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Learning from the German experience

We can learn a lot about sustainable jobs and renewable energy if we look beyond our borders. 

Essen, GermanyWhen Iron & Earth’s Executive Director Luisa Da Silva talked with freelance broadcaster Don Hill, she was in Essen Germany, once the heart of coal mining and steel production in the country.

Now it is home to one of the largest renewable energy producers in Germany, and in 2017 was named the European Green Capital. More that 13,000 workers are employed in the city's resource efficiency sector and Essen-based companies supply energy to more than 14,000,000 customers in Germany.

It is a city that recognized early on that the shift to energy diversification led by renewable energy, was a global movement and not one that was bound by geo-political boundaries.

German Structural Change tour participantsThe result is that 43 percent of electricity in Germany comes from renewable energy sources.

Luisa is there as part of a  Structural Change in Germany Tour along with representatives from several countries including  the UK, Ivory Coast, Bulgaria, and the US.

The German transition kept quality of life, fairness to all workers, cross-generational responsibility, and transparency at the forefront of its mission. 

As you’ll hear in this podcast episode, Canada is in a position to make sustainable jobs an economic winner as long as we too keep workers and the climate at the top of the agenda.
The world will always need energy in some form. It is just a question of how we produce the energy.




Iron & Earth is committed to partnering with Indigenous workers to empower their communities to become self-sufficient in training programs, clean energy transition projects, and employment opportunities to combat environmental racism. It falls to all of us to continue the work of healing and reconciliation in our communities and our organizations. Our relationship with the land and the people who live here shapes who we are. It is in the spirit of reconciliation and honouring the past that we recognize treaties and agreements wherever they are and wherever we work.

We also acknowledge all peoples who live, work, and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.
As individuals and teams we may make mistakes along the way, but we are dedicated to growth, openness, compassion, and forgiveness. These principles in our work are essential to building successful and healthy relationships with individuals, communities, organizations, and governments.

We look forward to building a path to lead us to a better relationship with Indigenous nations and the environment around us based on peace, friendship, and respect.