Beyond Petroleum: Strategic Workforce Planning and Climate Change Policies




Breen, Coralie Elizabeth

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Given the urgency of climate-change and the speed and scale of the structural transition to a low-carbon economy, there is a critical need for research that accelerates the diffusion of learning in the field of employment and workforce planning. While efforts to align workforce development and planning with the introduction of green policies are rapidly intensifying and maturing, there are gaps in coherence. The transition to sustainable economies involves significant shifts in employment, including application and use of skills and workplace practices. New occupations are emerging and existing occupations are being greened at a rapid rate (Globe Foundation, 2010 a; ILO, 2011, pg. 4; 2012: OECD, 2013 pg. 47). Keeping equilibrium in employment while climate-change forecasts and technological innovations are rapidly evolving is a growing challenge for workforce planning and policy. This is also a ‘rate of change’ problem, and it needs to be better understood if governments are to provide leadership, adapt more quickly, and provide continuous high levels of services to citizens while maintaining strong economies. Governments that understand this will be at the forefront of mitigation and adaptation efforts (OECD, 2012 a, b). But how should that challenge be met? This study tackles that question, seeking to clarify how workforce development and planning can be directed toward improving employment prospects and reducing employment dislocations as the planet changes around us in the face of a changing climate. The implications of the findings are outlined and recommendations are then made as to how labour policies and workforce development and planning measures can best be targeted and integrated into the larger green policy framework to improve coherence of policies, institutional and organizational capacity and data capability.



British Columbia Climate Change Policy, British Columbia Strategic Workforce Planning, California, New South Wales, climatic changes