The 2008 Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Convention in Toronto produced two new major environmental documents. A new policy paper entitled “Climate Change and Green Jobs: Labour’s Challenges and Opportunities” and a resolution on “Climate Change and Green Jobs” were both adopted.
The policy calls on Labour to act, recognizing that climate change is “the most pressing issue of our times.” It calls on the CLC to build support for strategies that avert catastrophic climate change, while ensuring the route forward sustains a strong economy with good jobs. Such strategies would include promoting energy efficiency, investment in rail and mass transit infrastructures, and development of renewable energy sources. A cap and auction system that ensures big polluters pay for their climate damaging practices is built into the policy as part of the way forward. The CLC also calls for a Just Transition program for workers affected by job losses in the move to a greener economy.
Many of the specifics of how the policy will be put into practice are described in the resolution “Climate Change and Green Jobs”. That resolution calls on the Federal government to regulate tar sands development to protect the environment and affected First Nations communities.
The CLC conducted a panel discussion on climate change that featured environmental and First Nations leaders. Excerpts from the panel debate can be viewed online at YouTube at these links: