In his Justice-Centered Climate Plan Framework, Tom Steyer pledges to declare the climate crisis a national emergency on day one of his presidency and will take immediate executive action to begin implementation of his climate plan. This includes federal investments in infrastructure and clean energy, aggressive performance standards for pollution reduction, commitments to inclusive and transparent public process and appointments, ending the mismanagement of public resources, and holding fossil fuel companies accountable. This memo identifies new details for how Tom will implement important components of this framework in order to support 4.6 million full-time workers each year for a total of 46 million jobs over a ten-year period.

Tom’s plan will freeze Trump-era rulemakings on day one, and issue an emergency order to temporarily restore minimum 2016 levels of environmental protections and scientific review for environmental and worker protections that he has attempted to weaken, while new rules and procedures are developed consistent with our 2045 target and fair labor practices.


Betony Jones, a climate labor expert who has done extensive analyses for the White House, the State of California, University of California, the Energy Foundation, and other prominent clients, completed this jobs analysis of core components of the framework. She determined that Tom’s framework would expand this prosperity nationwide and accelerate the rate of clean energy job growth, to support 4.6 million full-time workers each year for a total of 46 million jobs over a ten-year period in transitioning to a clean energy economy. Jones found that Tom’s plan could lead to dramatically increased union membership within the construction industry, restoring union density in that sector to levels not seen since 1945, at the height of the labor movement.

Projected National Jobs Under Tom’s Framework

Steyer’s proposed climate-smart infrastructure investments, clean buildings standards, clean electricity standards, and Civilian Climate Corps would support nearly 46 million jobs — equivalent to a workforce of 4.6 million people holding a full-time, climate-smart job for 10 years. In addition to the 46 million direct jobs over ten years quantified in Jones’ analysis, there will be millions more new indirect jobs, those created in the supply-chain to provide raw materials and components to make much of this work possible, and induced jobs, those created as these new workers spend money in their communities. For example, while Jones’ analysis quantifies jobs for solar panel installers and manufacturers (direct jobs), it does not quantify the jobs associated with supplying components, equipment, and raw materials to the manufacturer (indirect jobs), nor the jobs sustained in the broader economy as workers in the solar energy industry purchase commercial goods, buy homes, etc. (induced jobs). 

This proposal would also create a strong demand for higher skilled, better compensated workers. Nearly 8 million of these jobs would be needed in utility-scale renewable energy construction and electricity grid upgrades, both sectors that support good union jobs. The jobs created through infrastructure investments and in moving to 100% clean buildings will potentially grow the overall construction industry by one-third, and with strong labor standards, these new jobs could nearly triple union density in the construction industry to levels not seen since 1945. 

Job Quality Protections

Under the Justice-Centered Climate Plan, there won’t just be more jobs — there will be better jobs. Tom’s plan will reward workers for the skills and training they acquire to tackle the challenges of this transition and will respect the dignity of working people. One job will be enough, and workers will receive family-sustaining wages and benefits, job stability, and security. 

As we build a climate-smart economy, the highest job growth will be in in traditionally densely unionized industries, such as the power sector, public works construction, and manufacturing, and we will invest in sectors like agriculture, forestry, efficient buildings and industry, where jobs cannot be outsourced and workers won’t have to compete with exploited workers overseas. 

We will increase workers’ voice in the clean energy economy by removing barriers to workplace organizing and collective bargaining. We will support on-ramps like job and apprenticeship-readiness training and wrap-around services for individuals with barriers to employment. We will also provide support for minority/women-owned business entrepreneurs, contractors, and local businesses to secure public contracts, grow quality jobs, and stimulate local economies.

Most of the work that will be done in building a carbon neutral economy requires the skills and training of those workers currently employed in the fossil fuel, construction, and manufacturing sectors. For example, technicians who install gas-fired furnaces and water heaters in homes today will continue to install equipment for heating and water-heating in homes as we upgrade to cleaner heating systems that do not rely on natural gas. The same technicians will be able to provide the same service, but instead of working with dangerous and toxic gas systems, they will work with clean fossil-free systems instead. In this way, the transition to working in the clean energy economy will be seamless for most workers: only the equipment they are installing will change. Most jobs that are associated with fossil fuels today aren’t going away; instead they will need to increasingly shift towards application in low-carbon processes and products, like electric cars, batteries, and efficient buildings and industry. 

With Tom’s plan, many workers currently employed in fossil fuel industries will have other good alternative employment options in growing industries, and workers with highly specialized training to work with fossil fuels will receive additional support, such as voluntary retraining or relocation assistance, health, pension, and wage guarantees, portability of union membership and benefits, and early retirement options.

Tom’s plan will mobilize $240B towards social resilience professions, such as nursing, social work, and home health care, and dedicate $50B towards regenerative economy transition programs and worker protections. This will require projects that include federal investments to adopt project labor agreements, community benefit agreements, and other fair labor standards, such as skills and training requirements, prevailing wage, and responsible contractor criteria. Further demonstrating a commitment to labor, Tom will ensure portability of union membership and benefits for displaced workers; and require advance notice for workers and limit bankruptcy protections for companies that do not fully fund workers’ pensions, salaries, and health care obligations. 

In short, building a climate-smart economy need not focus only on new categories of “green jobs;” instead, smart investments will stimulate the greening of traditional occupations and create more opportunity for workers to secure stable and well-paid employment.  

Investments under Tom’s Justice-Centered Climate Plan will require meaningful community involvement, respect the rights of communities to self-determination, and respect the treaty rights of Sovereign Tribal Nations. As we transform our economy to achieve carbon neutrality and end our dependence on fossil fuels, we will help to lift up rural communities and areas that have suffered under redlining and environmental injustice. We will improve our national security and make our society more just, more inclusive, and more resilient. 

Good Job Creation at a Glance

Jobs Associated with Key Parts of Tom’s Justice- Centered Climate Plan

TOTAL Job-years: 45,981,000 (equivalent to 4.6M 10-year jobs)

  • Infrastructure Plan and Building Decarbonization: 35.3M
  • Clean Energy Construction: 8.1M
  • Clean Energy Operation and Maintenance: 1.5M
  • Civilian Climate Corps: 1M

California Jobs From Selected Clean Energy Policies

Our Independent Analysis Estimates that California Clean Energy Policies have Created 549,000 job-years

  • Energy Efficiency (2005 – 2019): >160,000 (44,000 from 2016 – 2019)
  • Distributed (Rooftop) Solar (2005 – 2019): 170,000 (most in the last few years)
  • Cap and Trade (2013 – 2016): 75,000
  • Renewable Portfolio Standard (2005 – 2018): 124,000 (most in the last few years)
  • Prop 39 (2013 – 2018): 20,000
  • Total: >549,000 job-years. A job year represents full-time equivalent of 2080 hours of work. Most of these jobs have been created since 2013. We estimate that jobs created by California’s climate policies are currently supporting more than 60,000 full-time equivalent jobs per year. 

Protecting Fossil Workers During the Transition

It is highly likely that Tom’s plan results in significant net job creation, possibly on the order of 2:1, during the initial 10 year investment period. Tom’s plan minimizes worker displacement because:

  • Over 90% of the jobs will be created in the first ten years 
  • Fossil fuel industry jobs phase out over a 25 year period. 

For displaced fossil fuel workers, Tom’s Regenerative Economy Pillar provides for additional support, such as:

  • Health, pension, and wage guarantees, 
  • Portability of union membership and benefits, and early retirement options,
  • Voluntary educational, retraining, and/or relocation assistance.

Infrastructure Investment at a Glance 

Tom will dedicate $2 trillion of public investment to mobilize over $6 trillion total for climate-smart infrastructure, including:

  • $450B for maintenance backlog and resilience upgrades for existing roads, bridges, and levees
  • Over $3T for energy, industry, and building upgrades and pollution reduction projects, including:
    • Grid Modernization and Microgrid Resilience Projects
    • Zero Carbon District Energy (Heating, Cooling, Water, and Electricity) 
    • Clean Industrial Technology and Efficiency
    • Methane reduction and legacy gas system decommissioning
    • Residential and Commercial Building Upgrades
  • Over $775B for Clean Transportation Infrastructure, including:
    • Building 5 million EV charging stations by 2030
    • Clean Freight Systems
    • Rail and Public Transit
    • Electrifying every school bus in the country
  • Nearly $500B for Food, Water, Public Lands, Parks and Access to Nature, including:
    • Clean Drinking Water, Irrigation systems upgrades, and Watershed protections
    • Forests, Fire management and Regenerative Ag
    • Coastal and inland Wetlands, Waterways and floodplains, and wildlife habitat
    • National Parks, including free admission for all Americans and fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund
  • $555B for Climate Smart Communities and Housing, including:
    • Superfund cleanup and brownfield remediation and safe re-use
    • Clean, affordable housing and safe walkable, bikeable community infrastructure
    • Walkable Communities and Urban Parks, Greenspace, Urban Tree Canopies, and Rural Clean Transportation and Connectivity
  • $755B for Community Resilience
    • Universal rent insurance fund for renters displaced by climate disaster
    • Coastal community adaptation, resilience, and green infrastructure
    • Social resilience professions and long terms disaster recovery workers, including nurses, social workers, long-term care providers, and maintenance professions
    • Upgrading critical security, military, food, water, and water management infrastructure for increased extreme weather risks
    • Bring universal broadband access to every community in America not currently served

Clean Energy Transformation at a Glance

  • Electricity Sector
    • 100% Clean Electricity by 2040
      • All new sources must be zero carbon by 2030
      • Financing and securitization assistance to phase out emitting plants
    • Mobilize a $250B investment in grid modernization and resilience
    • Mobilize a $200B investment in distributed reliability resources, including solar, microgrids, mobile batteries, and emergency power centers
  • Transportation Sector
    • 100% Clean standard for all new passenger cars, trucks and medium-duty vehicles by 2030
    • 100% Clean standard for all new heavy duty and freight vehicles by 2035
    • Targeted vehicle replacement assistance and transportation alternatives programs for lower-income households
    • Mobilize $650B for clean freight, public transit, intercity rail, and fleet purchasing incentives
    • Mobilize $135B for universal broadband to encourage telecommuting and reduced vehicle miles traveled
    • Low carbon aviation and freight transportation standards to reduce emissions 40% from these sectors by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045
      • Backed by revenue-generating market mechanisms that will direct at least 50% of proceeds to Disadvantaged Communities
      • Incentivized by tripling federal R&D for decarbonizing these sectors
    • Mobilize $115B to provide public green space and tree canopies, safe walkable communities and zero-emission School Buses
    • Require all new parking structures to provide adequate EV charging infrastructure beginning in 2022 to support Projected 2030 EV adoption. 
  • Commercial Buildings, Housing, and Industry
    • 100% Zero-carbon new commercial and residential buildings by 2030
    • 100% Zero-carbon retrofits for all buildings nationwide by 2045
    • Provide $375B in public investment to accelerate decarbonization of existing homes, municipal buildings, universities, schools, and hospitals.
    • Mobilize $195B for clean affordable housing and communities, urban parks and greenspace, and universal renter displacement climate disaster insurance
    • Establish low carbon steel, cement, and manufacturing standards to reduce emissions 40% from these sectors by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2045
      • Backed by revenue-generating market mechanisms that will direct at least  50% of proceeds to Disadvantaged Communities
      • Incentivized by tripling federal R&D for decarbonizing these sectors
    • Mobilize $300B for Superfund site cleanup and brownfield remediation and responsible re-use
  • Working and Recreational Lands: America’s Forests, Food, and Parks
    • Mobilize $130B for forest health and wildfire fuel reduction treatments, to promote ecosystem resilience, fire safety, and carbon sequestration in Federal, State and Private forests, and for regenerative agriculture to promote soil health, help young farmers and family farmers, and to expand composting, no-till and low-till practices, and innovative crop rotation.
    • Establish regenerative and carbon-sequestering standards for farming and ranching on public lands, establish sustainable fisheries standards for US waters and vessels, and manage forest and ocean systems to optimize carbon sequestration and overall ecosystem health
    • Make National Parks free for every American and dedicate $25B to upgrading and maintaining parks facilities and sites
    • Restore and expand National Monuments under attack by Trump and expand coastal and ocean monuments and protected areas.
    • Provide communities with the tools and funding they need to provide public access to safe and healthy parks or open space within half a mile of every home
    • Establish low carbon agricultural standards to reduce emissions and water pollution 40% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045
      • Backed by revenue-generating market mechanisms that direct at least  50% of proceeds to Disadvantaged Communities and small and mid-sized farmers
      • Incentivized by tripling federal R&D for decarbonizing these sectors
  • Drinking Water and Watersheds
    • Ensure that every American has access to safe and clean drinking water by 2030
    • Mobilize $130B for residential water systems, irrigation systems, and water efficiency and monitoring systems
    • Mobilize $75B for upstream watersheds, groundwater, and green infrastructure 
  • Fossil Fuel Production and Infrastructure
    • Ensure that fossil fuel companies prioritize continuity of employment and benefits as they transition to environmental reclamation, decommissioning onshore and offshore oil operations, and maintaining continuous inspection and maintenance of legacy wells, mines, and other fossil fuel sites
    • Stop issuing leases for fossil fuel mining, drilling and fracking on public lands, offshore, and in the Arctic and ANWR, end federal permitting for new fossil fuel infrastructure on day 1 of my administration, and responsibly wind down existing fossil fuel production nationwide
    • Invest $50B towards establishing a careful process to wind down fossil fuel production nationwide, and for promoting economic diversification and providing worker protection programs for fossil industry workers and communities
    • Stop construction and permitting for Keystone XL and DAPL, and subject all new infrastructure permitting to a rigorous climate test to ensure compatibility with achieving carbon neutrality in 2045
    • Protect the property rights of farmers and ranchers from eminent domain abuse, and to honor the treaties the U.S. Government has signed with sovereign Tribal Nations.