Urgent Climate Action
March 19, 2023


Whereas, the climate crisis has already manifested into dangerous, chaotic, and widespread destabilization of natural systems, affecting the lives of billions of people around the world despite global efforts to minimize the risks; and

Whereas, the climate crisis has increased the intensity, duration, and frequency of natural disasters, including mega-droughts in the Western United States, wildfires, life-threatening heat, and rising sea levels in California — all of which are compounding into cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to mitigate; and

Whereas, the February 2022 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report found that “any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future.” The assessment also “clearly shows that tackling the climate crisis involves everyone — governments, the private sector, civil society — working together to prioritize risk reduction, as well as equity and justice.”; and

Whereas, despite those warnings, the November 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) of global leaders failed to generate binding commitments to rapidly and immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sealing the fate of our planet to likely exceed the 1.5° C global warming threshold within this decade that will have catastrophic consequences for humanity; and

Whereas, action towards mitigating the impacts of the climate crisis cannot be left to the responsibility of global leaders and policy makers alone. It requires all of us working together to innovate solutions at all scales; and

Whereas, organized labor can and should be a model for climate resiliency innovations and the implementation of positive change towards mitigating the effects of the climate crisis at the organizational and individual scales — effects that are sure to have profound impacts on the working conditions of everyone in California if left unchecked; and

Whereas, members of the CFT could come to rely on their statewide union with pride as a source of guidance and support in mitigating the direct impacts of the climate crisis on their working conditions in the same way they already look to the CFT for security in protecting other aspects of their working conditions;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the CFT shall encourage all locals to include climate crisis issues as a standing item on their regular meeting agendas and as a component of bargaining in regards to greening the workplace; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT shall commit to expanding the scope and frequency of dialogue about the climate crisis throughout the organization; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT shall encourage locals to develop partnerships with local climate organizations and promote education and policy on these issues in local labor councils; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT shall recognize at state councils and conventions the efforts, progress, and successes of those CFT locals who have developed significant action on climate justice issues; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT shall recognize that climate action within the CFT is essential to maintaining a vibrant and strong organization amid the ongoing progression of the climate crisis. In doing so, the CFT will work toward becoming a model of positive change in adapting to the effects of the climate crisis that other organizations may be encouraged to emulate; and

Be it finally resolved, that the CFT Executive Council shall issue an annual report on climate action achievements within the CFT organization and CFT locals, including highlighting progress, successes, and focused work for the subsequent year on the climate action items outlined above.

  • Submitted by the Labor and Climate Justice Education Committee