Illinois’ New Climate and Equitable Jobs Bill

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Illinois has some major news regarding clean energy and saving our environment. A brand new energy bill has been signed into law! Governor Pritzker signed SB 2408 into law on September 15, 2021. The landmark legislation is a comprehensive climate and equitable jobs bill.

Why is this bill needed?

Climate change continues to impact all of us. Here in Illinois, we’re leading the country by taking the necessary measures to fight climate change before it is too late. This new legislation moves us to a greener economy while protecting those who are most impacted and will be most impacted by the changing environment, specifically keeping in mind our workforce and the impact of environmental racism.

What does it do?

It sets our state on a path to a 100% clean energy future by 2050. Also, it ensures that by 2045 100% carbon-free power will be achieved through the closure of coal and fossil gas on timelines that guarantee climate action, public health protection, and prioritization of environmental justice communities. 

What will happen to the workers who will be impacted by the transition to cleaner energy?

A clean energy bill without protections for labor is neither sustainable nor inclusive. That’s why our SB 2408 includes protections for workers in the energy industry, making sure their livelihoods are protected as we make this transition together. Displaced workers will have a Bill of Rights administered by state agencies to provide state support as they transition across the energy sector. Additionally, plant owners are now required to notify employees and public officials of a plant closure at least two years in advance.

Who supports the bill?

Environmental and climate advocates, labor unions, community leaders, legislative leadership, and the clean energy industry

What does SB 2408 do for marginalized communities? It creates: 

  • An energy and justice fund to support targeted clean energy investments for minority small businesses
  • A program for workplace development to ensure minority populations are able to enter and compete for jobs in the energy industry
  • Programs for incarcerated people who are soon to be released, so they can obtain jobs in the solar and energy efficiency sectors

How will it affect my day-to-day life?

Most individuals will not see any difference in their day-to-day lives (except cleaner air and more regulated weather)! The bill simply sets standards for Illinois to mitigate the effects of climate change and does the c