Job Market Trends and News

20M greener jobs on way if Canada goes carbon-neutral: B.C. report

It was sweltering and hazy at midday Thurday on a bustling apartment construction site in Vancouver, as a crane lowered cargo past exposed storeys to women and men wearing sticker-covered hardhats far below.

One headware decal stands out, however: "Green jobs, great jobs," it reads. The helmet belongs to Lee Loftus, president of the B.C. Building Trades. A new Columbia Institute report estimates that Canada going carbon-neutral could generate nearly 20 million jobs by 2050, one-in-five of them in construction.

Exceeding Ottawa's current goal — to reduce emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 — won't just benefit the Earth. There's a significant boost to gender equality too, the institute's Charley Beresford told Metro, because women are a rapidly-growing force in the sector, particularly as it retrains and transitions to greener skillsets.

Last year, B.C. had nearly 4,000 women apprenticing in 72 trades, according to the province, a two per cent increase since 2009.

"These are the jobs of the future," Beresford explained. "There is opportunity for women as well as men, and we wanted to highlight the equity piece of this because this is a job area that offers some equity pay. It's great to see so many women on this site."

The calculations are in a report released Thursday, which argues the industry "has a vital role to play in meeting Canada’s climate goals by supporting production in other sectors, including electricity generation, efficient buildings, and new transportation infrastructure."

Published By Metro News