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Climate plan is ambitious but leaves many questions about transition

A photo of Earth as seen from space.
December 11, 2020 - 12:00 AM

OTTAWA—The federal government’s revised climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, commits to many important steps to cut pollution and create jobs, but leaves out details about labour market dislocation.

“We welcome this next phase of the federal government’s climate action planning,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “There is no time to waste getting to work on building a greener economy and no conversation more urgent than the one about safeguarding workers and communities during the transition.”

The plan is a sober assessment of actions required to meet 2030 Paris Agreement targets, says Unifor. The union remains concerned about a lack of detail for how the government will support communities adapting to transformative policies, such as carbon pricing changes, clean fuel standards, and new emissions regulations.

This concept of including workers in planning industrial transition and new green job creation has been broadly referred to as a “just transition.” It is explicitly referenced in the Paris Agreement and is a top priority of trade unions worldwide.

“Workers support bold action on climate change, but the transition for workers must be a higher priority.” said Dias. “Unifor will fight to make sure that no worker and no community is left behind. With the right planning, all regions will enjoy a stronger, fairer economy.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell).