Can My Major Really contribute to Climate Action?
Every bright individual has a chance in tackling climate change, regardless of their degree or the major they have graduated with. Because our world economy is continuously aggregated by every existing industry and sub-industries that has their own distinct effect on climate change, it makes every academic field seen as important as they potentially formulate the economy which keeps society running, and mitigate climate-related issues in extensive ways and efforts, that will be explained in this Eco-pedia.
Since the implementation of COP26 in Glasgow, many countries are respectively encouraging their citizens with interests in different types of academic fields to take part in combating climate change, especially the current and future generation. It is certainly possible for every academic field to work together simultaneously to alleviate the effects of climate change and contribute to COP26.
Moreover, it is known that each person helps the economy grow daily by consuming or providing goods and services, such as purchasing products from a business, using natural resources to create products for society exchange and labor including medicine, transportation, or farming, and more. In many cases, this could potentially fuel damage to the Earth. Problems such as pollution, fossil fuel consumption, mismanagement of natural resources, animal species endangerment, are due to the negligence and lack of knowledge people have in regards to the economy and climate change. Taking in the data by the Environmental Protection Agency, there are certain climate change contributors that are prominently large and potentially complicated to tackle, so here are three of the industries which contribute significantly to climate change, that you could align with your university major and interests.
The Energy Industry
Around 790 million people in the world still lack access to electricity today, and there is an alarming inequality in electricity distribution transnationally. In addition, there are countries possessing a large natural resource capital such as Indonesia, but lack the governance and management for it that is considered sustainable for the environment, things such as pollution and untreated sewage. This could be done through promoting education and awareness.
Furthermore, there is a slow and cautious but increasing prevalence of an energy revolution and recent implementations of sustainable infrastructures and a circular economy in certain countries, including Japan, Switzerland and Netherlands. Countries are willing to focus and develop their energy sector to meet the COP26 following the “Glasgow Climate Pact” to keep the global temperature from warming over 1.5 °C in both the land and ecosystem. Changing from fossil fuel to renewable energy, enforcing public transportation and privately-owned electric vehicles in urban areas, eco-friendly water treatment and efficiently using electricity. A country that successfully achieved this is Bhutan with providing 100% electricity, powered by renewable energy infrastructures, throughout the country free of cost, and is completely carbon-free.
Individuals in differentiating fields could work together in managing resources in the energy sector effectively for the world to quickly adapt to a green energy system. Majors such as geology, geography, urban planning, urban design, meteorology, economics, law, political science, biology, chemistry, and civil/environmental engineering are notably effective for working in this industry and tackling its certain impacts to climate change.
The Food Industry
The food industry contributes roughly 37% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in addition to that with individuals still going for traditional organic farming, 38% of the global land surface is used for farming and meat cultivation, using 60% of it, which involves deforestation and ecosystemic disruption. According to the global food security index, Finland is the top country for food security, with the most progressive health outcomes and economic affordability.
Because food management and policies range in countries, and individuals with interests in making the food industry more sustainable could learn how to reduce and fix issues within the global food system including food transportation, food waste, food management, food shortage, and climate change impacts to agriculture through food and agriculture-related majors.
Socio-Economic Development and International Affairs
When it comes to tackling climate change, a grasp of knowledge regarding climate change needs to be incorporated in young people and women. Schools and universities in low-income countries lack this substantially, and therefore need the help of individuals with interests towards the social and humanities field to take action. Climate change education is important to provide awareness and understanding to the current and future generation on how to cope with the constant change in the environment due to climate change. This could bring opportunities and indirect positive effects towards society, one way is people will eventually help decrease their individual carbon footprint and create a sustainable economy which is key to creating an advanced society for everyone.
Not only that, but majors with relation to law and international affairs can serve through implementing a human-centered perspective transnationally through creating sustainable policies and laws that could potentially fuel a circular economy. International relations could help in situations where gas-energy dependent countries maintain and form good relationships with countries that provide carbon tax, or climate-related issues such as immigration.
You can create a lasting impact on the world!
All over the world, climate change has impacted universities to create majors with a large focus regarding sustainability which gives an opportunity to bright students that are willing to be involved in mitigating climate change-related issues that exist in industries and sub-industries. Although not limited to just energy, food, and economic development, this could relate to a person’s interest, whether it could be fashion, technology, transportation, politics, creative arts, and many more.
By being informed of climate change, sustainability and green economy and your interests, you could pursue any kind of college/university major and still be able to take part in reducing the effects of climate change and taking individual action, and create a lasting impact on the world.
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