Natalie DunnCareerVillage.org Team
I'm so happy to see that you're interested in finding a solution to climate change, it is SO important great to see it's on your mind. The answer to your question is no, you do not need to be a climatologist to find a solution to climate change. There are a ton of different occupations and careers that contribute to sustainability and the fight against climate change. I will walk through a few.
Climate activism: there are amazing climate activists who do work to hold fossil fuel companies to account, raise awareness in their communities and around the world, and contribute to efforts to save the planet. Some really inspiring people and organizations to look up: NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), Bill McKibben (who I got to see speak in 2019!) who is a climate activist and co-founder of 350.org, Greta Thunberg a teenage climate activist who is a huge inspiration. There are TONS more, but just wanted to give you an idea of some places to start.
Engineering: so much of climate change is due to energy consumption (and our use of greenhouse gases), and any solution likely involves a global shift to alternative energy sources. Who's working to discover, create, and improve those alternative energy sources? Chemical engineers, nuclear engineers, hydroelectric engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers. They all have the opportunity and skillset to forge paths in alternative energy.
Urban planning: So much of how our cities are built determine how sustainable they are. For example, buildings can be WELL and Lead certified when they meet sustainability standards, and roads can be built for bikes and public transit, vs individual cards. Urban planners and civil engineers work on many of these questions and have the opportunity to find solutions to our current unsustainable models.
Finally, according to a study called the Carbon Majors Report, only 100 companies in the world are responsible for 71% of global emissions (companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron). That means that systemic change is critical to solving climate change. An amazing solution will only go so far if these companies continue extracting from the earth and contributing to climate change.
These are just some types of career paths that one could consider that don't involve being an expert in climatology. You should be so proud of yourself for thinking about your future and how you might make an impact for our earth and the generations to come.
My advice to people who want to work on climate is to do what you love and what you are good at and apply it to a cause that helps stop climate change. Any skill, any passion, has a place in the Climate Movement.
You can learn more by checking out my company, Greenwork: https://joingreenwork.com
There are some other great resources online, like: