CUPE had a strong presence at the first Green Economy Network (GEN) strategy session, held Nov. 27 – 28, 2013 in Toronto.

Participants, including CUPE’s National Environment Committee and others, took part in discussions about promoting GEN’s green jobs ideas through community-level campaigning. GEN is a coalition of partners pushing for a greener economy with more good green jobs in renewable energy, green building practices, and public transit/high speed rail.

The event brought together the Council of Canadians, the Polaris Institute, the Climate Action Network, KAIROS, along with other unions such as PSAC, Unifor and CUPW. Participants looked at how creating more green jobs can cut greenhouse gases that cause climate change and help make our communities more liveable and sustainable.

“Trade unionists and environmentalists can and must work together to transform our society,” said Carolyn Unsworth, co-chair of CUPE’s National environment committee. “The current system is leading us to a bleak future, but there is time and there are answers to change our course. GEN can help make this happen and I encourage all CUPE members to look at ways to make their workplaces, jobs and communities greener.”

GEN members looked at ways to work together in green jobs campaigns.

Workshops to identify the tremendous opportunities for progress on a local level to build a greener economy were also part of the meeting.

It is clear that governments at all levels must lead and provide public investments to ensure that the public sector is front and centre in the new green economy. Now more than ever, diverse allies are demanding an end to old, carbon-intensive work practices, and are pulling together to make a new green economy. But this future will only happen with support and input of both labour and the environmentalists.

This is what the Green Economy Network is about.

Learn more about GEN here: