In 1997, shortly before the Kyoto conference on Climate Change, the Economic
Policy Institute (EPI) issued an analysis of climate change polices with a
particular eye toward their effect on workers. Here's what EPI had to say:
"We find that these policies could have significant costs for the economy,
especially in the next ten to fifteen years, and that their distributional
effects would be even larger than their effects on the overall level of
"GHG policies will have a strikingly consistent, negative impact on real
"In the short run, 1.5 to 2.6 million fewer jobs would be created, and in
the long run there will be substantial shifts in employment and population
between industries and regions of the country."
"Worker retraining policies, especially in the trade adjustment area, have
established a poor track record, which may raise questions about the wisdom of
incorporating such measures into a GHG policy or treaty package."
"GHG policies will sharply increase energy prices in the U.S., especially
for coal and natural gas."
"Multinational firms in developed countries will have additional incentives
to shift investment to developing countries, if those countries do not face
restrictions on their greenhouse gas emissions."