Labour, Environment Group Calls For Strong, Fair Canadian Global Warming Law
Green job creation should guide cap and trade design
Toronto, ON – Two of Canada’s leading labour and environmental organizations called on Ottawa today to design a Canadian global warming response that achieves environmental goals while creating good green jobs across the country that is fair to all economic sectors and provinces.
The United Steelworkers and Environmental Defence, working together in the Blue Green Canada partnership, released recommendations for a national cap and trade system designed to reduce global warming pollution.
“Our union and Canada’s labour movement has long supported tackling global warming,” said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director for Canada. “We see this as a potential instrument of economic recovery and the rebuilding of manufacturing in this country – but only if the rules are written properly.”
The federal government is currently working on a cap and trade design, and says it will release different pieces of it in advance of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December.
“This is a critical decision to be made – one that will shape Canada’s economic and environmental policy for the next several generations,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “There are issues of national importance that need debating, including whether the system will be fair by requiring similar cuts across all economic sectors and provinces, and not favouring the tar sands.”
The Blue Green Canada document, Cap and Trade Design Principles for Canada, is based on six key principles:
1.    A cap on emissions should be imposed based on what science says is needed to protect our environment;
2.    The cap should cover as many emitting activities as possible, and close any loopholes;
3.    The system should promote the creation and retention of good green Canadian jobs;
4.    The system should reduce global emissions rather than shift carbon-emitting industries to countries with weaker standards;  
5.    Canada has a unique responsibility to regulate emissions from the oil sands; and
6.    The program should direct cap and trade revenues and allowances domestically to public benefit. Revenues should also be directed internationally to help support clean economic development in emerging economies.
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Cap and Trade Design Principles for Canada can be downloaded for free on the Blue Green Canada web site at www.bluegreencanada.ca.
For more information or to arrange interviews contact:
Bob Gallagher, United Steelworkers, (416) 544-5966; (416) 434-2221 (cell)
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232: (647) 280-9521 (cell)
About Blue Green Canada (www.bluegreencanada.ca): Blue Green Canada is an alliance between the United Steelworkers (USW) and Environmental Defence to advocate for working people and the environment in key areas of global trade, the use of toxic chemicals in commercial activity, the creation of green manufacturing jobs, and in the development of strategies to address climate change. This alliance builds on the work of the USW to create a safe and healthy workplace and of Environmental Defence to protect the environment and human health.