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We’re leading an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

Join our work today to help us build a thriving and just clean energy future. 

Climate Action Means Jobs: Here’s the Proof

Policymakers promised climate action meant jobs. That promise is becoming a reality. Meet Akinlana Abdalla, who’s helping build a clean energy future in Wisconsin.

AK at work, laughing alongside another man.

Climate change is no longer a chart of a graph in some far-off future. It’s here now. Thanks to bold, transformational policies like the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) climate investments, we can now say that the same is true for the benefits of climate action. These policies are creating good, family-sustaining union jobs in real communities–allowing people like Akinlana Abdalla to forge a sustainable career in our nation’s clean energy future.

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A clean energy pioneer 

Akinlana Abdalla, or AK as he is known around the shop, is a carpenter by trade but has worked as a deep tunnel miner, a laborer, and a business owner. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city known for its manufacturing roots but hit hard by deindustrialization. The surge in clean energy we’re seeing today is changing that by bringing good-paying union jobs back to the Rust Belt. Today, AK is proud to be a wind turbine repair specialist with Ingeteam, Inc., where he helps train the incoming wave of union workers who will build our clean energy future. And it is these jobs that will be the foundation of our economy for decades to come. 

Jobs like AK’s didn’t spring up out of nowhere. Clean energy workers like Abdalla are in high demand because of federal and state policies that sparked a steady rise in the adoption of carbon-free electricity. Communities that passed smart climate policies are beginning to reap the benefits—building strong economies, saving consumers money on electricity, reducing air pollution, and paving the way for clean power professionals like AK to drive us toward a just, thriving, clean energy future. 


Wisconsin is setting the stage for workers to lead

People in careers like AK’s are going to power state economies around the country. And the states that invest the most in building those economies will benefit most. Wisconsin is a strong example of a state charting this path forward.

In 2019, Governor Tony Evers set an executive target for Wisconsin to have a 100 percent carbon-free electric grid by 2050. To lead this effort, Evers created the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, which is tasked with fostering innovation, overseeing workforce development, and reducing carbon pollution in line with the Paris Agreement. Last year, the office released a statewide Clean Energy Plan that aims to lower utility bills, create jobs, and strengthen Wisconsin’s economy with affordable, renewable power. 

To meet the clean energy sector’s growing demand for skilled labor, Wisconsin’s network of workforce development programs is critical. These highly successful state initiatives provide skills training, connect workers with employment opportunities, and help people move into high-paying careers in growing sectors like clean energy. 

Wisconsinites are living the benefits. In September 2022, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, well below the national average. And, at the end of 2021, clean energy companies employed more than 71,000 Wisconsinites. To build on this success, Governor Evers has proposed several new state programs that will collaborate with labor unions to further expand the state’s clean energy workforce. By letting workers lead, Evers has positioned Wisconsin to be a key engine in the transition to a clean energy future. 


The right time to transition 

Wisconsin has chosen the right time to go bold with clean energy. The IRA injects hundreds of billions of dollars into the clean energy economy, allowing states an unprecedented opportunity to deploy clean energy. The White House projects that the IRA will deliver over $4 billion in clean energy investments in Wisconsin alone—while Data for Progress projects that robust implementation of the law’s climate provisions could bring nearly 25,000 jobs to the state.

In Wisconsin, the Inflation Reduction Act's climate and energy investments will add 24,289 jobs. Source: Data for Progress, Economic Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act's Climate and Energy Provisions

For example, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) will send $27 billion to states, local governments and nonprofits to finance greenhouse gas and air pollution reduction programs with a particular focus on supporting investments in disadvantaged communities. This revolutionary IRA program has the potential to build upon and catalyze new clean energy financing ecosystems in states across the country. Clean energy manufacturers like Ingeteam can take advantage of this financing, as well as the IRA’s clean energy tax credits, to expand production, hire workers, and meet the increasing demand for their products. 

In his Clean Energy Plan, Governor Evers commits to establishing a state green bank that can draw on the GGRF to direct billions of dollars in private capital to renewable energy markets. These actions, paired with other powerful incentives in the IRA, will allow Wisconsin to supercharge clean energy investment and usher in a windfall of climate and economic benefits. 


The work is just beginning

Even as states work to effectively and equitably implement the investments in the IRA, they can and must go further, faster on climate. For example, states can adopt 100 percent clean electricity standards, or make their existing standards more ambitious. 

Governor Evers is already leading Wisconsin in this direction; this year he proposed a clean electricity standard that would meet the state’s goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. Additionally, State Public Utility Commissions should take steps to streamline transmission siting and interconnection, and require utilities to revise their planning scenarios to account for potential clean energy savings from the enhanced tax credits. Forward-thinking actions like these at the state level can remove a major roadblock to renewable energy expansion and further fuel the growth of our clean economy. 

The IRA, in tandem with bold state-level action, will allow the U.S. to be at the forefront of the clean energy transition, delivering more jobs, healthier communities, and lower energy costs here at home.  The states that seize this opportunity will be best positioned to deliver on climate, jobs, and justice for their constituents. AK and his colleagues at Ingeteam are a model of that success...