The growing issue of climate change has created a whole new jobs market that is set for further growth over the next five years.
Research carried out by UK-based recruitment consultancy Acre Resources shows there was more than a 130 percent increase in specialist jobs relating to climate change between May 2006 and May 2007, most the result of heightened activity within major companies.
Large corporations are now recruiting high-level managers to develop clear strategies to understand and mitigate their Climate change impacts, the study found, resulting in a growing demand for high-calibre individuals with strong technical and strategic abilities.
And the trend looks set to continue, with predicted rates of growth suggesting that the sector will multiply by up to four times its current size by 2012.
The explosion in climate change-specific jobs over the last three years has also been reflected in large rises in average wages in the sector, from £19,000 (£38,000) in 2005 to £45,000 ($90,000) today.
Andy Cartland, director of Acre Resources, said that climate change socialists in senior positions reporting to the board are becoming commonplace within major organisations.
"With consumers demanding more climate-friendly products, and investors putting pressure on companies to take action, climate change is an issue that's being pushed up the corporate agenda," he said.
"Judging from the work we've been doing with major clients, it won't be long before entire teams focusing on climate change become the norm."
The size of teams in big companies working in the CSR, Environmental and Climate change sectors has on average tripled in the last three years, the research revealed, witht eh number of climate change jobs increasing by more than 200 per cent over the last 12 months.
But climate change professionals do not face an easy ride. With some companies now looking to assess the full carbon footprint of their products, in-depth auditing work is required to measure the CO2 emissions from operational and manufacturing processes, hence the evolution of the role of Carbon Footprint Manager.
Once companies understand their footprint, various strategies need to be developed to reduce their impact through energy-use reduction, process improvement and behaviour change – climate change managers are expected to deliver tangible results which can be presented to the board, stakeholders, and consumers.
"It's not all doom and gloom. climate change will present big opportunities for business as well as problems – and we're helping companies hire people to shape their businesses for the better," Andrew Cartland said.