Jobs for Tomorrow: Canada’s Building Trades and Net Zero Emissions

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Jobs for Tomorrow: Canada’s Building Trades and Net Zero Emissions
By Tyee Bridge and Richard Gilbert

July 2017


Columbia Institute
2600—1055 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6E 3R5

Commissioned by Canada’s Building Trades Unions


This paper explores some possible implications for the building trades in the context of global warming and Canada’s commitments to climate action. The construction industry plays a critical role in the national economy by supporting production in all other sectors. Rather than resulting in net job losses, a net zero Canadian economy has the potential to create huge opportunities for those in construction and other industries.

As one of 197 international signatories to the Paris Agreement, Canada has pledged to achieve net zero emissions — a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and their absorption across Canada by natural and man-made means — between 2050 and 2100 in order to keep global warming below 2°C and work toward 1.5°C of warming.

Without policies in place to address global warming, the world is on track to reach average temperatures of over 4°C by the end of this century.2 Canada’s current national commitment is to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

This paper goes beyond Canada’s current commitments, accelerating the transition to envision an aspirational scenario in which the Canadian economy has achieved net zero by 2050.





A paper from a colleague organization