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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.

One Million Climate Jobs: Occupations in the Green Economy

The jobs that will be created from this transition will stretch across many sectors, and provide good wages. We have summarized the types of occupations that will be required in each area of investment as outlined in the One Million Climate Jobs challenge, as well as related jobs in the green economy.

Financing One Million Climate Jobs

The cost of inaction on climate change is daunting. Climate change is not a distant threat; it is happening now and already imposing costs on the people of Canada. The impacts of climate change are already being experienced globally, which is why every other major country is investing in taking action. While Canada has fallen behind, we have the advantage of learning from past missteps. Policy measures that have proven effective elsewhere, alongside technology, could be implemented to build a modern economy and become a lead in climate action.  

Common Platform

As members of Canadian-based labour, environmental, faith, and social justice organizations we have come together to form a common front for the building of a green economy in Canada. We have done so recognizing that we are living in one of those critical moments of human history wherein decisions must be made that will ultimately affect our destiny as a people, a nation, and the planet.

We maintain that, if the plan of action outlined in this platform was to be fully enacted during the coming five years, Canada would be well on the road to creating the equivalent of over one million new full-time jobs for a year (person job years) and reducing our total national greenhouse gas emissions by over 200 million tonnes a year by 2030 which represents a substantial contribution towards our overall emissions reductions. Moreover, these initiatives would generate opportunities for the transition towards a more equitable, as well as a more sustainable economy.