Blue Green Alliance to organize to address climate change

The Blue Green Alliance and the 850,000-member United Steelworkers will work jointly with the Alliance for Climate Protection to educate its members about global warming and activate them behind solutions that can promote economic prosperity, the organizations said in a joint statement.

The member-to-member program will be the first of its kind to build a blue collar constituency for global warming solutions, highlighting the opportunities for high-paying domestic jobs in renewable energy, clean technology, and "green" manufacturing while also explaining the environmental and economic risks associated with accelerating climate change.

"We are looking towards a future—a very near future—in which good, high paying American jobs will be created with the onset of a green economy," said Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers. "Developing, manufacturing, installing and maintaining new technologies to fuel our homes and businesses will create a whole new industry that will translate into millions of new jobs."

According to David Foster, executive director of the Blue Green Alliance, the United States is approaching an historic moment when thinking green will soon become our new "common sense"—and the norm in the business world.

"We believe a renewable energy strategy can get our economy moving again and create a new generation of domestic manufacturing jobs while solving global warming," said Foster, who is the former director of Steelworkers District 11 based in Minnesota.

"During World War II we built more than 50 planes a day. We should be able to build a renewable energy plant a week to protect our environment, end our addiction to foreign oil and lead to new industries that will create thousands of real jobs."

The Blue Green Alliance will join other new Alliance for Climate Protection partners, including Girl Scouts of the USA, the Audubon Society, and the Earth Day Network.

Earlier this month, the alliance coordinated Good Jobs, Green Jobs, the first national green jobs conference. Convened by more than 70 organizations, the event took place in Pittsburgh and drew more than 1,000 leaders from the environmental, civil rights and labor movements, as well as academic, business and government institutions.

Also this month, the allliance, Steelworkers and Sierra Club launched the "Green Jobs for America!" campaign which will focus on defining global warming and clean renewable energy solutions as key economic opportunities for rebuilding America’s manufacturing infrastructure and creating a broader green economic renaissance.

"The Blue Green Alliance is honored to partner with Vice President Al Gore and the Alliance for Climate Protection," said Foster. "We look forward to bringing the voices of working Americans into this critical national discussion."

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