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Private Members Resolution

May 18th, 2022

Just Transition Legislation for Newfoundland and Labrador

Speaker, I give notice of the following Private Member’s Motion, which will be seconded by the Member for Labrador West:


Whereas the science unmistakably tells us that we need a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 90% reduction by 2050 in order to avoid ruinous climate change;


Whereas the Secretary-General of the United Nations recently noted that “addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction” and that “the world is sleepwalking to climate catastrophe;”


Whereas the effects of climate change are already harming the people of this province according to the final report of the Health Accord, through more frequent and destructive weather events, disappearing sea ice in Labrador, or through toxic pollution;


Whereas any new development of offshore oil and gas extraction is incompatible with keeping our international commitments, meeting our obligations to future generations, and averting global disaster;


Whereas the major economic transformations of the past were carried out without consideration for workers in phased-out industries;


Whereas former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney stated in the fall of 2021 that the green transition is “the greatest commercial opportunity of our age,” and estimates from Stanford University predict the creation of one to three million new jobs in Canada as we transition towards safe and renewable energy;


Whereas Newfoundland and Labrador stands to gain by entering early in the green technology sector, since we are blessed with some of the strongest renewable energy resources in North America, a rapidly growing technology sector, world-class education and research facilities, and opportunities to gain federal funding for building this industry;


Whereas our workers in the oil and gas sector already have the skills and know-how needed to build the new green industries and are therefore well placed to take advantage of this unique opportunity;


Whereas a 2021 survey conducted by The Atlantic Quarterly found that more than four out of five Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians not only wanted a transition to renewable and efficient energy, but also support for affected workers;


Therefore be it resolved that this government prepare for the coming decline of the fossil fuel industry and make sure that affected workers themselves become leaders of the change by introducing Just Transition legislation in this House, ensuring high-quality, union jobs, guaranteeing workers who want to enter the new industries receive the supports they need to do so, and ensuring local communities are the primary beneficiaries of the green transformation;


Be it further resolved that this government recognize the gravity of the climate emergency by introducing a Climate and Energy bill in this House that stipulates a planned phase-out of the oil and gas industry, sets clear targets so that by 2050, 85% or more of total energy consumption in this province is clean energy, guarantees that all renewable energy production, distribution, and service remain in public hands, and commits to positioning our economy, research centres, and businesses to benefit from provincial, national, and international efforts to create new renewable energy resources in wind, hydro, and solar; and


Be it further resolved that this House urge the government to establish a new statutory Office of Climate Accountability with a Climate Accountability Officer, whose mandate would be to guide policy and targets, work with industry to help advance low-carbon industry and infrastructure, and review, audit, and report to this House annually on government, business, and economy-wide progress on legislated reductions of greenhouse gas pollution of 45% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

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