A group of labor unions and progressive groups launched a program to invest pension assets of working families in projects designed to improve energy efficient infrastructure, create jobs, develop new industries and reduce global warming. The program would invest $10 billion in these projects.
Partners in the program include President Bill Clinton, the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers, SEIU, AFSCME, NEA, the Firefighters, CalPERS, CalSTERS, and others. The plan was announced this week at the meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.
Some of the specific projects that are being invested in include:
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust has funded a $134 million energy efficiency and asbestos removal project for Penn South Mutual Cooperative in New York City. The trust also has developed a pipeline for $79 million in further investment in energy efficient and retrofit projects. The trust’s board also passed a resolution to work with Fannie Mae to invest in Fannie Mae’s Green Refinance Plus mortgage-backed securities. The AFL-CIO, with the assistance of CGI, has issued a request for proposals for a $3 million energy efficiency retrofit of its headquarters. The AFL-CIO, the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) and investment funds affiliated with the union movement continue to work on financing energy efficiency retrofits for commercial, industrial and public buildings, including in particular public housing. Promising conversations are under way with new state-sponsored entities seeking to sponsor such retrofits in Oregon and in Colorado. Joint labor-management apprenticeship programs in the U.S. construction industry added some 8,000 new registered apprenticeships since CGI Chicago. These same joint labor-management apprenticeship and training programs have enabled about 40,000 construction workers in the clean energy workforce to complete their certification training and obtain certifications in specialty fields.