The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the current pace of emissions is already consuming the entire global carbon budget. This clear indication shows that market forces on their own are not in a position to provide the kind of transition that will prevent catastrophic climate change.
Governments must step up to the plate by working and providing leadership for the common good and public interest. With a new government in Ottawa, Canada is now in a position to commit ambitious, achievable, science-based targets to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This calls for significant industrial transformation toward a new low-to-zero carbon economy. A transformation that will eliminate or transform existing jobs will bring about resistance to change, undermining the ability for Canada to move forward collectively.
To address this resistance, we must create One Million Climate Jobs paired with a just transition strategy that is supported by workers, employers and governments. The strategy must embody social support, re-employment and compensation measures, and be devised with the participation of workers and their representatives.