Policy Options

Climate Energy Jobs and a Just Transition Policy Examples



NCEL Point of Contact

Ava Gallo
Climate and Energy Program Manager



The following is a non-comprehensive list of job-promoting climate and clean energy legislation and resources.

Clean Energy Workforce Development

  • CA AB 1839 (introduced 2020): states the intent of the legislature that the state adopt prevailing wage requirements, apprenticeship programs, and just transition supports as part of its COVID-19 recovery efforts.
    • This bill was originally introduced as California’s Green New Deal, but modified for COVID-19 recovery.
  • CO HB 21-1149 (enacted 2021): addresses creating higher education infrastructure for clean energy workforce development.
  • CT SB 999 (enacted 2021): sets guidelines and requirements for renewable energy projects to incorporate community benefit agreements, apprenticeship programs, prevailing wage, and project labor agreements.
  • MA S.2996 (enacted 2021): gives the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) $12 million in new annual funding for clean energy workforce development for minority and women owned small businesses, environmental justice communities, and fossil fuel workers. (Sections 14, 19)
  • ME HP 924 (enacted 2019): requires employers constructing generation facilities to hire a certain percentage of apprentices, with the percentage increasing over time.
  • MN SF 3143/HF 2836 (introduced 2020): directs the Climate Change Subcabinet commission to approve job training programs for green products and services and seek to support high wages and the right to unionize.
  • IL SB2408 (enacted 2021): develops and administers the Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Program to provide support for members of economically disadvantaged communities, environmental justice communities, communities of color, returning citizens, foster care communities, and displaced fossil fuel workers to enter and complete the pipeline for clean energy jobs. 
  • VA HB77 (passed committee 2020): requires trade programs in high schools and community colleges, as well as scholarships and forgivable education loans for clean energy sector workers. Directs the development of clean energy labor guidelines, including requiring project labor agreements, prevailing wage, the right to union representation, and transition assistance for fossil fuel workers.
  • WA SB 5116 (enacted 2019): creates tiered tax incentives for clean energy projects based on job quality.
    • Unions were involved in the negotiations of this bill; more information here.        

Just Transition

  • CO HB19-1314 (enacted 2019): creates a Just Transition Office in the Department of Labor and Employment. A utility that proposes accelerated retirement of a coal-fueled electric facility must submit a workforce transition plan at least 6 months before the retirement of the facility. The final plan as submitted to the legislature is available here.
  • CO HB19-1037 (passed House 2019): authorizes any electric utility to apply to issue low-cost Colorado bonds to lower the cost to ratepayers when the retirement of an electric generating facility occurs. A portion of bond proceeds will provide transition assistance for Colorado workers and communities directly affected by the facility retirement.
  • NM SB489 (enacted 2019): issues low-cost bonds to lower the cost to ratepayers when electric generating facilities retire. The bonds will be directed towards job training programs for former fossil fuel workers and impacted communities, including Indian tribes.

Supply Chains and Procurement Standards

  • CA AB262 (enacted 2017): sets procurement policy for the state to prioritize bids using industrial materials with lower emissions than a defined global warming potential for that category of materials.
    • While the legislation doesn’t address job creation on its face, it is widely supported by unions because it makes more heavily-regulated US manufacturing markets more competitive.


NCEL Resources

Online Resources

State-Based Policies to Build a Cleaner, Safer, More Equitable Economy

BlueGreen Alliance policy toolkit

Go to resource
Just and Equitable Transition Coalition

Go to resource

Empower State Environmental Champions

Your donation funds the fight for equitable actions that protect the environment and our health.