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Unifor encouraged by Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan

TORONTO, June 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor is encouraged by the measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions introduced in Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan.

"We welcome these measures to protect our environment, and the acknowledgement by the government of the need for a just-transition as we move to a low-carbon economy," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier. "A just-transition will build the needed consensus of Ontario workers to make these changes both achievable and sustainable. We need to protect good jobs, help modernize industry and provide education and re-training when the impact of climate change policy cannot be avoided."

Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan contains 29 key measures which include the establishment of a green bank to help finance energy-efficient technologies, support of a low-carbon market through cap and trade and new programs to reduce the rise in building-related emissions and to encourage electric car sales.  

"The auto initiatives in the plan are consistent with industry recommendations supported by Unifor in consultations with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "We commend the government for working with stakeholders to create incentives for consumers to choose greener options."

Unifor also noted the commitment to provide up to $1.1 billion to assist carbon intensive manufacturing sectors.  "Ontario industries must have support towards a low-carbon future, including just-transition for workers," said Fortier. "The Action Plan provides a down payment on that transition, but much more will be needed to ensure that climate action and industrial strategies work together."

Unifor is a proud member of the Clean Economy Alliance, a multi-sector coalition of 90 organizations united to support Ontario's climate change efforts. 

"Climate change is one of the key issues of our time," said Dias. "The actions we take, or fail to take, will impact generations to come."

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers.