Jobs, Economy and Environment

This Earth Day, unions are calling for a carbon reduction strategy for workers and communities

April 22, 2018

This Earth Day, Canada’s unions say workers and communities need a strategy for transitioning to a zero-carbon world.

“Unions, business, communities and governments must work together on comprehensive strategies that will ensure those most affected can adapt and thrive as we shift to a zero-carbon economy,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

Yussuff pointed to the reality of climate change around the world and here in Canada.

“We must face the facts. Warmer climates are compromising food and water supplies, and that’s hurting the livelihoods of millions. Rising temperatures are causing severe draughts in parts of the world,” he said.

He cited Cape Town, South Africa as an example, where resident face strict water rations in a bid to stave off Day Zero, the projected day when taps will run dry. Current estimates show that Day Zero will come in 2019.

“Here in Canada, it’s widely accepted that climate change played a big part in causing the catastrophic fire that ravaged Fort McMurray in 2016,” said Yussuff.

A drier-than-usual winter and record-high spring temperatures, coupled with high wind gusts caused the Fort McMurray fire to spread quickly. It displaced almost 90,000 people and many lost their homes. The fire took 15 months to fully extinguish.

Canada’s unions – along with organizations like the Green Economy Network, Blue Green Canada and Canada’s Building Trades – have long fought for a greener economy that puts workers and communities at the centre of any climate change policy.

“Progressive emission-reduction policies must centre around people and communities. Canada’s move to reduce its carbon emissions will impact employment. Adequate supports like re-training are necessary to a successful shift to a greener economy,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

In February, the federal government announced the Terms of Reference for the Just Transition Task Force for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities. The Task Force’s mandate is to develop recommendations to influence Canada’s plans to phase-out coal power. Their first meeting is scheduled for this week.

  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Bruske to German Chancellor and the G7: Turn from ambition to action on climate and just transition

    May 11, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Labour 7 statement to the G7 Leaders’ Summit 2022

    April 12, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Welcome progress in first 100 days – but much work to do in next 100 weeks

    February 2, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Better Pay and Benefits
  • Parliament must work with urgency on helping families

    January 27, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Canada’s unions calling for greater protections and supports for migrant workers

    December 17, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Rank and file union members engage MPs with powerful stories about the need to end seniors’ clawbacks

    December 3, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Gender Equality
  • MPs must listen to workers and take action on a fair recovery that makes life more affordable

    November 29, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Gender Equality
  • President Bea Bruske available to speak about Canada’s unions’ priorities for new Parliament

    November 19, 2021
    Click to open the link