Who is included in a Just Transition?

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Who is included in a Just Transition?
Considering social equity in Canada’s shift to a zero-carbon economy

By Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood and Zaee Deshpande

 

This report investigates whether the emerging policy consensus on just transition is consistent with the principles of social justice and equity more broadly. Rather than discuss the necessity of a just transition to a zero-carbon economy in Canada, this report is specifically concerned with the question of whether a just transition, as it is currently being pursued at the policy level, truly achieves justice for all workers by redressing inequities or, at a minimum, by not exacerbating them. In this sense, we expand the scope of the just transition discourse beyond the current mainstream understanding of the term. The report concludes that a truly just transition should address and incorporate social equity from the outset.

 

 

This study was co-published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change research program (ACW), a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant project based at York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

 

Download the Full Report (PDF)

 

Heating Up, Backing Down: Evaluating recent climate policy progress in Canada

by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood
Senior Researcher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

June 13, 2019

 

As Canadians from coast to coast to coast grapple with record-breaking wildfires, floods and other extreme weather events, a new report finds that many Canadian governments—at both the federal and provincial level—are moving in the wrong direction on climate policy.

The study, co-published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change research program (ACW), assesses the climate policy progress of Canadian governments over the past two years with respect to long-term greenhouse gas emission reductions.

“Overall, Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate are less comprehensive and less ambitious than even two years ago,” says report author and CCPA senior researcher Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood. “Many governments have failed to follow through on earlier promises and some have backtracked on climate policies already put in place.”

Among its findings, the report identifies two growing threats to climate policy progress in Canada:

  • A narrow public debate over carbon pricing is eroding political will for a more comprehensive climate policy approach. There are many other policies that are less controversial and can be just as effective at reducing emissions.
  • Canadian governments have been unwilling to introduce supply-side energy policies designed to restrict the production of fossil fuels, even though keeping much of our oil and gas in the ground is necessary to avoid the worst effects of global climate breakdown.

The report concludes that positive progress in provinces like British Columbia and Quebec over the past few years is outweighed by backsliding in other provinces. The new governments in Alberta and Ontario—Canada’s two biggest carbon polluters—have reversed the climate policies of previous governments, which puts Canada’s already-unlikely national targets even further at risk.

 

Download the Full Report (PDF)

Book Launch: The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

posted in: Events, Featured, Posts | 0

 

Friday, November 9th 2018,
5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Refreshments and no-host bar

The Garage, Centre for Social Innovation – CSI Annex
720 Bathurst St. | Map
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
Bathurst TTC Station

FREE ADMISSION

 

“The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied” with author Bruce Campbell

“Much more than a research report, the book is a dramatic read, with no letup in the action from start to finish.” – Harry Gow, President Emeritus of Transport Action Canada and Chair of the Board of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre

The July 6, 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster is a tragedy unparalleled in Canadian history. It resulted in major loss of life, massive environmental destruction and the evisceration of a small Quebec town. Blame landed squarely on the shoulders of three front-line employees of the Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic Railway Company. But a jury acquitted them.

Lac-Mégantic is the story of a rail industry writing its own rules, a booming US oil industry based on fracking, fighting any obstacles to selling their dangerous product, and a rogue US railway operator cutting corners to make his fortune. At another level the story is about a federal government blinded by its own free market ideology, fixated on making Canada an energy superpower, and compliant bureaucrats failing to protect the public interest.

At the heart of it all is a small, tight-knit community torn apart and struggling to recover. There is unimaginable loss, broken lives and families, and individual and collective trauma. But there is also healing, solidarity, commemoration, remembrance, and the determination to rebuild and transcend.

This book uncovers the truth about Lac-Mégantic. It includes first person interviews with many of the key players, analysis of the corporate executives and the companies involved, an examination of the complex world of transport safety regulation in Canada, and an account of the trials of the three accused.

 

BRUCE CAMPBELL is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of Canada’s leading independent think tanks. For his work on Lac-Mégantic, Bruce was awarded a Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship and spent 2016 as a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. Bruce is currently Adjunct Professor, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, and co-investigator with the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change research project, based at York University. He lives in Ottawa.

 

Canada’s evolving domestic climate policy landscape

These working papers are a series of three preliminary reports being produced for the ACW’s Domestic Policy Working Group—chaired by Bruce Campbell—which is investigating Canada’s evolving domestic climate policy landscape. These three preliminary reports—addressing Federal Government action, provincial government action, and domestic labour policy in Canada—will be integrated into a final report in spring 2017.

The preliminary reports take as their starting point the working group’s baseline report, which was completed in October 2015. That report provides context on the current profile of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada as well as the suite of climate policies in place at the federal and provincial level through October 2015.

 

Tracking progress: Evaluating government plans and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada
May 2017
Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood
International trade and climate policy researcher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Download the full report (PDF)

 

Evaluating government plans and actions to reduce GHG emissions in Canada: Just transition policies
January 2017
Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood
Research Intern, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Download the full report (PDF)

 

Evaluating Government Plans and Actions to Reduce GHG Emissions in Canada: Provincial and territorial progress through October 2016
November 2016
Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood
Research Intern, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Download the full report (PDF)

 

Evaluating government plans and actions to reduce GHG emissions in Canada: Federal progress through June 2016
July 2016
Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood
Research Intern, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Download the full report (PDF)