Can we reach climate targets in a cost of living crisis?

10 Oct 2023
4 min read
Woman with PC checking utility bills

It might feel like those two issues aren’t connected – what’s the point in even thinking about green policies and pledges and net zero aims when everything is so expensive at the moment including increasing food prices? Not to mention the fact annually autumn and winter come around and cost households dearly when it comes to staying warm?

Going green creates skilled jobs, improves GDP and reduces pollution.

The surprising connection

The truth is though, these issues are connected and that’s why it’s vital that green policies and pledges stay front and centre. Our reliance on expensive, imported oil and gas meant energy prices doubled in the last two years, which also drove up inflation. Going green creates skilled jobs, improves GDP and reduces pollution and also improves the health and welfare of the whole population. In fact, if we don’t prioritise green issues, life in the UK will change immeasurably.

Going green saves money

Going green can help in a cost of living crisis

There are so many economic wins of going green and the sooner we act as a country, the less reliant we’ll be on expensive, polluting oil and gas and the more stable the cost of energy production for UK homes and businesses will become, which would mean a reduction when it comes to the utility bills that hit our door mats.

We know going green is cheaper – it’s far more cost effective to insulate your home once rather than keep the heating on constantly to make a leaky home warm. There are lots more ideas for individuals and households here:

Green electricity is cheaper electricity

Wind and solar power produce electricity far cheaper compared to gas-fired power stations as there are no fuel costs. Electric cars are also cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel cars and produce no tail pipe emissions.

We all know when belts are tightened it’s the seemingly surplus things that go, but with our climate so volatile, now is the time to accelerate going green because the impacts of climate change are deadly serious.

Adverse weather events cost us dearly

In the Dagenham wild fires last year, only two houses had insurance – that means twelve families had their homes and all their belongings burned to the ground and they had no insurance to help them rebuild their lives.

UK house developers are increasingly building “affordable homes” on flood prone areas. Not only does this wipe out huge swathes of green belt across the UK, it also means the homes built on these areas are very likely to flood. Yet these homes won’t be able to get flood insurance as it’s a known risk when they were built so residents face a lifetime of costly exposure to flooding.

Focusing on a green agenda will create jobs

If policies which lead to expansion are slowed, that’s a lot of prospective investment in the UK that will go elsewhere.

Workers installing panels at a solar farm

There are almost endless reasons why we need green solutions in this country and it’s not just about keeping our energy supplies in UK hands, either. Clean technology creates jobs too. The UK has 469 solar farms across the UK, there are more than 1,500 operational onshore wind farms in the UK and the number of green jobs in the UK is at an all time high. Offshore Wind sector supports over 31,000 jobs and by 2030, the industry will employ over 97,000 people in the UK with 61,000 direct jobs and 36,000 indirect. 

If policies which lead to this expansion, innovation and employment are slowed, that’s a lot of people missing out on quality work and a lot of prospective investment in the UK that will go elsewhere.

Recently, Jaguar Land Rover owner, Tata, announced it was going to build its flagship electric vehicle battery plant in Somerset which is expected to create 4,000 jobs and many more further down the supply chain.

We need to continually drive our agenda as a green pioneer on a global stage, for the rest of the world to take us seriously as an investment opportunity.

Sticking to net zero pledges will boost the economy

The Confederation of British Industry reported that if the government can stick to its net zero aims, it could boost UK gross domestic product (GDP) by £57 billion by 2030. That could result in more jobs, more hospitals, schools, more investment in green spaces and education.

Experts all agree

Given that scientists like me, business leaders and economists strongly recommend we implement green pledges and policies , it’s entirely possible – if these pledges are actioned – that we can drive down energy and manufacturing costs and help those most in need to pay their bills. And crucially we all want a liveable planet.


The information in this article was correct at the time of writing and is provided for guidance only. Please see the full disclaimer in our terms and conditions.

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