Building Momentum for a Just Transition in Canada

Perspectives from civil society

By Estan Beedell, Vanessa Corkal on April 15, 2021
  • “International solidarity with movements in the Global South must be a priority as we face climate catastrophes and the pandemic’s unequal toll.” A #JustTransition must look beyond Canada’s borders and do no harm to workers in the developing world.

  • There can be no solution to the climate change crisis or the inequality crisis without addressing both through #JustTransition measures.

  • “Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities have an opportunity to build a prosperous transition together, one that is based on a principled, rights-based approach.” A #JustTransition must uphold Indigenous rights in energy policy & planning.

Widespread calls for a just and green recovery continue to underscore Canada’s urgent challenge to transition to a low-carbon economy in a way that supports workers and communities. What are some of the paths forward to build momentum for this transition? Much potential lies in channelling and connecting existing efforts among civil society and organized labour, who have been calling for a just transition since far before the pandemic.

In this study, the International Institute for Sustainable Development sought to identify how these groups define the just transition they are working toward, including what their goals and strategies are and key opportunities that could further just transition implementation and collaboration in Canada. To do so, we conducted surveys and semi-structured interviews with 48 organizations in Canada, including organized labour, environmental, Indigenous, and social organizations.

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