Labor coalition calls on Senate to pass historic measure that would put Illinois on path to 100% carbon free by 2045 

Legislation sets national precedent for labor standards on clean energy projects, expands job and apprenticeships for Black and Latinx communities  

Springfield, Ill. — Labor coalition Climate Jobs Illinois (CJI) applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of historic legislation that will put thousands of union laborers to work building a 100 percent clean energy economy in Illinois and provide a new pathway to the middle class to address growing income inequality in underserved communities most impacted by climate change.

SB 2408 sets the strongest clean energy labor standards in the country and promises to raise the bar for other states seeking to enact new labor and employment policies for building and maintaining clean energy developments.

The bill will create thousands of new clean energy union jobs, expand union apprenticeships for Black and Latinx communities, increase energy efficiency for public schools and safeguard thousands of union workers at the state’s nuclear plants that currently generate the bulk of Illinois’ zero-emissions energy.

Specifically, major provisions of the bill include:

  • 50% renewable energy by 2040 and zero carbon emissions by 2045
  • All privately owned coal generation closed by 2030; municipally-owned coal plants to reach zero carbon emissions by 2045
  • $700 million in negotiated subsidies for the Byron, Dresden, Braidwood nuclear plants for 5 years to sustain Illinois’ primary source of current clean energy
  • Expanded apprenticeship and training programs to increase representation of Black and Latinx communities in the energy workforce, with required diversity hiring reports by renewable industry employers
  • Strongest labor standards in the country on wind and solar developments
    • Project labor agreements required on all utility-scale wind and solar projects and prevailing wages for all non-residential clean energy projects
  • “Just transition” program for areas economically reliant on fossil fuel generation
  • 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, with state rebates funding up to 80% of charging station installation and requires prevailing wages on installation
  • Increased energy efficiency for public schools
  • Increased accountability and transparency — return to traditional ratemaking vs. formula rates, and requires utilities to establish a chief ethics and compliance officer who must report to the Illinois Commerce Commission

“We commend the House and all parties for meeting this moment, putting aside considerable differences to pass an ambitious bill that takes on the climate change, puts union men and women to work, and opens up new opportunities for historically underserved communities most impacted by the climate crisis,” CJI Executive Director Joe Duffy said. “We look forward to working with our partners in the Senate to get this historic legislation passed and sent to Gov. Pritzker for his signature so that we can get to work building a cleaner, fairer future for all Illinoisans.”

Climate Jobs Illinois represents the hundreds of thousands of Illinois working men and women who are best equipped to build Illinois’ new clean-energy economy from the ground up. Executive Committee members of Climate Jobs Illinois are: Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers State Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, Laborers International Union of North America Great Lakes Region, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region, Service Employees International Union State Council and United Auto Workers Region 4.

Climate Jobs Illinois is a state affiliate of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. CJI has partnered with The Project for Middle Class Renewal at UIUC, Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Cornell University Worker Institute.

To learn more, visit, and follow CJI at @ClimateJobsIL on Twitter or join its Facebook page.