To Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
We are writing to you today to ask you to live up to the promise you made in 2019 by introducing and passing just transition legislation in the first 100 days of the new Parliament.
We all know we have to stop fossil fuel extraction. Scientists have issued a “code red for humanity” to tackle the climate crisis. And even the most conservative economic agencies, like the International Energy Agency, say that to avoid climate catastrophe our societies need to stop using fossil fuels. Recent polls in Canada also show that a strong majority of people are ready for this shift.
Workers, communities, and economists across the country have been calling for a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry, with support for workers through that transition. Fossil fuel jobs have already been in decline for years in Canada – and almost 90 per cent of existing oilpatch workers say they would make a career change in the next year if the necessary government supports were in place, according to the group Iron and Earth.
It’s time for your government to heed these calls and pass just transition legislation that:
- Reduces emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels, and makes significant contributions to emissions reductions in countries in the Global South
- Winds down the fossil fuel industry and related infrastructure, ends fossil fuel subsidies, and transitions to a decarbonized economy
- Creates new public economic institutions and expands public ownership of services and utilities across the economy to implement the transition
- Creates good green jobs and drives inclusive workforce development, led by and including affected workers and communities, and ensures decent, low-carbon work for all workers
- Protects and strengthens human rights and worker rights, respects Indigenous rights, sovereignty, and knowledge by including them in creating and implementing this legislation, ensures migrant justice, and emphasizes support for historically marginalized communities
- Expands the social safety net through new income supports, decarbonized public housing, and operational funding for affordable and accessible public transit countrywide
- Pays for the transition by increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations and financing through a public national bank
A just transition is necessary for both the climate and the economy, and the people of Canada depend on you to bring meaningful legislation forward as soon as possible. As the new Parliament starts its work, we will be engaging with your caucus and the other parties to push for such legislation to be passed.