A Green Career is a long term living wage job that enhances the well-being, culture, and governance of future generations and contributes to the decarbonization of our economy, the resilience of our communities or the restoration of our environment. Not all green jobs require a hard hat. Many green careers are low carbon jobs such as teachers, doctors, artists, and care workers who will support and care for our communities as they grow and change.
We Need Green New Careers To Stop the Climate Crisis
The climate crisis is here. Buildings are collapsing into the sea. Infrastructure is melting. Hundreds are dying from extreme heat. Millions are without power. The ocean is literally on fire. Communities in every corner of this country, especially low-income communities and communities of color, are currently bracing for or suffering from the climate crisis. This crisis will only get worse. Scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tell us that we only have 9 years to drastically reduce our carbon emissions in the United States and across the world. We don’t have any time to waste.
It is clear we need bold action now from our government to reduce our carbon emissions to avoid an unlivable world. The fundamental way that we do that is not plastic straws but a historic federal investment in our national infrastructure. Sunrise is calling for a $10 trillion investment over 10 years to decarbonize every part of our economy and radically change how we live, work, and prosper for the better.
What Work Needs To Be Done
We need to retrofit and upgrade all commercial and residential buildings to 100% sustainability, focusing on public schools, universities and public housing. And we need to expand the number of safe, healthy, and comfortable public homes in areas undergoing housing crises. We have to expand regenerative agriculture, and level the playing field for family farmers through supply management and enforcing antitrust laws; build accessible and low-carbon public transit for all; expand wind and solar energy, including rooftop solar; and modernize and democratize our energy grid.
This investment has the opportunity to limit global warming enough to slow down the climate crisis and build the climate resilience we need to keep our communities safe.
Now is the time. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to to reset the United States’ relationship to the earth, the way we organize our communities, and develop a collective commitment to sustainability and resilience — all while creating fifteen million new green careers.
Green Careers Will Help the Entire Country
Every state, county, and city will see thousands of new jobs across the economy that will help employ those out of work, fix our crumbling infrastructure, and stop the climate crisis. Communities affected by economic transitions will not be left to wither but will instead be reinvigorated. With an average of around 500 new jobs for every 10,000 people in a state, we have the opportunity to fix the grid in Texas, prevent forest fires in California, provide affordable and sustainable transit in the South, create sustainable farms in Kansas, and save our future.
Green Careers will create more equity across race
The United States is more inequitable now than it has been at any point in its history. We must root future investments and economic opportunity in fixing inequality across both race and class.
We are pushing for an infrastructure plan following the Thrive Agenda that places at least half of new investments directly in those frontline communities that have endured systemic racism, environmental injustice, and economic exclusion, including Black, Indigenous, Latine, Arab, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities. Those on the front lines of fighting systemic racism, historic pollution, the climate crisis, and economic insecurity must be at the forefront of building a more just economy.
Green Careers will create more equity across classes
Green careers will elevate those without access to traditional education by creating millions of jobs that don’t require degrees and provide on-the-job training for long-term careers. 84% of Green Careers don’t require a college degree and 75% of Green Careers offer on-the-job training that can lead to a future career.
These Will Be Good Paying Jobs
Job creation should ensure safe workplaces that allow people to work and prosper. Green Careers would support family-sustaining wages and protection of workers’ rights to organize.
How Do We Win Green Careers?
To win Green New Careers, we’ll need to work together to push politicians across the country to support bold climate infrastructure. The way we win the transformations we need is by building enough power that politicians just can’t ignore. We need to stand together as a movement to take direct action that brings awareness to our cause, bring votes to the ballot box, and organizes our local communities to voice their need for Green New Careers. The Sunrise Movement is a national youth movement that has been fighting for the last five years to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process and our actions have brought climate to the front of national politics and we need your help to push it further.
We have to stand up for the future we want, need, and deserve to work for.