Media release: Australia needs two million new workers to meet emissions reduction targets 26 October 2023

Australia needs two million new workers to meet emissions reduction targets

Australia urgently needs to upskill its workforce to meet the demands of transitioning to net zero, or risk missing its climate targets. Uniting to offer a vital solution, the Clean Energy Council and the Energy Efficiency Council are today launching the Careers for Net Zero campaign, designed to help fill Australia’s skills gap and encourage job seekers to pursue a clean economy career.

At least two million new jobs are required to meet net zero by 2050,1 and 200,000 new roles are needed to reach Australia’s 2030 target of 43 percent lower emissions.2

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton says the clean economy drive provides enormous opportunities for job seekers. “From the city to the bush, decarbonising our economy will provide thousands of new jobs and new career opportunities.

“Upskilling needs to occur on a colossal scale. We need to double our energy workforce by 2030 and double it again by 2035. Heightened global competition for talent across a diversity of critical skills and occupations means this is a top priority for our sector,” Mr Thornton says.

CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council, Luke Menzel says, “Immediate action is needed. The current talent pool simply isn’t matching up with demand, and many of the roles desperately needed by 2030 already face major skill shortages at a national level. If we fall short of meeting these targets, it will come at a huge cost and will impact Australia’s reputation on the global stage.”

The Careers for Net Zero Fair is taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and will assist Australians to find new career pathways and ways to upskill. The event features Victorian Premier the Hon. Jacinta Allan MP, Commonwealth Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, Co-CEO of Atlassian and Chair of Boundless Earth, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio and Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew, as well as dozens of other industry experts.

The campaign also includes a clean economy career explorer tool on the Careers for Net Zero website. The online platform, an Australian-first, will aggregate the growing list of careers needed to help Australia achieve net zero. The site will feature the most in-demand positions and will map educational pathways to get there for students, graduates, and experienced workers.

Martine Holberton, a Community Engagement Advisor at Tilt Renewables, is one of the thousands of Australians who have already made the transition into a clean economy career. “I wanted to find a rewarding career, and climate change is one of the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced. I want to be part of the solution,” Martine says.

Alongside the campaign, a coalition of leading industry, education and training, and civil society organisations has called for government to take real action to secure our emissions reduction and workforce goals.

Globally, it’s estimated the transition will create 14 million new clean energy jobs by 2030, while another 16 million workers will need to move into new roles in renewables, energy efficiency and electrification. Around 60 per cent of these roles will require post-secondary training.3

To learn more visit:



1 E3 Opportunity Assessment: Developing the future energy workforce Final Report (2021), RACE for 2023 (p.34).

2 The Clean Energy Generation (2023), Jobs and Skills Australia (p.13-14).

3 World Energy Employment Report (2022), International Energy Agency (p.7).



For more information, interview or imagery requests, please contact the BCW Global PR team on the details below.  



Bronte Flynn: | 0407 445 169 

Georgina Dawson: | 0412 758 248 


About Careers for Net Zero

Careers for Net Zero showcases the many career opportunities that will help deliver an equitable, prosperous and net zero Australia. It is a joint initiative of the Clean Energy Council and Energy Efficiency Council, with the support of Ai Group, Australian Power Institute, Boundless Earth and Engineers Australia.

For more information, visit


About Clean Energy Council 

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia.

For more information, visit


About Energy Efficiency Council 

The EEC is the peak body for Australia’s energy management sector. A not-for-profit membership association, EEC works to drive world-leading policy on efficiency, electrification, and demand flexibility; ensure we have the skilled workforce to deliver Australia’s energy transition; and support businesses and households to rapidly decarbonise. 

For more information, visit