CUPE members and staff were among the dozens of Canadian labour activists who took part in an environmental forum hosted by the Green Economy Network (GEN) at the Canadian Labour Congress convention in Toronto in May 2017.

The GEN forum centred on its campaign to develop one million “climate jobs” in Canada. Climate jobs are clearly distinguished from the traditionally understood “green jobs” by the fact that climate jobs directly lead to the reduction of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. GEN holds up three sectors as being emblematic of climate jobs: renewable energy, green buildings and building retrofits, and public transportation.

At the Toronto event, GEN presented its campaign to CLC convention delegates from a variety of unions and communities across Canada. Presenters described how existing jobs can be transformed and new jobs created in a low-carbon economy to help slow climate change while making our communities more sustainable and resilient.

Regional working groups were organized at the forum. Members from public sector, private sector and industrial unions all came together to talk about the climate crisis and how it affects jobs.

The lively forum came on the heels of the CLC adopting a new climate change policy paper at its convention.