Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing society and the global economy. But growing impacts and long-term carbon targets mean it’s a particularly important challenge for younger people.
In our Generation Zero event on 9th June, we invited some industry experts to share their view on this topic, asking ‘why does every future business leader needs to understand climate change?’. Here’s what they told us:
Why do future leaders need to understand climate change?
- Future business leaders need to be ready to act: Many Net Zero targets are set for 2050 or 2040, meaning that today’s young professionals could be in leadership roles at the time when the deepest carbon reductions need to be delivered.
- No business will be unaffected by climate change: Climate impacts are ‘systemic’, meaning they will affect all sectors and professions. There’s a huge amount of work to be done to make sure all organisations are ready for the transition and young professionals can act today to identify the links to their careers.
- Climate is a financial risk and opportunity: Investors, banks and regulators are increasingly focused on climate. Understanding the financial implications of climate will enable young professionals to identify strategic opportunities and risks, both key ingredients for business success.
- Solutions will require all skillsets: There is no single solution to climate change. Systemic solutions are needed, which rely on collaboration across sectors and professions: young engineers, accountants, lawyers, economists, scientists, and communications experts will all need to be part of the solution.
- The climate job market is growing and diversifying: Climate jobs are no longer a distinct category as more professions and organisations become engaged in decarbonisation and respond to climate risk. Having a knowledge and interest in climate can set you apart from the competition for a growing range of job roles.
What actions can future leaders take today to act on risks and opportunities?
- Get curious about the problem: There’s a huge amount to learn about climate change and sustainability, so following an interest can quickly lead to you knowing more than most about the problem and its solutions. Some reading recommendations from the event:
- Larry Fink’s Dear CEO letter
- The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells
- The Ecology of Commerce, Paul Hawken
- Active Hope: How to Face the Mess we’re in without Going Crazy, Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone
- Build your network: Systemic solutions are only achieved through collaboration, meaning there’s a real opportunity for those who are willing to reach out and engage. Meeting others with a common interest today could enable you to make a bigger impact in the future.
- Talk about the problem, and its solutions: Having a voice on climate within your organisation is one of the most powerful actions a young professional can take. To make your voice go further, try to help find solutions that can simultaneously have positive climate impacts and help your organisation to achieve its objectives.
To be included on future events, please drop us an email.