Cost of living crisis stopping households from taking climate action

by | Nov 10, 2022

Share this article

Recent weather events, such as heatwaves, floods and fires in the UK this year, have made nearly two thirds (60%) of adults more concerned about climate change

·    38% think that it’s too expensive to live more sustainably creating a barrier to climate action

·    A third (34%) are more concerned with their energy bills as opposed to living sustainably 

Recent weather events, such as heatwaves, floods and fires this year, have made nearly two thirds (60%) of people in the UK more concerned about climate change. A further 59% are also worried about weather reports from other countries, including in Australia and America, according to new research from mutual life and pensions company Royal London, which is introducing new social enterprises to its Changemakers Programme, now in its second year.

Two out of five (42%) have also said that the UN climate summit, COP26, has made an impact on their climate change concerns – and 40% said that having children and grandchildren has made them worried about climate change.

This has spurred many to take action and live more sustainably in the last 12 months. Most popular planned changes include reducing plastic usage (71%), shopping locally (62%), driving less (53%) or buying an electric or hybrid vehicle (32%), and consuming less meat and dairy (49%).

However, the cost-of-living crisis is making it difficult for people in the UK to take action on climate change.

The majority (65%) are concerned about the cost of living and a third (34%) are understandably now more concerned with their energy bills as opposed to living sustainably. Many people are taking cost-saving measures this autumn and winter with more than a quarter (26%) planning to buy fewer or cheaper Christmas presents. Shockingly, 12% are even anticipating skipping meals. Sustainability is unlikely to be the priority with almost four in ten (38%) thinking that it’s too expensive to live more sustainably. 

Royal London is committed to helping facilitate a Just Transition: where we as a society move to a low carbon economy in a way that is as fair and inclusive to everyone as possible. To help bridge the gap between moving into a sustainable world while combatting the cost-of-living crisis, Royal London has announced ten new social enterprises as part of its Changemakers Programme, now in its second year. This year’s enterprises have been chosen based on the unique solutions they provide to help people move fairly to a sustainable world and promote financial resilience. Each Changemaker will benefit from a £20,000 grant, as well as extensive business support from The School for Social Entrepreneurs, which will continue for two years. This year’s cohort include:

·    Bristol Green Capital Partnership (BGCP)

·    Pocket Forests

·    Croydon Community Energy

·    Community Retrofits Ireland

·    Remake Scotland

·    Circular 11

·    Energise Sussex Coast

·    Lendology (Wessex Resolutions)

·    NEMI Teas

·    Migrateful  

Sarah Pennells, Consumer Finance Specialist at Royal London, says: “Climate change and sustainability are issues which need addressing urgently. Living sustainably doesn’t have to cost more and some measures, such as reducing the food and heat you waste, can save money. However, many of us need a helping hand to get started. We believe that these inspiring social enterprises can provide real solutions to these issues, with innovation at their heart, which is why they’ve been chosen as our Changemakers this year. We are delighted to support people who are looking at new ways to ensure that a just transition and moving fairly to a sustainable world is a possibility for everyone.”

Share this article

Related articles

The OnePlanetCapital view on COP27

The OnePlanetCapital view on COP27

From a headline point of view the right things are being said at Cop 27. Biden has made big headline statements on reduction of methane; the US will enforce disclosure of climate impact on imports; the US and China will restart climate talks. The UK, after dithering...

SI Dilemmas: Keeping on course for net zero by 2050

SI Dilemmas: Keeping on course for net zero by 2050

The COP27 climate summit delivered a few wins but was disappointing overall. How do we keep on course for net zero in the absence of global cooperation? In our view, the net-zero transition will continue to gain traction, because paradoxically it appears that the lack...

Brooks Macdonald: COP27 conference was underwhelming

Brooks Macdonald: COP27 conference was underwhelming

Written by Ben Palmer, Head of Responsible Investment at Brooks Macdonald It’s fair to say that COP27 started with lower expectations than COP26, given the unfavourable macro backdrop of heightened geopolitical tensions, a global energy crisis and an economic downturn...

Trending articles