Pembina Institute welcomes Building It Green for upskilling workers, green retrofitsIncreased union training capacity important step for future green building sector

Feb. 9, 2024

Spire Landing, Passive House rental apartment building, Vancouver. July 6, 2018. Photo: Stephen Hui, Pembina Institute.

Spire Landing, Passive House rental apartment building, Vancouver. July 6, 2018. Photo: Stephen Hui, Pembina Institute

TORONTO - Kendall Anderson, director of the Equitable Transition program, and Betsy Agar, director of the Buildings program, released the following statement in response to the announcement of the Building It Green initiative

“Pembina welcomes Wednesday’s announcement by Canada’s Building Trade Union of the pilot implementation of the Building It Green initiative. Credible, non-profit training centres like those run by Canada’s Building Trades Unions are well positioned to deliver the kind of training architecture that will arm workers with skills that lead to meaningful careers. This can simultaneously help to remedy skills shortages and capitalize on the human resources needed to build a clean economy.

“We are pleased that Employment and Social Development Canada has invested $4.7 million into this comprehensive climate-focused construction education curriculum. This major investment in workforce readiness, targeted at climate, is precisely the kind of spending that we need to see more of in Canada. Equipping workers with skills in the buildings sector brings us one step closer to achieving emissions reductions in Canada’s third highest emitting sector.

“Workers across all stages of their career rely on these kinds of signals from the government that make it clear Canada is committed to reducing emissions from the buildings sector and plans to leverage Canadian talent to do so. Youth contemplating occupation pathways will have greater confidence knowing there are real, practical ways to participate in sustainable jobs and solve the challenges of climate change.”
—Kendall Anderson, director, Equitable Transition, Pembina Institute

“Pembina recently released a report estimating that jobs in the low-carbon buildings sector will grow by 352,000 jobs by 2050. We have also shown how strategic investments in building retrofits alone could create up to 200,000 lasting, well-paid jobs over the next 20 years and generate more than $48 billion in economic development each year.

“This investment comes at a critical juncture as green retrofits must be accelerated and implemented at-scale to reduce emissions, limit total energy use, lower household spending and provide protection from extreme weather events. Aligning workforce development efforts with these important climate initiatives is a win for the climate and for workers.”
—Betsy Agar, director, Buildings, Pembina Institute

Laurence Miall
(English / français)
Communications Manager, Pembina Institute


Report: A Sustainable Jobs Blueprint Part II: Putting workers and communities at the centre of Canada’s net-zero energy economy

Blog: Canada’s Renovation Wave: A plan for jobs and climate



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