SIGN NOW: JOIN FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY WORKERS
CALLING FOR A GREEN RECOVERY
SIGN NOW: JOIN FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY WORKERS CALLING FOR A GREEN RECOVERY
Oil giant BP just announced that the world has likely hit peak oil and demand will decline rapidly into the future1. Meanwhile, workers across the country are struggling with the economic effects of the COVD-19 pandemic.
As fossil fuel industry workers, and friends and family of those in the energy industry, we know fossil fuels have contributed significantly to our lives and economy. We also know it’s time to forge a sustainable energy future that creates over a million new careers.
Canada’s energy workers have the skills needed to build the new, net-zero economy and kickstart Canada’s recovery from the pandemic.
That’s why we have developed a four point plan to rapidly mobilize our workforce and upgrade our economy to meet the demands of this transition and recovery.
But in order to create these jobs and make green recovery happen, we need massive federal government investment now.
Right now, the federal government is deciding how much to invest in the future of energy workers and economic recovery. This is our chance to win bold federal investment and ensure long term job security for every energy worker in Canada.
If thousands of fossil fuel industry workers and supporters call for a $110 billion federal investment over ten years in a green and prosperous transition, we can push Ottawa to act and make sure Canada doesn’t miss out on the jobs, technology, and future we all deserve.
Let's keep this momentum going!
1624 people have signed their support
To the Trudeau government:
Invest $110 billion in a green recovery as outlined in Iron & Earth’s four point plan, including training for fossil fuel industry workers to build the new, net-zero economy.
OUR FOUR POINT PLAN
Iron & Earth is a worker-led not-for-profit with a mission to empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to build and implement climate solutions.
Our plan would invest in upgrading four elements of our economy.
Iron & Earth’s four point plan for a green recovery is a blueprint for economic transformation, powered by the ideas and voices of fossil fuel industry workers calling for change.
We are calling on the federal government to commit $110 billion over 10 years to create over 1 million climate careers that will kick-start Canada’s economic recovery and transition to a net-zero emissions economy.
Canada’s economy faces three challenges — recovering forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, decarbonizing our economy, and addressing inequality to ensure a prosperous future for all. The new economy must also be grounded in recognition of Indigenous peoples’ right to be self-determining over their own lands and resources. Our four point plan identifies how to leverage the existing skill sets and expertise of fossil fuel industry workers and Indigenous communities to help build a net-zero economy.
Since Iron & Earth’s launch in 2016, we have been in continuous conversation with workers and industry leaders on how we successfully transition Canada into a net-zero economy. Our four point plan for a green recovery synthesizes these insights, proposing four broad-reaching national initiatives to upgrade our workforce, businesses, infrastructure and environment to meet the demands of this moment and the needs of future generations.
Now is the time for bold federal policy to guide our economy into the future, by implementing these four national initiatives that will bring broad benefits to workers, families, communities and the environment.
#1 Upgrading our workforce
A National Upskilling Initiative to rapidly upskill fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers for careers in the net-zero economy.
A National Upskilling Initiative would rapidly upskill fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers for careers in the net-zero economy. It would offer training that enhances the skills of direct and indirect workers in the fossil fuel industry, including prioritizing access for Indigenous workers and workers who currently face barriers to participating in the industry. Upskilling should be designed to match emerging demand in net-zero industries, ensuring employability of the trainees while also ensuring employers have access to the skilled workforce they require for their projects.
#2 Upgrading our businesses
A National Repositioning Initiative to support businesses to retool manufacturing capacities and pivot business services to meet emerging demand in net-zero industries.
A National Repositioning Initiative would support businesses to retool manufacturing capacities and to pivot their business service offerings to meet emerging demand in net-zero industries. Retooling programs and policies would support manufacturers in retooling and upgrading their facilities to extend production capability into the net-zero markets. Pivoting programs and policies would support contractors, consultants and service providers to position themselves competitively in the zero emissions economy.
#3 Upgrading our infrastructure
A National Retrofit & Repurpose Initiative to reduce carbon intensity of existing infrastructure and repurpose old infrastructure for new uses.
A National Retrofitting & Repurposing Initiative envisions creating the conditions to advance near and mid-term goals for the energy transition by building on existing infrastructure, either to reduce the emissions footprint of operational assets or to put redundant or at risk assets into the service of the net-zero economy. This includes 1) retrofitting all existing infrastructure to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and 2) repurposing underutilized or abandoned infrastructure for new net-zero projects.
#4 Revitalize our environment
A National Nature-Based Solutions Initiative to support and strengthen ecosystems, carbon sinks and green infrastructure.
A National Nature-Based Solutions Initiative would scale up projects ranging from forest protection and restoration initiatives, to projects that incorporate natural ecosystems into industrial operations. Oil producing countries are well suited to implement a range of nature-based solutions because fossil fuel industries have for many decades been mandated to reclaim and restore natural areas following extraction of natural resources. Therefore, there is a large workforce of environmental service providers that can diversify and pivot into a range of growing NBS projects.
Iron & Earth’s call for federal investment reflects calculations contained in the Corporate Knights’ $110 billion recovery plan2 “Building Back Better with a Bold Green Recovery”, endorsed by 40 major business leaders (including Suncor Energy, Teck Resources, Siemens Canada). The plan will trigger an additional $681 billion of private investment creating and preserving more than 6.3 million years of employment in the next decade, while delivering substantial carbon reductions and $44 billion annually in energy savings to Canadians. This federal contribution would be front-loaded, with more than $40 billion committed in the first two years, with half of the early funding earmarked to deliver broad and immediate job benefits.
Of this $110 billion, $61 billion should be invested as outlined in Iron & Earth’s four point plan.
We also support the aligned call to action from the Canadian Labour Congress, the largest labour organization in Canada which represents more than 3 million workers across the country, for the federal government to commit $81 billion over 5 years to expand renewable energy, home and building retrofits, public transit, and Just Transition measures supporting workers and their families3.
Public funding for green recovery and stimulus efforts must come with “green strings” attached to ensure that investments align with Canada’s climate and workforce priorities. We support the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s principles and conditions for a green recovery4.
Iron & Earth is also a signatory to the 6 Principles for a Just Recovery5, which we believe should be a standard lens to view all economic stimulus investments.
READ MORE ABOUT OUR VISION FOR A PROSPEROUS TRANSITION
Iron & Earth defines a ‘prosperous transition’ as the process of upgrading our economy and society to achieve multi-generational prosperity for people and the planet. Therefore, this transition must strive for equity, fairness and well-being for all workers, families, communities and the natural environment. Many of the solutions required to power the transition are already available and ready to scale. Our challenge is to create and implement a blueprint to rapidly upgrade the world’s workforces, manufacturing facilities, businesses, infrastructure and environment to support these solutions and streamline the transition. Along the way, we must ensure that those who are currently the most vulnerable and marginalized within our current energy economy can meaningfully participate in, and benefit from, this transition.
Indigenous Economic Leadership and Self-Determination
The new economy must be grounded in recognition of Indigenous peoples’ right to be self-determining over their own lands and resources. Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities have an opportunity to build a prosperous transition together, one that is based on a principled, rights-based approach. Indigenous communities are already at the forefront of the energy transition, drawing on traditional knowledge about living in balance and abundance on the land while applying new skills and innovations to meet the challenges of our times. The journey to deliver decentralized, independent zero-emission energy offers an opportunity for Indigenous communities to attain ‘energy sovereignty’ and new prosperity grounded in self-determination.
Shovel-Worthy Net-Zero Solutions
Achieving a net-zero world will call for a vast array of technologies and nature-based solutions, from emerging zero-emission energy sources to ‘negative emission technologies’ that remove existing atmospheric carbon. Many transformational solutions are already available to us, including those rigorously vetted by Project Drawdown6. In addition, the Energy Futures Lab has identified ‘five ‘shovel-worthy’ technologies’7 well suited to mobilize fossil fuel industry workers, stakeholders and infrastructure as a foundation of the transition. Although many of these solutions are being implemented around the world, they require policies, strategies, and above all vision and leadership, to introduce them into the mainstream at scale.
Achieving net-zero requires us to understand the interconnectedness of social and economic factors and the varied characteristics of our geographic regions. The pathway to net-zero must be paved with realistic, pragmatic, and intersecting steps. The journey will be decades-long but the groundwork, in terms of investment in technology, infrastructure, manufacture and training, must begin immediately with stimulus funding focused towards a green recovery.
Prosperity for All Workers
Re-envisioning and re-shaping the world’s energy infrastructure to deliver net-zero by 2050 calls for bold action that will create many millions of new jobs, even as traditional jobs are gradually superseded. The drive toward net-zero will also create demand for expertise in new sectors with entirely new job descriptions, requiring workers to adjust to this dynamic environment. As such, it is critical to illuminate pathways for change, supporting workers undergoing transition, and enabling them to thrive and support others, in turn, to make the switch. The urgent nature of the transition cannot rely solely on ‘organic’ job growth or purely market-driven mechanisms—clean energy roles must instead be created by a series of measures that are calibrated, cooperative and comprehensive.
Prosperity for Families
The global pandemic has given us fresh insights into the value of the diverse skills that contribute to our economy and we must strive to ensure that all workers earn a fair, living wage that is sufficient to support a family. In a transforming economy, we must adopt new and more relevant metrics to assess the well-being of society, measures that give us insights of far greater value than ‘gross domestic product’. And, as jobs evolve, we must ensure prioritization of continuous skill development, along with equal opportunity and access to secure, well-paid and durable jobs, so that no family gets left behind. Existing studies point to the potential marginalization of Indigenous, immigrant and racialized groups, and also of women unless equity is made a central priority of social and economic transition from the outset. It bears repeating that ‘equity for all’ is a lens through which we must view all proposed recovery measures.
Prosperity for Communities
A prosperous transition would enhance the quality of life and the cohesion of communities through projects providing decentralized power, localized agriculture, urban greening, zero-emission transportation and more. Development planning should ensure that knowledge and skills are imparted to community members to a degree that enables members to secure employment on projects within or near their community. Additionally, projects should include community benefits agreements and provisions for community ownership where possible. The energy transition can potentially enable more uniform distribution of opportunity that builds resilience and restores community pride.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of our globalized supply chains. In order to ensure that the global economy will not break under the strain of future global emergencies, the supply chains of individual regions need to be diversified and strengthened. Therefore, national and community resilience must be at the forefront of our planning for the net-zero economy.
Prosperity and Stewardship of the Environment A prosperous transition must be framed around maintaining the thresholds of the 9 key planetary boundaries8, including:
- Climate change
- Ocean acidification
- Stratospheric ozone depletion
- Bio-geochemical flow (Nitrogen and phosphorus cycle)
- Global freshwater use
- Change in land use
- Biodiversity loss
- Atmospheric aerosol loading
- Chemical pollution