Climate Change and Guidance Counselling
Climate change affects humans and natural environments today and particularly in the future. All livelihoods have some impact on climate change either by contributing to it or mitigating it, or both. Therefore, understanding climate impact and applying that knowledge to the job market play an important part in professional competence today. Climate change is linked to food, housing and transport. Guidance counsellors can make a difference by helping students to understand climate change in-depth and building a climate-friendly world.
Climate Change transforming Business and the Workforce
We are living through a period of fundamental transformation in the way we work. The traditional nine-to-five arrangement is becoming less and less common. This is explained by global phenomena, in particular the development of information technology, automation and low-cost country sourcing. The number of middle-wage jobs has declined since the 1990’s and the structure and content of work has radically changed.
Although new technologies create opportunities, this does not necessarily guarantee enough jobs for everyone or for those whose old jobs are at risk. The new economy requires reinventing yourself and finding creative and flexible career opportunities. More and more people are choosing to be self-employed or to go for other less traditional forms of entrepreneurship. Thus students should broaden their understanding of what it means to work for oneself by seeking career counselling in school, college or university.
Today, we must include consideration of climate change when discussing the future of work. The opportunities and environmental consequences they present will be shaking up the labour market and the demand for professional skills and work styles. Climate change creates new work practices and spurs social change and development. Therefore, it is not only a challenge but also an opportunity.
How to tackle Climate Change at Work
Climate change will affect all future jobs in one way or another. Companies can cut their environmental impacts by changing their practices. Typically there are three key factors contributing to greenhouse gas emissions by businesses:
- Products and services
- Use of materials and energy
- Daily human activities
Besides energy and resource efficiency, transport can play an important role in cutting emissions.
It is needless to say that a climate scientist, renewable energy engineer and ecology educator are working on environmental issues; however, promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation should be possible in every work field. Understanding climate change impacts and applying that knowledge to the work sphere will be important in the future.
A steward knows how to improve the energy efficiency of a building, a bank-teller can discern what kind of properties qualify for home buyer loans, a chef can promote plant-based menus, a constructor or contractor has to pay attention to energy efficiency of materials and tools, and those in the trade sector can spread the word about climate change impacts.
In addition, agriculture plays an important role in climate change mitigation since farmers now have access to improved carbon management technologies. Carbon sequestration in agricultural and forest soils are the key in capturing and storing CO2 emissions in soil and vegetation.
What the Future holds for me?
Industries, businesses and our jobs cause significant amounts of carbon emissions, but this as applies also to our personal lives; therefore, climate change mitigation requires lifestyle changes. Climate change is about our future on the planet in general and therefore it is important to keep the bigger picture in mind.