect workers as the nation moves toward economic recovery.
Especially as the price of oil has tanked and the industry has seen substantial job loss, there’s an imminent need for politicians to consider what a truly “just transition” means for workers in fossil fuel industries. After decades of decline in union density and influence, we have a chance to ensure that workers are represented, adequately paid, and protected–especially as 65% of Americans support labor unions.
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