The Climate Jobs Institute (CJI) at the University of Illinois conducts high-quality empirical research at the intersections of climate resilience, clean energy transition, economic and labor market impacts, and climate justice. Our goal is to produce research that uncovers the economic and labor market impacts of the clean energy transition, supporting Illinois’s clean energy goals.

The Climate Jobs Institute is one of the first academic institutes dedicated to the study of economic and labor market impacts of decarbonization. The Institute will pioneer interdisciplinary research related to the environment, clean energy, economics, workforce development, and public policy.

The Climate Jobs Institute was established by the Illinois General Assembly in April 2022 as part of the University of Illinois Act, 110 ILCS 305/165, to support the state’s transition to a strong, equitable decarbonized economy. Our core research priorities, as established in the legislation, include the following:

  • Evaluate how clean-energy workforce opportunities provide transitions for displaced energy workers.
  • Quantify the impact of decarbonization on economic development, employment, and growth.
  • Identify opportunities to maximize job creation and workforce development, mindful of job creation in historically underrepresented populations and environmental justice communities
  • Recommend policies that will create high-quality family- and community-sustaining jobs.
  • Develop strategies to address current and future supply chain vulnerabilities and challenges.
  • Identify how to expand access to high-quality clean energy jobs for environmental justice communities and other frontline communities that have faced historical inequities.
  • Assess the types of support that local governments will need to help communities develop their own community energy, climate and jobs plans.
  • Evaluate initiatives, identifying research support and promulgating best practices for specific programs.

CJI research will be publicly disseminated through policy reports; academic articles; web-based platforms; labor, community, legislative, and media outreach; and education programs.