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The positive case for fighting climate change

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Working class voters are just not that interested in climate change issues, according to a new poll from Ipsos MORI. That’s despite scientists around the world urging action to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions, and an increasing number of politicians proposing a greener future. 

In its findings, Ipsos MORI noted, “It is a big issue for almost three in ten of those in social grades AB (28%), double the level of concern among social grade C2DE (13%)… Those living in the south of England and Scotland are more likely to mention these issues than those in the Midlands and north of England.”

Instead, the issues that were closest to working class voters tended to be the pandemic, the economy, Brexit and the NHS. 

However, the fight for net zero doesn’t have to focus solely on tackling climate change and keeping temperatures under 2°C, instead it can be about so much more. 

I get it, net zero may not be the most interesting topic to read about – which may come as a surprise to you who read this newsletter each week – but the UK has the opportunity to lead the world into this new frontier.

We’re talking about thousands of new high-skilled, high-paid jobs for those installing wind and solar farms; a larger, more flexible energy sector; cheaper travel through electric vehicles; cleaner air; more affordable electricity. There’s a lot there to appeal to working class voters, so to imply they’re completely disinterested would be disingenuous. 

Of course the health of the planet is serious, hence the deadline of 2050, but it’s about time we start focusing on the benefits of a greener economy, rather than solely being another Project Fear regarding what happens if we fail to act. Because really, what is there to lose by going green?

This editorial originally appeared in the Electrical Review Newsletter dated May 13, 2021. To ensure you receive these editorials direct to your inbox, subscribe to the newsletter now.

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