Would going green create a jobs boom?

Workers could benefit big time from Canada slashing its carbon emissions, according to a new study

Would going green create a jobs boom?
The process of reducing Canada’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 could create nearly 20 million green jobs, a thinktank says.

A new report from the Columbia Institute, commissioned by Canada’s Building Trades Unions, says working to achieve that greenhouse gas reduction target would generate a jobs boom.

“In total, meeting Canada’s climate goals could generate over 3.9 million direct jobs in the building trades by 2050, and 19.8 million jobs if induced, indirect, and supply-chain jobs are included,” the report says.

Those construction jobs include 1.9 million non-residential building construction jobs in green buildings and net-zero retrofits; 1.1 million jobs building a future-focused renewable electricity grid; 245,000 urban transit construction jobs.

The report acknowledges the challenges a sudden greening would pose to Canada’s oil-reliant economy and workforce.

However, Canada’s Building Trades Unions operating officer Bob Blakely says the report doesn’t imply a sudden end to oil and gas extraction, “but it does mean a shift in how fossil fuels are used and in what quantities”.

Columbia Institute’s executive director Charley Beresford says if Canada is to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement, “we need to move faster in areas like renewable
energy, green building construction, building retrofits, and transportation infrastructure”.

Canada has set target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Asked for its response to the study, a spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change told HRD the government was “committed to creating a cleaner, more innovative economy that reduces emissions and protects the environment, while creating well-paying jobs and promoting robust economic growth”.

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