OTTAWA – Today’s meeting in Ottawa of Canada’s environment ministers, the first since the Paris Agreement on climate change was agreed in December, 2015 marks the launch of federal/provincial/territorial negotiations on a national framework to tackle climate change. The framework discussions at the two-day Federal/Provincial-Territorial meeting are expected to lead to principles and objectives that will be finalized by Canada’s First Ministers in early March 2016. We call on all governments to make job creation the priority for Canada’s climate action plan.
A jobs-focused framework should include commitments to ensure that Canada’s climate action efforts are:
- Science-based and consistent with commitments that Canada made in Paris to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
- Fair so that all province/territories and federal Government do their fair share.
- Comprehensive: using a full suite of policy tools, including legislation, including legislated targets for GHG emission reductions; regulations; carbon pricing; incentives; support for climate solutions like infrastructure, public transit and higher speed rail; and renewable energy; removal of fossil fuel subsidies; and public engagement/education.
- Transparent reporting so Canadians can see where GHG emissions have occurred and are projected to occur (by sector and province), and the effect of policies.
- Accountable, including coordinated assessments by federal and provincial auditor generals and/or environment/sustainable development commissioners.
- Effective, including setting a national floor price for carbon and setting national targets for energy efficiency improvement and renewable energy.
- Transformative with a goal of creating at least 1 million jobs to deliver deep reductions from investments such as renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings and in delivering public transit, and higher speed rail (see fact sheet).
Government negotiations on Canada’s climate action framework begin today. Environment Ministers, however, can let Canadians know they intend to finalize a climate plan that aims to create at least 1 million jobs within five years from delivering climate action initiatives.
Canada has just 35 years to transition to zero emitting economy. We know that provincial commitments will not be enough to ensure Canada does its fair share to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Government of Canada must show Canadians the process it will follow to fill the gap between provincial promises and federal national targets for emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy. We believe that a national goal of creating at least 1 million climate jobs will put the country on a positive path toward a sustainable economy. On that basis, Canada should plan to sign the Paris Agreement that it agreed to in December at the United Nations in New York on Earth Day, April 22, 2016.
For more information contact:
Louise Comeau, Executive Director
Climate Action Network Canada
Angella MacEwen, Senior Economist
Canadian Labour Congress
613-526-7412 direct line / 613-277-2587 cell