So you want a career in climate?

Option 1: Stay at your current job, and make a difference from within

I helped start WorkForClimate for just this reason. We need great leaders and change makers inside of every company — everyone thinks that starting a climate company is higher leverage, but I’ll be honest that I don’t think starting yet-another-enterprise-carbon tracker is really going to have the impact that you think. Lucy, the Director at WorkForClimate, just wrote a great piece on the recent IPCC report calling for employees to fight greenwash in their own organisation.

The most important thing you could do right at this moment:

Making sure we have a government that is actively working towards preventing climate change instead of actively contributing to it.

Option 2: Start by volunteering for a climate non-profit or NGO

You don’t have to quit your job to make a big difference. Especially if you’re in tech.

There are heaps of great initiatives making a difference in different ways. No matter your skill set, your help is needed.

Option 3: Join a community

I love being wrong. I exchange a few emails with Jason Jacobs back in 2018. Jason described a podcast and community he was going to create — as usual I was highly skeptical, but MyClimateJourney has become a force of nature, and in my opinion the highest quality climate podcast out there, and a highly active community of professionals finding ways to have impact.

Option 4: Join an existing climate tech company

The same fallacy occurs in non-profits/NGOs. So many people start their own non-profit, and the overhead just to pay their salary means the net impact they deliver is minimal. In many cases this is true in the climate world — we have 10 (or 100 global) companies all trying to do the same thing, and starting #11 (or #101) may not be the best way to make an impact.

#1: Portfolios of the venture funds who make climate investments:

Of course you should check out the Grok portfolio: Zoomo, SunCable, Brighte, Vow, SunDrive, Fable Foods, and Loam here in Australia, and Antora, WeaveGrid, and others in the US.


Option 5: Go back to school

Photo courtesy of Columbia’s “climate school”

Last resort: Start a company

If you have an incredible passion, the talent, and the experience to build something new and unique, start a company and scale it to having global (or at least national) impact, and you have the ability to pull it off, then you’re probably doing that and not reading this blog post.



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