US Labour Unions and Climate Change: Technological Innovations and Institutional Influences

  • Dimitris Stevis
Part of the Energy, Climate and the Environment Series book series (ECE)


Despite their decline over the last three decades US unions in the private sector remain one of the most significant and organized segments of US society. Without their support effective climate policy will be very difficult to reach and, even more so, to implement. Yet, there remain deep differences amongst unions on climate policy ranging from opposition to strong support. That variability is to be expected given the variable position of unions within the US economy as well as their own organizational and political characteristics. The two questions animating this chapter are: What kinds of technological climate innovations have US unions advanced and what strategies have they adopted in order to induce firms to adopt these innovations? Are any of their proposals profound enough both as innovations and in terms of protecting the climate or are they rear-guard efforts to protect a declining membership? Second, what institutional factors help explain the variability towards technological climate innovations and associated strategies evident amongst unions? In particular, are their choices largely determined by external institutional factors or is there evidence that, while these factors exert an influence, unions are purposeful actors that can choose from a range of strategies?


Wind Turbine Climate Policy Industrial Policy Ecological Modernization Carbon Leakage 
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© Dimitris Stevis 2014

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  • Dimitris Stevis

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