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Cut emissions twice as fast, ease worker anxiety, advocates say post-election

Last Updated Nov 1, 2019 at 11:04 am PDT

A flare stack lights the sky from the Imperial Oil refinery in Edmonton on December 28, 2018. A coalition of climate change advocates say the new Parliament needs to stop letting anxieties in the oil patch threaten progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Action Network Canada along with representatives from Unifor, Lead Now, Greenpeace and 350.org say climate was the biggest factor in this election and the parties that ran on climate platforms owe it to voters to cooperate quickly to respond. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Summary

Advocate Catherine Abreu says Canada must cut emissions more than twice as fast as the current plan does

She says it will be equally important to develop a plan to address the fears oilpatch workers have about their jobs

OTTAWA — A coalition of climate-change advocates is urging the new Parliament to prevent anxieties in the oilpatch from threatening progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Action Network Canada, along with representatives from Unifor, Leadnow, Greenpeace and 350.org, say climate was the biggest factor in the recent federal election and that those who ran on climate platforms owe it to voters to organize a coordinated response.

Network executive director Catherine Abreu says if Canada is to do its fair share in the global fight against climate change, it must cut emissions more than twice as fast as the current plan does.

But she says it will be equally important to develop a plan to address the fears oilpatch workers have about their livelihoods in the transition to a greener economy.

“This was truly Canada’s first climate election,” she says. “We need to use climate action as an opportunity to build those new jobs and those new economic sectors that will ensure workers and communities are safe into the future.”

Abreu says politicians are wielding worker anxiety as a “political weapon” rather than easing their fears with training and new jobs.

The federal Liberals promised legislation to ensure a just transition during the campaign, but there is no word yet on what that would actually entail.