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

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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 co-ordinated 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.

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.