Saskatchewan’s Briarpatch magazine has published a Special Issue on Just Transition. It is a treasure trove of inspiring on-the-ground perspectives and information from Canadians working for an economic Just Transition.
All the articles are worth reading, but here are some highlights:
“How will we pay for a Just Transition” expresses doubt that we can rely on the usual government policies to finance meaningful transition – for example, it reviews the One Million Climate Jobs campaign of the Green Economy Network and the inadequate response by the Trudeau government. Instead, the article provides examples of more innovative models of worker ownership and cooperation which support redistribution of wealth and financial capital. First, The Working World, which launched in 2015 in Buenos Aires to finance employee ownership of non-extractive businesses, and now administers a “financial commons” Peer Network . The Working World has inspired other projects, such as the Just Transition Loan Fund and Incubator and the Reinvest in Our Power projects , being launched by the U.S. Climate Justice Alliance . The article discusses the role of philanthropy, specifically the U.S. Chorus Foundation, which states that it “works for a just transition to a regenerative economy in the United States.” In Canada, a much smaller similar philanthropic initiative is the Resource Movement, a project of Tides Canada, which gathers “ young people with wealth and class privilege working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land and power.”
- “What’s in a Just Transition”, which reports on a roundtable of social justice activists from different movements (immigrant, first nations, climate justice, and BlueGreen Canada) . Speakers provide their own definitions of Just Transition, and cite examples, including: Canada’s Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities ; Lubicon Solar , a renewable energy project on First Nations territory in Alberta’s Peace River; the Black Mesa Coalition of the Navajo Nation; and Souladarity , an energy democracy coalition in Highland Park, near Detroit.
- “This is what Indigenous energy sovereignty looks like” which profiles Indigenous Climate Action and Lubicon Solar;
- “Decentralizing climate justice in Halifax” , which describes the climate justice community of the city, including the Imagining 2030 Network;
- “Bridging the gap with Saskatchewan’s coal communities: A just transition case study” a brief description of the interaction between climate activists and 17 people in the coal mining communities of Estevan and Coronach (the full report , The Future of Coal in Saskatchewan, was published by Climate Justice Saskatoon in late 2018);
- “Confronting economic barriers to a Just Transition”, a conversation amongst six economists from Concordia, McGill, York, and St.-Paul University, as well as the Co-Executive Director of The Leap. It ends with this quote: “A just transition in Canada may seem like a huge, insurmountable task,” …. “But actually, if you look, there are so many stories of deindustrialization, of reinvention, of shifting economies, of redistributions, of land reform. Our imagination can be fuelled by sharing these stories. We need to recuperate these histories of transformation to help us remember what’s possible.”