The latest report, Putting workers and communities at the centre of Canada’s net-zero energy economy, funded by Natural Resources Canada, outlines actions and investments that governments should make to support workers in the shift to a sustainable economy.
“Canada stands at a crossroads. People across the country and around the globe are experiencing the impacts of climate change in their work and their everyday lives to a degree that’s unprecedented,” said Bea Bruske, president of the CLC. “Our economy must adapt in order to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but it must also be positioned to take advantage of the massive industrial and economic opportunities that come with a global shift to net-zero. To accomplish that, we must ensure workers have a seat at the decision-making table.”
“Countries around the world are racing to secure their place in a net-zero future,” said Chris Severson-Baker, executive director of the Pembina Institute. “At the same time, a people-centered energy transition and industrial decarbonization strategies have the potential to create a host of co-benefits that can improve the everyday lives of Canadians — boosting the economy, creating new livelihoods, improving health outcomes, and creating a better future for equity-deserving groups.”
“This report rightly puts skills development and training at the heart of a blueprint needed to achieve Canada’s climate targets and carve out new sources of competitive advantage in a net-zero world,” said Pedro Barata, executive director of the Future Skills Centre. “The recommendations point to the need for place-based and sectoral approaches that bring together stakeholders – including workers – to co-design and implement solutions to the challenges facing Canadian workers, starting now, in the places where they will be felt first and most acutely.”
The report shows that two million people will be working in the Canadian clean energy sector by 2050, that investing in workers and regional economies can increase GDP by a cumulative $55 billion between 2040 and 2050, and supports for accredited, non-profit training can drive down unemployment and increase wages for workers in resource sectors.
“We absolutely cannot afford to let these opportunities pass Canada by,” added Bruske.
Canada can either be a leader with a plan to train workers, decarbonize industries, support economic diversification, and ensure our workers are leaders in a net-zero global economy, or miss this golden opportunity.
Decision-makers across the federal government, provinces, territories, and others will find in this report recommendations to support workers with skills and training, income security, engagement and labour rights. This sustainable blueprint for Canada is meant to provide a roadmap to ensure workers can see a path forward for their future.
The full report can be accessed here.
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