Blue Green Canada encourages the participants in Thursday’s First Minister’s Meeting in Vancouver to follow through on their advocacy for just transition in Paris with actions at home.
At COP21 in Paris nearly 200 nations came together in broad agreement on the real and pressing need to act on climate change and begin to transition to a global low carbon economy.
How this transition occurs is crucial.
Canada’s Paris delegation, with the support of Canadian labour unions and environmental organizations, advocated for the inclusion of just transition and decent work language in the COP21 climate agreement and the final Paris Agreement recognizes the “imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs.” As a result, we believe Canada’s climate change plans and principles must include just transition principles to be effective and to help our environment and economy thrive.
We are calling on Canada’s governments to follow up on this recent international advocacy for just transition with actions at home. The principles forming the basis for our national climate change plans need to also include just transition principles.
Canada’s Climate Change plans should include:
- A pledge to ensure that any costs of our transition to a low carbon economy are not unfairly borne by working women and men.
- Support of reviews of labour force market impacts at provincial and community levels to assess impacted work forces and which transition strategies may be needed.
- Recognition that industry, governments, workers, and unions all need to be involved in crafting transparent and workable just transition plans. Plans need to be flexible and designed for specific workplace and community realities.
- An acknowledgment of the need for industry supported transition funds for impacted workers and communities.
- An acknowledgment of the need for policies in support of impacted workers including support for retraining for new job opportunities, employment insurance flexibility for worker transitions, enhanced severance and salary continuance, pension bridging and early retirement options.