Just transition task force

Backgrounder

In implementing Canada’s clean-growth and climate action plan, the Government of Canada is committed to adopting fair and flexible approaches that help Canadian workers and businesses realize opportunities in the clean-growth economy.

The phase-out of traditional coal power will have impacts on coal workers and communities. We are launching the Task Force on the Just Transition for Canadian Coal-Power Workers and Communities to provide the government with expert advice on how to make that transition a fair one.

A “just transition” is an approach to economic and environmental policy that aims to minimize the impact on workers and communities, in the transition to a low-carbon economy. This approach includes involving workers and their communities in decisions that would affect their livelihoods, identifying and supporting economic opportunities for the future, and helping workers and communities to succeed and benefit from the transition.

The Task Force will include representatives with expertise in sustainable development, workforce development, and the electricity sector and representatives from labour associations, unions, and municipalities. From March until the end of 2018, the Task Force will hear from workers and communities affected by the coal phase-out and will consult stakeholder groups and governments. It will report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, with recommendations about how best to support coal workers and communities, in a successful transition.

Canada and the international clean-energy transition

The international Powering Past Coal Alliance unites a diverse range of governments, businesses, and organizations, in taking action to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity generation. The Alliance members commit to achieving this transition in a sustainable and economically inclusive way, while providing appropriate support for workers and communities. As a founding partner in the Alliance, Canada has taken a leadership role in the phase-out of coal power.

In December 2017, Canada and the World Bank announced a partnership to work together to accelerate the energy transition in developing countries and, together with the International Trade Union Confederation, to provide analysis to support efforts toward a just transition away from coal.

The findings of the Task Force will be an important contribution from Canada to the international movement to support the clean-energy transition. Canada will work together with partners to share real-world examples and best practices to support the phase-out of coal globally.


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