Think low carbon and climate change. Whatever you study, be it law, business, forestry, plumbing or anything else, take any opportunity to build in some learning about the carbon cycle and climate change and how they impact on your preferred field.
It’s going to impact on all our lives for a long time, and there’s no end to the areas where this knowledge and understanding will open doors to exciting new opportunities.
The Forestry Commission is a case in point. Climate change has triggered the biggest step-change in our thinking since we embraced the environmental concerns of the 1980s. It’s forcing us to look at our land and forests in a very different way. No longer are they just about wood, wildlife and walking; now they’re also ‘carbon sinks’ and sites for renewable energy projects.
As we move to a low-carbon economy, the Forestry Commission will become a significant renewable energy business with substantial wind, hydro-electric and biomass developments on its land, managed in ways ranging from leases to joint ventures and partnerships.
We’re going to need people in roles we never dreamed we’d need just five years ago: people who understand renewable energy, climate change and business; people who will relish the challenges that these opportunities will generate. We’ve already set up a business unit to develop opportunities for renewable energy projects on our land. It employs only three people at present, but they’re just the start.
We won’t be the only ones: all land-based organisations will be developing similar opportunities. Indeed, the move to a low-carbon economy because of climate change will change the way that all organisations operate, generating a completely new menu of interesting careers as they get to grips with its implications for their business.
And the great thing for those who get involved is that they won’t just be jobs – they’ll be opportunities to help save a planet. Literally.
Tim Rollinson, Director-General, Forestry Commission