Research Brief

How do Industrial GHG Reduction Efforts Affect Demand for Skilled Labour?

November, 2013


  • The potential labour implications of industrial greenhouse gas mitigation are significant, particularly in the electricity generation and oil and gas extraction sectors.
  • In 2030, up to an additional 27 thousand full-time equivalent highly qualified personnel (HQP) positions will be required in order to achieve Canada’s greenhouse gas targets.
  • Every $1 million of industrial investment in mitigation produces between 3.0 and 4.4 person-years of HQP demand on average.

In this Research Brief, Jacqueline Sharp and Noel Melton present the results of a study for Carbon Management Canada that investigated how Canadian greenhouse gas emission constraints are likely to impact industrial demand for skilled labour.

Skilled labour shortages have already been identified in several sectors, including electricity generation and oil and gas. Industrial greenhouse gas mitigation efforts on a scale sufficient to make progress toward meeting Canada’s emission targets will boost labour demand substantially, exacerbating existing skill shortages.

This figure shows the forecast additional demand for highly qualified personnel in two GHG reduction scenarios for Canada. In 2030, up to an additional 27 thousand full-time equivalent positions will be required.

Other Publications

Journal Articles

Melton, N., J. Axsen & S. Goldberg. 2017. Evaluating plug-in electric vehicle policies in the context of long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals: Comparing 10 Canadian provinces using the PEV policy report card. Energy Policy, 107, 381-393.

Bataille, C. & N. Melton. 2017. Energy efficiency and economic growth: A retrospective CGE analysis for Canada from 2002 to 2012Energy Economics, 64, 118-130.

Wolinetz & Axsen. 2017. How policy can build the plug-in electric vehicle market: Insights from the REspondent-based Preference And Constraints (REPAC) model. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 117: 238-250.

Melton, N., J. Axsen & D. Sperling. 2016. Moving beyond alternative fuel hype to decarbonize transportationNature Energy, 1, 16013. Learn More ➥

Bataille, C., N. Melton & M. Jaccard. 2015. Policy uncertainty and diffusion of carbon capture and storage in an optimal region. Climate Policy, 15(5): 565-582.

Jaccard, M., N. Melton & J. Nyboer. 2011. Institutions and Processes for Scaling Up Renewables: Run-of-River Hydropower in British Columbia. Energy Policy, 39(7): 4042-4050.

Peters, J., C. Bataille, N. Rivers, & M. Jaccard. 2010. Taxing Emissions, Not Income: How to Moderate the Regional Impact of Federal Environment Policy. C.D. Howe Institute, 314: Toronto, ON.