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Workers' Climate Plan Media Summary

What is the Workers’ Climate Plan?

  • The plan is a blueprint for gettingCanada’s energy sector back to work, developed by workers with experience in the energy industry

  • Energy workers are currently dealing with some of the greatest challenges of their careers — they deserve lasting solutions that create good-paying, sustainable jobs

Who developed the plan?

  • The process was started by Iron & Earth, an organization led by skilled tradespeople who have worked in Canada’s oil industry

  • From June to October, Iron & Earth reached out to energy sector workers online, over the phone and in-person to consult with them and gather their input

  • Iron & Earth also consulted with energy sector stakeholders to devise policy recommendations based on what workers are asking for

What are you recommending?

The Workers’ Climate Plan process identified four key areas for government action:

  1. Build up Canada’s renewable energy workforce by rapidly upskilling energy sector workers through short-term training programs and expanding apprenticeships

  2. Build up the manufacturing capacity of renewable energy products through the retooling and advancement of existing manufacturing facilities

  3. Help existing energy-sector unions, contractors, manufacturers and developers transition to renewable energy through incubator programs and multi-stakeholder collaboration

  4. Upgrade existing non-renewable energy infrastructure by integrating renewable technologies and industrial-scale energy efficiency into that infrastructure

Why now?

  • There is a brief window of opportunity: large-scale renewable energy projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan will start ramping up in 2018. Canada needs to proactively prepare the workforce and industry to harness our country’s energy sector specializations

  • The federal government is currently developing a pan-Canadian climate and clean energy growth strategy. It must ensure continued job opportunities for energy sector workers

  • Up to $50 billion will be invested in renewable energy over the next 14 years in Alberta and Saskatchewan, according to Siemens Canada, because of new energy policies

  • Many of these dollars will flow out of Canada, and to countries with more established renewable energy industries, unless Canada expands our own renewable energy sector

What is needed for workers to make this transition?

  • Most workers who responded to the Workers’ Climate Plan survey say their skills could be applied to renewable energy projects either with some retraining (64%) or immediately without any retraining (16%)

  • The federal government must invest in specific training opportunities for the rapid upskilling of energy sector  workers, and support job growth in the renewable sector, to make that possible

  • The compatibility of existing skills with renewables is extensive: electricians are needed to install solar panels, welders are needed to build wind turbines, boilermakers and pipefitters are needed to build biomass and biofuel systems, drilling engineers are needed to locate and maintain geothermal wells, and so on

Where can I learn more?

  • The full plan includes quotes and photos from workers, full results from the consultation, as well as more details about the policy recommendations

The Workers’ Climate Plan is available online at 

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.