Green Jobs Profile
As Canada’s Columbia Institute explains, countries worldwide are planning the “decarbonizing” of infrastructure, industries, and economies as part of their commitment to the Paris Agreement. This shift is gaining momentum and will impact all sectors of our society to a more sustainable future.
The transitioning to a green economy driven by automation and globalization has reflected rapid technological change, a highly skilled labour force, operations management and skilled trades. In 2019, Statistics Canada reported 40,289 environmental jobs in the waste management industry and 82,312 in clean technology associated with a low carbon economy. EcoCanada breaks green jobs down further as: environmental protection, resource management, and sustainability.
This complexity characterizes Canada’s green workforce as well spread out across the nation, offering competitive salaries and potentially cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary jobs. In 2018, green jobs were listed in 90% of the 500 jobs listed in Canada’s Occupational Classification Codes. Keeping up is thus challenging as new areas open and existing jobs become green.
Future Green Job Growth
Columbia Institute predicts the construction industry as vital in moving to a low-carbon economy and green jobs, with new investment in housing, buildings, factories, and basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, rail, ports, dams, power stations, rapid transit, materials, finished goods, and public infrastructure projects (such as water and sewage lines, power and communication lines).
The International Labour Organization speaks to four major labour market shifts currently underway – job creation, substitution, transformation and elimination. Accelerated growth is most likely with utilities, waste management, remediation, and professional, scientific and technical services (with clean technology). Altered sectors will see growth more or less constant with practices changing given a shifting demand for low polluting and resource-efficient products/services, for example, forestry, agriculture, construction, mining and manufacturing. Emerging sub-sectors for jobs will be found in both the above including battery storage, solar photovoltaic within utilities and possibly low carbon vehicles within manufacturing. Contracting sectors will see a significant decline in jobs growth, as production costs rise and businesses substitute inputs and consumers substitute purchases for greener options, for example, in petroleum refining, iron and steel production.
Columbia Institute indicates meeting Canada’s climate goal could result in 3,967,400 direct green construction jobs by 2050 in the building trades (such as new facilities for electricity generation relying on renewable energy and nuclear power, efficient buildings, and new transportation infrastructure). When induced, indirect and supply chain jobs are added, that number could increase by a factor of five, or 19,800,000 jobs.
Policies for a just transition to green jobs – the Smart Prosperity Institute states green transition changes will need policymakers to adapt to pressures from an evolving workforce and technological landscape that cannot be fully predicted in advance. In addition to 1diverse barriers faced by historically marginalized groups, require a smart combination of programs and targeted measures to assist vulnerable workers in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Governments, employers, unions and non-profits will need to work together, and workers and job seekers will need to be involved at all stages of this transition.
Support for green jobs exists across Canada, for example, the Green Municipal Fund helps municipalities with projects from climate change to sustainable growth. To help the green economy, the next step is a comprehensive ‘Just Transition Strategy’ that builds on the loss of fossil fuel jobs, for instance, as Canada phases out electricity production using coal by 2030 toward achieving its Paris Agreement targets. Just Transition also involves local supply chains and local employment impacts. The federal government was expected to pass the Act this year but the pandemic has caused delay. Parliament also announced August 21, they are looking to a green and equitable restart this fall given drastic pandemic job setbacks since March.
Activity Ranking: *** Moving in the Right Direction
Strandberg Consulting predicts Canada will see environmental employment growth in the near future. This confidence is driven by: environmental regulation, growing public and consumer awareness, businesses needing to reduce costs and liabilities, baby boomer retirements, increases in energy and commodity prices, growth in emerging economies, growth in clean tech investing, deteriorating infrastructure, smart growth development with population growth and city migration, growing interest in ecosystem services, declining natural resources and need for eco-efficiency and technological innovation.
To request action, please contact Ministers Tassi and Wilkinson, with the following message:
It is laudable Canada has given many resources to the unprecedented pandemic needs of Canadians. The pandemic forces us to build for the future. We ask that you endorse the Canadian Task Force for a Resilient Recovery’s recent July report to invest $27.3 billion in green infrastructure projects, such as energy-efficient buildings, clean energy and a net zero resiliency building code to secure an economic recovery with staying power, job growth, emissions reductions, and return-on-investment while achieving Canada’s Paris Agreement targets.
The HonourableFilomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Development Canada
Mail: House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: 1 613 992-1034
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Mail: House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: 1 613 995-1225
We also invite Canada Green Building Council, to share and take action on our document with its associates. https://www.cagbc.org/, email firstname.lastname@example.org and phone 1-866-941-1184.
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Canada Country Manager Diane Szoller
For more information please email Climate Scorecard Canadian Country Manager: Diane Szoller at Canada@climatescorecard.org