Choosing a Climate Friendly Career

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Choosing a career is one of the biggest and most influential decisions we make in our lives. It seems really important to find the right job, as we are young, which can be a big burden. Especially in a time when the world seems to change so much and when society seems to go through so many crises. The article offers further advice and thoughts on choosing a career in a time of climate change, environmental destruction or biodiversity loss.

Dealing with climate change can be emotionally stressful. For this reason we encourage you to prioritise your mental health and search for help if necessary.

Last October António Guterres tweeted “My message to the youth of today: / Do not take up careers with the climate wreckers. / I urge you to be the generation that succeeds in addressing the planetary emergency of climate change.”.

We all know how dire the situation is, and that there are tipping points that we have to avoid at any chance. So in all of this, choosing a career that addresses the issue of climate change might be a good option. Furthermore green jobs are useful, meaningful and can therefore be very fulfilling. But how does this climate conscious life look for us personally? What is our role in this green transition? What job do we want to do, and how do we actually find a climate friendly job?

Climate Friendly Jobs

Not all of us will become climate scientists and that is ok. Even though we could use more scientists in this, the world we live in, and how our society functions, are much more complex. We know that in order to do something about climate change, many parts of our social systems and of the world’s economies will have to change. So disclaimer: When choosing a climate friendly career you can still pick a job that you like, one that suits your strengths and preferences.

There are many ways to work in the field of climate change and make a positive impact. Some careers that are directly related to climate change include working as a climate scientist, environmental engineer, or renewable energy specialist. These careers focus on researching and developing solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

But there are also many careers that are indirectly related to climate change, such as working in sustainable agriculture, sustainable transportation, or green building design. These careers focus on creating more environmentally friendly systems and infrastructure that can help reduce carbon emissions and slow down the pace of climate change.

Another important aspect is considering the sector you want to work in. Climate-friendly jobs can be found in government, non-profit organizations, research institutions and private companies.

Non-Climate-Climate Jobs

Climate-friendly jobs are not only found in the field of climate change. Instead of directly working on climate change as for example a teacher you will help to educate young people and can eventually support them in climate change matters. Or you can do important work in an essential job as for example in farming, construction or health care.

If you do not work climate related field, you can also bring your thoughts and ideas into an existing field that maybe doesn’t have anything to do with the climate. If for example you work as a math teacher in a school, you could start a climate action club that students can attend or engage in administration to make the institution go carbon neutral. If you are a musician you might be able to offer your help to play at a climate protest and you can talk about Climate Change in your work.

It is not just up to young people to solve climate change, especially as today’s adults hold the jobs that make up society. So if you are more grown up and want to have an impact in your area, you might hold your employers accountable or choose an employer with high ethical standards.

Voluntary Engagement

Maybe you also want to start to engage voluntarily or to stay engaged for Climate Justice in your free time. There are many different climate-groups, NGOs, organizations or political parties where you can get involved. And you can get engaged in many different forms which range from organizing protests to campaigning and from engagement in a workers union to community projects. You might want to start by looking for green societies in your college.

If you want to get engaged outside college some climate groups in Dublin are Friends Of the Earth, Stop Climate Chaos, Not Here Not Anywhere, Fridays for Future, Concern and Amnesty International. The involvement can furthermore be a good stepping stone into a future career by getting to know people into the area and they enable to try out different tasks in the field.

All in all, no matter whether you just started to think about getting involved, whether you are deeply engaged in activism already or whether you want work on climate issues directly, we have provided you some more resources below. The resources as well as this article are only a limited amount of sources, however we hope that they are helpful to you. Furthermore we encourage you to keep your eyes open, to speak up and to keep climate engagement as part of your life.

Magdalena Sedlmayr
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