Making the Shift to a Green Economy
A Common Platform of the Green Economy Network
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 a civilization.
We maintain that, if the plan of action outlined below were to be fully enacted during the coming five years, Canada would be well on the way to creating one million new person job years. Simultaneously, we will reduce our total national greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 88 megatonnes (Mt) a year by 2020, putting us on track to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one third by 2025, 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.
Canada is facing a triple-E challenge relating to our environment, our economy and diversification of energy sources. We are already experiencing the ramifications of climate change; underemployment and unemployment in precarious jobs remain very high; and we must make the transition away from carbon-based energy sources. Concurrently, our economy and society are further plagued by an equity crisis marked by increasing inequalities and divisions amongst gender, race and class.
We can no longer afford an economic model that treats the planet and people as disposable goods. The time has come to chart a new economic model, one that requires a fundamental transformation in the way we produce, transport and consume goods. We need a new industrial strategy for this country. We must rethink the way we construct buildings, manufacture products and generate energy. We must rethink the way we transport ourselves, move goods, fuel industries, and heat our homes and businesses while ensuring there is affordable green energy for all. We must foster local sustainable economies, provide equitable job opportunities and contribute our fair share to efforts that reduce environmental and social harm internationally. Through this transformation, we will help break our addiction to fossil fuels and overcome persistent poverty and inequalities. Ultimately, we must build a green economy and society that transforms the modes of production and consumption, ensures energy is available and affordable, and makes the jobs we have more environmentally sustainable while simultaneously creating new decent paying climate jobs and providing “Just Transition” programs.
Download the paper here.