A path to a clean and inclusive economy
Canada has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Among other implications, “decarbonizing” the Canadian economy will require the winding down of coal, oil and natural gas projects across the country with potentially harmful effects for the hundreds of thousands of workers and dozens of regional economies currently dependent on fossil fuel production.
In recognition and anticipation of the socioeconomic impacts of its climate policies, Canada’s federal government committed in 2019 to introducing a Just Transition Act to “support the future and livelihood of workers and their communities in the transition to a low-carbon global economy.” Although it has yet to be tabled, the promise of “just transition” legislation has strong support from labour unions, environmental groups and social justice movements that have long called for stronger federal leadership in this area.
Taking the federal government’s commitment as its starting point, this report explores the potential for a Just Transition Act to achieve a managed transition to a lower-carbon economy that minimizes the potential harms and maximizes the potential benefits for workers and their communities.