Working Green

Where environmental justice and labour action meet


Talking About Climate Change

An Interactive Workshop for Union Activists
Presented by the Labour Education Centre’s Working Green Program

Climate Change is the local-global existential challenge of our time. World Greenhouse Gas Emissions are fast approaching the planet’s thresholds at which multiple climate feedback loops will be triggered. If unchecked, these climate systems will release CO2, methane and water vapour currently stored in nature. This will decrease the capacity of the earth’s surface to reflect the sun’s heat, and diminish the ability of our oceans and landscapes to absorb carbon from the air. Scientists predict that global temperatures will reach tipping points within our current generation unless urgent and significant effort is made to eliminate or significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Talking About Climate Change: The Urgency for Action is an interactive workshop developed for union activists to deepen your understanding of climate change, and what it means to you as a union leader, a member of your community, a resident of Toronto and a Canadian citizen.  The Labour Education Centre’s (LEC) Working Green team will introduce you to tools and resources that you can use to discuss global warming.

This workshop is part of LEC’s Working Green Leveraging Worker’s Knowledge Project, supported by The Atmospheric Fund. The project is providing support to a Joint Management-Labour Environment Committee at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The initiative builds on worker’s expertise and experience at the TDSB to build collaboration between workers and management with the goal of reducing Green House Gas (ghg) emissions. There are 4 unions participating in this committee, OSSTF District 12, ETT, CUPE 4400 and the Building Trades. 

This one-day professional development workshop will enrich your ability to advocate knowledgeably about climate change through the use of the most recent and most valid information. You will understand the need for urgent action on policies and programs to clean the air and secure the planet for the next generations.  The workshop can be customized to any union’s needs and specifications.


If you are interested in hosting this workshop, please contact:

The Working Green Team at the Labour Education Centre

Steve Shallhorn, Executive Director,

Karen Lior, Project Director,

Rick Ciccarelli, Researcher, 


Click here or on the image below for the full presentation:

Leveraging Workers Knowledge

Decades of inadequate action have led scientists and the United Nations to warn us we have little time left to avoid catastrophic climate change.
In Ontario, 28% of Greenhouse gas emissions are created from industrial processes. Workers have a unique role to play in reducing catastrophic climate change. The Labour Education Centre is demonstrating the value of a joint labour-management workplace committee to reduce workplace-based greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). This process leverages workers’ intimate knowledge of their workplaces and work processes, linking that expertise with the broader knowledge and decision-making authority of management.

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Just Transition

When society asks workers and communities to close down their local industry for the good of us all, society has a responsibility to provide alternative livelihoods for those workers and communities. Such a concept is know as Just Transition, which h s been adopted by the Labour movement globally and is contained in the pre-amble to the Paris Convention on climate change.
The Labour Education Centre has researched 4 jurisdictions where coal plants have been closed or are in process of being closed. In each case study we examine what process were put in place to help transition workers into new jobs and careers.

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