Canada’s transition to net-zero will cause ripple effects across the economy. As a country, Canadians will rethink how, when, and in what ways energy is produced and used. Undoubtedly, current economic growth has come at a cost to environmental well-being; greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have scaled as planetary boundaries have been transgressed. A sustainable economic future requires decoupling these concepts, at once safeguarding our collective prosperity while reducing—eventually eliminating—our carbon footprint. On this path, Canada will need to produce cleaner sources of energy, and use it more efficiently.
Yet, both domestic and international demand for energy grows. Recent climate events and geopolitical developments put further pressure on Canada as a producer and exporter of different types of energy. Meeting this demand while adhering to net-zero commitments is essential, and skilled talent is key.
As the market evolves, energy roles will also evolve, and new employment pathways will emerge. Current estimates point to a Canadian energy labour force that will total nearly 640,000 by 2030.1 As Canada decarbonizes its energy supply, workers will be needed in areas, including research and development, design, engineering, technology, the trades, business and marketing, and environmental services; important will be soft skills, domain knowledge, environmental sustainability expertise, core digital skills, and technical know-how.