Lois Corbett appointed co-chair of federal government’s Just Transition Task Force for coal phase out

25 April 2018

OTTAWA —  The Conservation Council’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, has been appointed by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Hon. Catherine McKenna, as the co-chair of the Just Transition Task Force for coal workers and communities.

Created in response to the federal government’s commitment to phase-out coal-fired electricity by 2030, the task force will work with Minister McKenna to develop recommendations to ensure a fair transition for workers and communities, like those in northern New Brunswick, who are directly impacted by the accelerated phase-out of coal-fired electricity in Canada.

“Moving toward a coal-free Canada is a smart step for protecting Canadians’ health and safety and building strong, sustainable communities in a changing climate,” says Corbett. “I’m looking forward to working with the Minister and my colleagues on the Task Force to help workers and communities, from Belledune in northern New Brunswick to HR Milner in western Alberta, move smoothly and fairly into stronger local economies in the fast-growing renewable energy sector.”

More Canadians already work in renewable energy than the oil and gas sector, while jobs in solar and wind energy have doubled worldwide since 2012, employing nearly 10 million people. The cost of both solar power and battery storage has fallen by 73 per cent since 2010.

Countries around the world are protecting citizens’ health and seizing opportunities in the renewable sector by phasing out coal-fired electricity. All G7 nations have committed to phasing out coal, including Britain, the UK and Italy by 2025, and France by 2022.The Powering Past Coal Alliance, led by Canada and the UK, has more than 20 member nations and states committed to an accelerated coal phase-out, as well as two dozen global business members, including Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Unilever, and Salesforce. The alliance represents a combined wealth of more than $170 billion.

Corbett is joined as co-chair by Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff. The task force is slated to deliver its final report and recommendations to the Minister by the end of 2018.

For more information:

To arrange an interview, please contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, 506-238-3539; jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

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