How climate change is impacting businesses and jobs across various industries

As the climate change crisis emerges as one of the defining matters of the 21st century, businesses must change the way they operate in order to be successful, while also helping our environment rebuild. One of the most important aspects for this is the way in which industries and companies get the energy needed to power manufacturing, construction and technology production, all of which directly impacts hiring.

Climate change is impacting how companies produce power

For example, Bloomberg recently reported how some of Europe’s biggest companies within the energy industry are developing new, cleaner ways to power themselves. “Some of Europe’s most important names in energy and industry are racing to develop emissions-free ways of producing hydrogen,” according to the article. “They’re focused on using electrolysis, where an electric current passes through water, splitting off hydrogen atoms from oxygen.” The technology, which is becoming cheaper each year, will greatly impact the industry through its renewable, environmentally-friendly impact.

Across industries, this desire to produce renewable energy to power businesses is becoming more and more commonplace and top of mind. “Cutting carbon in half by 2030 and reaching net-zero carbon before 2050 will help avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change on our economy, communities and environment,” according to Mindy Lubber, board member at Climate Action 100+, in an interview with Bloomberg.

Companies must hire people with specialized skills

Beyond energy changes, there are multiple ways jobs are impacted as a result of climate change. As Forbes notes, it’s time to act now and structure key business changes with the environment in mind, including hiring and finance. “We often hear that companies should ‘protect the planet’ through reduced carbon emissions and other approaches,” according to the article. "Business leaders must understand how their general business decisions—choices made about marketing, production and finance—should change due to the warming climate.”

For instance, the article notes how the construction and manufacturing sectors will be impacted. “Businesses impacted by rain and snow, including construction companies, will need to dive into the scientific literature for more detail, or else hire a climatologist to provide local detail,” according to the publication. This is one example of how hiring will be impacted through climate change: hiring the scientists and experts necessary to advise the company on such environmental matters.

People are already losing jobs due to climate disruption

Beyond the need to hire experts, natural disasters produced by climate change are already impacting jobs. As The Huffington Post notes, “According to a jobs report released in September 2017, businesses across the Southeastern United States lost 33,000 jobs that month alone, largely due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that year. Some 1.5 million people were unable to work as a result of the storms, according to the government — the highest number in 20 years.”

This means that people across various industries are already being affected and will continue to be in the coming years. Companies must put worker protections in place, so that when and if additional natural disasters occur, employees can be moved to other segments of the business or can learn additional skills should climate change make their work redundant. In sum, climate change is already changing how businesses function. By inspiring companies to develop new energy initiatives for a greener future, global warming is also impacting the way companies hire as well as job security due to natural disasters. Creating a plan of action, developing greener energy solutions and hiring with climate change in mind, will also enable business leaders across industries to weather the storm from our warming planet.