For immediate release.
Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 13 October 2021:
By 2030, Canada may only have half as many oil and gas jobs as it does today, leaving workers and communities with an uncertain future, reveals a new report co-authored by Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada and Blue Green Canada. Automation, attrition, and the rapid decarbonization that a safe planet demands all play a role in the changing job landscape.
The good news is that nearly 3 in 4 oil and gas workers affected by the transition have a direct skills match to alternative clean industries or IT occupations elsewhere – if provincial and federal governments make the urgently required investments and commit to supportive policies now to create new, high quality jobs an economy aligned with keeping global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
The report, entitled Facing Fossil Fuels’ Future: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers in Canada’s Energy and Labour Transitions, was released this morning at a press conference featuring Shannon Franssen and Teika Newton of CAN-Rac Canada, Jamie Kirkpatrick of Blue Green Canada, Meg Gingrich of United Steelworkers, and Ken Bondy of Unifor.
In the next decade, 56,000 alternative jobs need to be created for current oil and gas workers across Canada, the report finds. In partnership with workers, governments urgently need to offer a clear vision for the future of Canada’s oil and gas sector, and use all tools available to boost new, clean, good job creation.
“We’re at a pivotal moment,” said Teika Newton, Managing Director of CAN-Rac Canada. “The re-elected minority Liberal government, which has promised since 2019 to implement a Just Transition Act, will soon lay out its agenda in the Speech from the Throne. COP26 is only weeks away. Now is the time to look to the future, and engage those who are most affected by the changing energy and economic landscape – workers and front line communities, including Indigenous communities – in helping to chart a course forward. For too long has Canada cycled through natural resource economy booms and failed to plan for the busts that follow, at the expense of communities and the country as a whole. Our governments must decide: will they truly commit to presenting a clear path forward in collaboration with workers and communities?”
“It is crucial that our governments understand and consider the impacts on workers and communities when acting to address climate change,” said Jamie Kirkpatrick, Blue Green Canada’s Program Manager. “Organized labour and the broader social justice and environmental movements have, for the most part, already committed to the principles of a just transition. Our governments have made some steps in support of just transition but, to date, those commitments are weaker than what workers and advocates have demanded. We need a real plan for well-managed and inclusive transitions to a zero carbon economy and this plan must be guided by those impacted communities and workers.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Communications lead, CAN-Rac Canada
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada is a coalition of more than 130 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
Blue Green Canada was founded by an alliance between Canadian labour unions, environmental and civil society organizations, to advocate for working people and the environment by promoting solutions to environmental issues that have positive employment and economic impacts. Formed in 2008 by a strategic alliance between the United Steelworkers and Environmental Defence, Blue Green Canada now includes Unifor, the Columbia Institute, the Pembina Institute, the Broadbent Institute, and Clean Energy Canada.