Thus far, there are 3 main areas of focus for the Green Economy Network and its One Million Climate Jobs campaign:
- Public Transportation (Urban and Inter-Region)
- Green Building Retrofits & Energy Efficiency
- Renewable Energy
1. Better public transit for all Canadians
GEN has a comprehensive plan to address the current needs of public transit systems across the country and develop high speed rail travel between the nation’s most populous urban centres and along its busiest routes. This plan includes:
- $53.5 billion for Canadian municipal public transit systems’ capital costs over a five-year investment period starting as soon as possible.
- Of this, $17.6 billion (33 per cent of the funding) does not fit within existing funding plans. It would require new funding from provincial and federal governments.
- $25.7 billion to design and build three key high speed rail (HSR) projects. Of this figure, roughly $20 billion would go towards building the Québec City-Windsor high speed rail corridor; $3.7 billion would go towards a HSR link between Calgary and Edmonton; and $2 billion would go towards a high speed link between Vancouver and Seattle.
We need strong domestic content rules, as used by other countries (including our “free trade” partners) to ensure that our green transport initiatives create good jobs – that will also help generate the tax revenues to pay for these essential investments. We need industry policies that allow all segments of our communities to benefit.
Canada is overdue to upgrade its inter-city rail infrastructure to bring it into the twenty-first century. Likewise, upgraded and expanded public transit systems can have substantial environmental and job-creation benefits. Canadians need a stronger and more comprehensive plan to develop and expand public transit. Currently, provincial and federal governments help municipalities pay for capital projects in public transportation. However, municipal governments still end up bearing the brunt of the combined operations and capital costs. We all share the benefits; it’s important to share the load.
Read the Transit FACTSHEET for more info!
2. Green homes and green buildings
Canadians experience extreme cold in the winter and periods of extreme heat in the summer. Yet, only 10 per cent of our buildings are energy efficient. Green Homes and Green Buildings is about making what we have as efficient as possible, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Improving energy efficiency is a clean, inexpensive and prudent step that can pay for itself over the long term.
Can we take on this challenge?
Of course we can!
A green economy is more than an idea. There are lots of examples of energy efficiency, green homes and green buildings all over the world. Improved energy efficiency is also a proven way to create jobs. In fact, a $1.1 billion dollar homes and buildings retrofit public program could be designed to leverage $50 billion dollars in private expenditures, and that’s enough to create one million person job years of employment. Not only would such a program create jobs it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million tonnes by 2020 and leave Canadians with more efficient homes and buildings, which saves us money too.
There is no question – we need green homes and buildings so we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to ensure that the future needs of Canadians are met while ensuring both jobs for today and a clean planet for tomorrow.
Read the Green Buildings Factsheet for more info!
3. The Energy Transition
In order to begin making the transition over the next 10 years, we maintain the federal government needs to develop a renewable energy development strategy. During this period, public investments totalling $4.65 billion need to be made to simulate the development of renewable energy sources with a priority being put on public sector owned and operated wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal power. The plan could also include more restricted development of small scale hydro and selected biofuels from biomass sources. Averaged out over a ten year period, this public investment would amount to an annual federal expenditure of $4.65 billion, which is less than 2 per cent of the annual federal budget. The Canadian government must also end subsidies to the oil and gas industry that heavily favour fossil fuel-based energy development at the expense of renewables. This 4.65 billion dollar investment will create 92,000 full-time jobs for a year (or person job years).
Read the Renewable Energy Factsheet for more info!