Today we face a global climate crisis and at the same time a global economic crisis. The horrible result can be to pit jobs against the environment. But the transition to a clean, climate-friendly, environmentally sound economy and society is the solution to both.

The issue of coal-fired power plants is a perfect example. It can—and often has—become a battle over jobs versus the environment. That often translates into a battle between trade unionists and environmentalists. But this issue also provides a perfect example of how to move beyond that futile polarity. The solution is to create an energy and economic development alternative that creates jobs, putting our world on a sustainable basis.

Ultimately that will require a global green New Deal, in which the nations of the world cooperate to put millions of women and men to work, eliminating the threats to our common future. We are creating the building blocks of that new model locally as we transition from coal to renewable energy in a way that creates jobs, reconstructing our community energy systems and economies.