We sent this letter to Canada’s COP21 delegation supporting Just Transition language in the Paris Climate Agreement
November 23, 2015
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
We write you as members of Blue Green Canada, an alliance of labour unions, environmental and civil society organizations, to encourage Canada’s delegation to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21) to support the continued inclusion of Just Transition language in the text of the Paris Agreement.
We believe that a sustainable economy must provide good jobs and protect the environment, not one or the other. We applaud your government’s recognition of climate change as a Canadian concern and its commitment to show the world that Canada is serious about addressing environmental issues.
We encourage your government to work with other nations toward an effective international climate change agreement. Specifically, we call upon the Canadian delegation to negotiate for the continued inclusion of Just Transition and Decent Work language in the Articles of the future Paris Agreement.
Without Just Transition and Decent Work language in the operational portion of the Paris agreement, the cost for the transition to a low-carbon society would be unfairly born by working men and women. Therefore, we urge you to keep Just Transition and Decent Work language in the preamble and operational Articles of the future Paris Agreement, as stated in the bracketed section of Article 2, Option 1 of the draft agreement and decision from October 23, 2015:
“This agreement shall be implemented… while ensuring… a just transition of the workforce and creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities…”
We would also like to remind you that references to this commitment were adopted by previous COP decisions, and for the Paris agreement to be truly sustainable, it must confirm commitments to a Just Transition.
We look forward to working with your government to advance a shared agenda of building an economy that provides good jobs, protects the environment, respects workers, and supports a prosperous Canada for present and future generations.
The Blue Green Canada - Board of Directors
Jerry Dias, National President
Tim Gray, Executive Director
Merran Smith, Executive Director
Clean Energy Canada
Charley Beresford, Executive Director
Rick Smith, Executive Director
Ed Whittingham, Executive Director