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Edmonton Climate Leaders: Advancing a Just Transition

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Early 2020, Premier Jason Kenney affirmed that Alberta’s vision is to remain a global exporter of oil and gas. Further, Kenney confirmed he has no intention of coordinating with the United States Congress to advance the Green New Deal. First proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts, the Green New Deal outlines a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the deal represents a revolutionary advance since it seeks to end widespread socio-economic inequality by creating a just transition for workers, the economy, and society. 


Among catastrophic environmental disasters this past year, Albertans are increasingly coming into contact with the consequences of climate change. On February 28th, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an assessment report on the impacts, and vulnerabilities humans will face across ecosystems, regions, and biomes. Photo: Eagleclaw Thom 


Among the devastating consequences of climate change, wildfires are among those Albertans remember most. Notably, the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires shocked the province and caused over three billion dollars in insured damages alone. In response, utilizing the Green New Deal in Alberta would mean provincial investments would be redirected and serve to protect workers and communities through a just transition.


What is a Just Transition?


A just transition refers to the transition from the dominant economy to one that centers on place-based, ecologically resilient, socially equitable, deeply democratic approaches to establishing mutually beneficial relationships. Consequently, understanding the economy as a changeable model is key to envisioning new ways of interacting with the world. 


Further, a just transition acknowledges the reality of globalized industrial production and its consequences towards predominantly racialized and marginalized populations. With this in mind, people experiencing the worst of the environmental and social impacts of the dominant economy are creating new visions for resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities. 


Establishing a just transition requires framing justice as the precursor to transition. Without reflecting on racialized and marginalized populations’ needs, concerns, and desires, the green economic transition would further exacerbate widespread inequalities. Thus, economic reforms must actively engage racialized and marginalized communities in leading the future of economic, social, and political reform. 


Edmonton Climate Leaders


With this in mind, a just transition reflects a vision for healthy and resilient communities to facilitate a balance between human societies and healthy ecosystems. Despite Alberta’s stagnant trajectory, place-based action offers new perspectives for community-led action. Climate Justice Edmonton, for instance, advocates for social, environmental, and climate justice by taking direct action with municipal, provincial, and federal governments. 


Using an anti-oppressive and decolonial approach, Climate Justice Edmonton empowers individuals and communities to seek ecological, social, and economic justice. In embodying both place-based and government-centred actions, the organization illustrates the power of individuals and communities to advance a just transition. 


Celebrating Climate Milestones on the Prairies


In partnership with, Climate Justice Edmonton is hosting a 2025 Press Conference on Saturday, March 12th, at Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault’s Constituency Office. As the representative for Edmonton Center, Boissonnault is critically positioned to advance climate justice on a federal level. Moreover, he is one of two Liberal Members of Parliament in Alberta, making him a significant representative of Alberta in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. 


At 2:00 PM on Saturday, March 12th, an official press conference in front of Boissonnault’s Constituency Office will highlight the federal government’s successes in implementing a just transition. In this way, community leaders will share their experiences with a just transition and the transition from oil and gas to green, renewable energy.


Notably, the press conference occurs in 2025, three years from today and six years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to introduce a Just Transition Act. In fall 2019, Trudeau promised to ensure workers have the education and training required to transition into renewable energy sectors and claimed a renewed commitment to establishing Canada as a “clean” economy. Thus, the 2025 press conference for celebrating climate milestones on the Prairies chooses to celebrate. It is a conscious, active choice to transform the government’s inaction into a vision of action, celebration, and justice for individuals and communities.


Community-Based Action


Often, federal policy reforms seem unattainable and distanced from individuals and communities. Without political, economic, and social agency, it is easy to feel hopeless. Unfortunately, this feeling is too familiar for racialized and marginalized individuals and communities. Dealing with daily, constant oppression both systemically and socially degrades one’s capacities to seek justice. It is also important to note that systemic oppression against Black, Indigenous, and racialized individuals often go unnamed and unacknowledged.


As such, advancing a just transition highlights the profound socio-economic inequalities experienced by racialized and marginalized communities. In underscoring the wellbeing of racialized and marginalized individuals, a just transition goes beyond minuscule industry divestments and fully incorporates justice in human and economic relationships. 


With this in mind, taking community-based actions is vital in expressing the voices that have been systemically silenced. In participating in local climate initiatives, the experiences and wisdom of racialized and marginalized communities materialize into potent symbols of change. Thus, it is crucial to participate in events such as those organized by Climate Justice Edmonton, Prairie Sage Protectors, Boots on the Ground,, and other climate and social advocacy groups. 


2025 Press Conference: Celebrating Climate Milestones on the Prairies


Saturday, March 12, 2:00 PM


MP Randy Boissonnault’s Constituency Office, 10235 124 St NW Edmonton, Alberta T5N 1P9 Edmonton, Alberta, T5N 1P9, Canada


On Saturday, March 12, Climate Justice Edmonton is joining people across the country to take action to demand that the federal government passes a bold and sweeping Just Transition Act. Fossil fuels caused the climate crisis, and we need a plan to get to 100% clean energy. That plan needs to be rapid and create good, green jobs so no one gets left behind. We are meeting at Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault’s office, and we want to see you there!

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: Randy Boissonnault office – 10235 124 St Edmonton Who: All are welcome to attend This event will be held outdoors so please dress for the weather and be covid safe (bring a mask)

Info: 2025 Press Conference: Celebrating Climate Milestones on the Prairies We are going to imagine that it is 2025 and that the Just Transition Act was passed in 2022. This act is ambitious and bold – it immediately started to take action on plans and policy to reduce emissions, support workers to transition their jobs, tackle the opioid crisis with humanity, give land back and ensure justice and dignity for all. At our event, we will hear from the Ministry for a Just Transition and hear from workers about their green jobs and experience with a just transition.

Hosted by Climate Justice Edmonton and friends.


Monica Bassili  writes a weekly column for

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