The images in this article were taken pre-COVID-19.
Careers in climate change make it possible for nature enthusiasts to help address Earth’s biggest challenges, and build a really purposeful future.
But why is this type of work so impactful?
By focusing on environmental sustainability, organisations and individuals are contributing towards a greener future in a big way; one where the effects of climate change are significantly reduced.
What are careers in climate change all about, and how exactly are they making an impact on global climate change?
Let’s dive into this hot topic.
What is global climate change?
Climate change refers to the rise in global temperatures that has been taking place from the mid-twentieth century until today.
The effects of climate change are caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. This buildup is mainly the result of human activity, like burning fossil fuels to power cars or produce electricity.
Scientists report that global temperatures have risen by 0.08 degrees celsius every decade since 1880, and this trend is set to speed up over the next few decades.
Because every environment on the planet is connected to Earth’s atmosphere, the impacts of climate change are felt all around the world.
This is why the climate crisis is also known as global climate change.
The scale of the climate crisis means that climate change solutions need to be impactful across the world, and this isn’t an easy task.
What’s the importance of careers in climate change?
The twenty-sixth United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) slogan: “Uniting the world to tackle climate change,” reiterates the fact that the climate crisis is everyone’s business.
The focus of COP26 is accelerating action towards achieving the Paris Agreement of 2015, an international treaty guiding efforts to address the impacts of climate change.
The business sector plays a major role in driving the climate crisis. For this reason, the attendees of COP26, which typically include representatives of Parties to the Convention and Observer States, journalists, and representatives of observer organisations, are keeping a keen eye on what businesses are doing to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive impact in the way of climate change.
One way to ensure that “business as usual” shifts to prioritising the climate crisis is to take a sustainable approach to every work opportunity. And this is where careers in climate change come in.
People who pursue careers in climate change are making direct daily contributions to addressing the effects of the climate crisis across every industry.
While this may seem like a somewhat David-like approach to taking down a Goliath-like global challenge, climate change organisations are getting better and better at making an impact as they learn from and adapt to the effects of climate change.
What are careers in climate change?
Careers in climate change include any type of work that’s geared towards monitoring, finding solutions to, and actively addressing the climate change crisis.
And, this work isn’t just the responsibility of climate change organisations like the UN Environment Program (UNEP) or the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Almost every industry in the world, from the retail sector to agriculture, now includes jobs with a keen focus on reducing humans’ contribution to the climate crisis.
Environmental lawyers, urban farmers, chief sustainability officers, alternative energy specialists and even waste removal personnel all form part of the workforce that’s adding to climate change solutions.
If you’re in a career you love but would like to start working in a more climate-sensitive way, doing an online environmental course can teach you everything you need to know.
What role do careers in climate change play in finding climate change solutions?
Simply put, careers in climate change are concerned with tackling the climate crisis.
In addition to this, today’s careers in climate change are looking to stay one step ahead of the climate crisis. But catching up with and neutralising the causes of climate change is a key first step in this process.
How do employees ensure that they’re contributing to impactful and relevant climate change solutions?
Well, it starts with being guided by internationally approved sustainability criteria, like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
This allows climate change organisations and environmentally-focused businesses to coordinate their efforts and build on clear global goals.
With this general foundation laid, careers in climate change also need to have a strong local, national and regional focus, which considers the local contexts unique to the communities and environments they interact with.
Here’s how these careers are finding answers to the question “How to stop climate change?”
Which climate change solutions are already up and running?
Here are some of the ways that careers in climate change are already making a positive impact:
- Environmental lawyers have been instrumental in addressing the overuse of natural resources by large corporations, including fuel producers and energy suppliers.
- Air pollution analysts have provided essential scientific information that has guided the development of air pollution standards and legislation.
- Renewable energy has built on the economies and overall well-being of communities in countries like Brazil, Costa Rica and Ukraine. Renewable energy scientists and engineers are to thank for the advances that have played a major role in these success stories.
How can you gear your future towards a career in climate change?
If you’re excited about working on climate change solutions, there are tons of options available to you.
It’s best to start off by selecting the right subjects in high school if you still can. Make sure that environmental sciences are part of your subject-choice list, as well as subjects that speak to your specific dream career in climate change.
So, if you’re a numbers person looking to get into the accounting department of a climate change organisation, make sure maths and accounting are on your schedule. Want to specialise in a profession in climate crisis and clean energy? Focus on physics and natural sciences. Or, if you’re more into the conservation side of things, biology and geography should feature in your subject selection.
Volunteer projects abroad and online environmental courses that are based on sustainable development principles are also good ways to make an impact on the climate crisis while building on your employability, even if you’re still in high school.
And, if you’re a college student or graduate, environmental internships and research internships offer the perfect opportunity to break into the field and grow your green career prospects.
Take a look at GVI’s international, award-winning online environmental courses and internships and start preparing for one of the many careers in climate change that are available today.