Building the Economy through Green Jobs and Decarbonization

The Canadian energy sector has been caught between plummeting demand for oil due to the pandemic – down to levels last seen a quarter of a century ago – and a glut of oil caused by a global price war. 

Just a few weeks into the COVID-19 crisis, pictures of environmental recovery began flooding social media suggesting that environmental restoration could be a silver lining in the crisis. This has come at a terrible cost. The economic damage and toll on workers across the globe is incalculable. 

If Canada is to meet its climate change commitments, leaders must also put in place measures necessary to spark a virtuous cycle that benefits both the environment and workers. Government must:

  • establish a targeted energy industry support program and Federal Just Transition fund; 
  • expand the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund as Part of a National Public Transit Strategy; 
  • support zero-emission electric vehicle (ZEV) manufacturing in Canada through a National Auto Strategy and build charging infrastructure; 
  • establish a funding mechanism for green retrofit projects; 
  • leverage Canada’s strength in green and lightweight materials for greener infrastructure;
  • develop a green jobs training program; 
  • institute a tripartite model for advisory groups and oversight bodies in relation to green transition and climate issues; and 
  • reorient employment support systems and accreditations towards green jobs.

No worker should experience economic collapse in the face of climate change either from climate events or the progression towards an environmentally sustainable world.

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Charlie O'Leary
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