Biden wants to keep focus of climate plan on 'union jobs'

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President Biden said on Friday that one of his prime climate goals in shifting the U.S. to a clean-energy economy is to create more union jobs.

Speaking to world leaders on the second day of a virtual climate summit, Mr. Biden expressed the desire to “keep the focus” of their plan on job growth “and for my country, at least, on union jobs to provide the ability to raise the economy.”

“I think this is just an incredible, incredible opportunity,” Mr. Biden said.

The president also urged world leaders to keep their word on their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by targeted percentages.

“The commitments we’ve made must become real commitments,” he said. “Without us doing that, it’s just a lot of hot air — no pun intended.”

In the 2020 presidential election, 57% of union households voted for Mr. Biden, according to exit polls, while 40% voted for former President Trump. White House officials argue that union jobs tend to offer better pay, benefits and working conditions.

Lonnie Stephenson, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, spoke at the climate summit on Friday and said Mr. Biden‘s climate plan “means, above all, creating union jobs.”

“The current energy transition can be a win for the climate, and a win for jobs, as long as lawmakers commit to implementing labor protections that ensure new energy jobs are good union jobs,” Mr. Stephenson said.

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