Final Report by the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities: section 9

Part 4: Conclusion

Climate change is happening now and we need to take serious action if we are to prevent catastrophic impacts. Canada is not alone in experiencing the impacts of climate change or in taking action to reduce the GHG emissions that are causing these changes. Over 180 countries are committed to doing their part to limit climate change, including countries that use coal to generate electricity.

Coal-fired electricity is one of the largest contributors to climate change, both globally and within Canada. It also has serious human health and local environmental impacts. That is why the Government of Canada is phasing it out and investing in the adoption of innovative clean energy solutions.

Actions on climate change, like the phase-out of coal, must however acknowledge and minimize the real-life impacts on workers, their families, and their communities. Additional and dedicated supports are needed in order for affected workers and communities to succeed throughout and beyond the transition. Some workers and communities, namely those in Alberta, are already urgently in need of federal support to complement their province’s initiatives.

By creating this Task Force, the Government of Canada has set expectations that it is serious in its commitment to support a just and fair transition for Canadian coal power workers and communities. Hearing directly from coal workers, their families, and communities underscored the need for just transition.

We urge the Government of Canada to turn commitment into action and advance our recommendations by providing just transition supports in three areas: Foundational, Workers, and Communities.

We expect the Government to go beyond the funding announced in Budget 2018 and provide increased and targeted investments in Budget 2019 and future budgets to achieve the Government of Canada’s goal of a truly just transition.

The Government of Canada has a window of opportunity, as well as the tools, authorities, and resources to not only adopt and implement our recommendations, but to demonstrate global leadership in “just transition” to a low-carbon economy.

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