Can California fight climate change and provide good jobs?

by Jeong Park, The Sacramento Bee


  • Oil and gas jobs provide people with middle-class incomes and are one of the few sectors to provide good-paying jobs without needing a bachelors degree or from those who have a criminal record
  • Since the fossil fuels industry is one of the biggest employers in the Central Valley, many are afraid that clean energy mandates will leave their communities jobless
  • Clean energy jobs do not pay as well as fossil fuel jobs and the state must ensure that these jobs have good pay and benefits 
  • Carol Zabin, director of the Green Energy Program at UC Berkeley Labor Center, says the state should provide apprenticeship and training programs that guarantee jobs after the courses are completed
  • Zabin also recommends project labor agreements where clean energy projects rely on local labor
  • Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez highlights the importance of making sure there is an emphasis on job creation as the state moves away from fossil fuels:

“Jobs can’t be an afterthought to any climate change legislation.”

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform. The Climate Center’s guiding principles in achieving our goals include striving to close the climate gap and ensuring a just transition for workers.

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Nina Turner
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