This is the second part of an interview on green jobs with Ben Powless, a Mohawk youth who is helping to organize the Power Shift Canada 2009 conference, Oct 23-26 in Ottawa. You can read Part I of the interview here.
Greg Macdougall: So you’re obviously involved with [green jobs organizing] here in Canada and you’re part of the Indigenous Environmental Network (www.ienearth.org). You’re coming up with some strategy on this?
The Power Shift Canada 2009 conference will take place in Ottawa from October 23-26. The focus is on climate change, but also on a ‘just transition’ to green jobs. Between 1000-1500 mainly young activists will gather to figure out how to present the case for a shift to a green economy, and to develop strategy for local organizing to make that happen.
Ben Powless is a Mohawk youth and one of the key organizers of the conference. He’s involved with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, and the Indigenous Environmental Network, among other pursuits. I had the opportunity to meet with him and hear firsthand the importance of green jobs and how we can get there in an equitable, just manner.
Canadians know that our built environment -- homes, offices, factories, roads and infrastructure -- holds the key to an environmentally sustainable and healthy future. The energy and environmental demands of the built environment will undergo substantial changes in the years ahead. Several pressures exist: looming carbon cap and trade legislation, shrinking energy resources and, perhaps most importantly, evolving attitudes toward our consumption and production patterns.