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April 22, 2016

Earth Day: Let’s leave a legacy of sustainability for future generations

The world’s climate is changing, but something else is changing too: the will to act on this crisis has never been stronger.

This year, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is marking Earth Day (April 22) by renewing its call for a One Million Climate Jobs plan that would allow Canada to transition from fossil-fuel reliance to a sustainable, low-to-zero carbon economy while creating new, good jobs for Canadian workers.

“We need bold action now. It’s hard not to worry about our children and grandchildren if we don’t turn things around. With our One Million Climate Jobs plan, we show that we can do right by the next generations by creating good jobs now,” said CLC President, Hassan Yussuff.

Last December at the COP21 in Paris, the federal government worked cooperatively with provincial and municipal governments, and with labour, Indigenous and other civil society groups. This culminated in a commitment by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, to begin the development of a pan-Canadian framework for climate action within 90 days of the Summit.

“The government has taken steps in the right direction since Paris, such as investing in public transit and green infrastructure, but we are still waiting for an ambitious and thorough national plan,” Yussuff said.

The One Million Climate Jobs plan, developed with the Green Economy network and endorsed by renowned environmental activist David Suzuki, calls for strategic investments in housing retrofits, renewable energy and sustainable transportation systems.

“Canadians need to rethink our manufacturing processes, the way we use and generate energy, and the ways we construct our buildings. We need to retool our factories, rethink the way we transport ourselves, move goods, use water, fuel industries, and heat our homes and businesses,” Yussuff said.

The CLC has committed to continue its approach of constructive collaboration with governments, environmental groups, Indigenous groups, and employers, working together to meet the pressing environmental, energy, economic and equity challenges of our times.

“Canadian unions will do our part to fight climate change and we will continue the work we started in Paris, pushing governments to ensure a just transition to a vibrant, carbon-free economy,” said Yussuff.

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