I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to improve their climate literacy so as to understand the projected impacts from the expanding climate crisis and how to adapt their workplaces in the face of these impacts.

In a research paper from the International Labour Organization (ILO) entitled The future of work in a changing natural environment: Climate change, degradation and sustainability they look at how much work is tied to what they call ecosystem services.

Take a look at this table:

Eco system jobs

As you can see the research indicates that 40% of jobs globally are directly linked to the environment. In Africa that number is 59%

These jobs are at direct risk of loss as a result of the changing climate with agricultural workers being the worst effected and as the report indicates “will account for 66% of global hours lost due to heat stress in 2030” (which is just 10 years away)

The report explains why they reach this conclusion:

“In view of the physical nature of their work, it being undertaken outside, and the fact that a large number of workers are engaged in agriculture in the areas most affected by future high temperatures. Even greater temperature rises, as predicted under a business-as-usual scenario, will make some of these areas unproductive, displacing a large number of workers.”

As with the work that the WEF has done on the impact of technology on the future jobs, which jobs would be impacted first, eg. admin and back office roles, so too this report looks at which industries are set to experience the strongest job demand declines and which will experience the highest job demand growth.

Sustainability Jobs Impact

We are going to transition to a low-carbon economy. We don’t have a choice. In that process jobs will be lost and jobs will be created.

The course of wisdom would be if you are in an industry that is in the decline column that you put a strategy in place to move yourself into an industry that will be in high demand. It would also be wise to look at the high demand industries and look at what skills are needed for those industries and go about acquiring them.

This will ensure that you will be ready for the coming job losses and industry declines in various sectors across the economy.