CUPE understands that climate change is one of the biggest crises of our times, with serious environmental, economic and political challenges. CUPE has called for the need to urgently tackle climate change while making sure there is a strong emphasis on the creation of new jobs as part of a “Just Transition” towards a more sustainable economy.
Today, CUPE was pleased to see the New Democratic Party of Canada release its plan for climate action, entitled Power to Change: A new deal for climate action and good jobs.
The plan presents bold action for the climate crisis while also establishing a clear path towards a lasting, living economy that works better for all of us. The NDP has struck the right balance between the urgent need to take on the big polluters, to get them to clean up their act, while making life more affordable for ordinary Canadians and making sure that workers can benefit from good, well-paying jobs.
New Democrats are pledging to invest $15 billion in this strategy, which would put Canada on a track to exceed its current emissions target under the Paris Agreement to fight climate change. Currently, Canada is not even on schedule to meet its current target, set by Stephen Harper and adopted by Justin Trudeau.
The NDP plan includes making all new buildings in Canada net-zero ready by 2030, and complete energy efficiency retrofits on all existing housing stock in Canada by 2050. Canada’s electric grid would also be carbon-free by 2030.
Another positive aspect of the NDP’s proposal is to make transportation cleaner. Not only would it be easier to buy and charge zero-emissions vehicle, New Democrats are pushing for more public transit to make it more convenient and more affordable – even working towards fare-free transit with municipalities. The NDP would create a permanent and reliable mechanism for direct funding for public transit, and push for all public transportation to be zero-emissions by 2030.
The NDP also wants to boost clean tech research and support our manufacturing industry by implementing a “buy Canadian” procurement strategy. All included, the NDP is pledging the creation of 300,000 good jobs in energy efficiency retrofits, affordable housing, renewable energy, infrastructure and transit in all regions of the country.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh presented an ambitious, comprehensive plan that takes urgent action on climate change, while creating good jobs in all communities across the country, including providing support and training for workers who could be impacted by this kind of major shift towards a low-carbon economy.
One principle of a “Just Transition” is that the costs of shifting to a more sustainable economy should be shared by everyone. Workers whose jobs are lost, and people whose livelihoods are compromised, should be supported with training, compensation, job opportunities and other supports. They should also be involved in decisions that affect their livelihoods.
The NDP plan lays out a clear path for working families, taking decisive action to protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gases that threaten our health and our economy. It supports workers, families, and communities with training, good jobs and a more affordable life, building a sustainable future for generations to come – so our children, our grandchildren and their own children can live a full, healthy life.