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UK Policy Briefing

Climate and gender: Briefing for a new government

This briefing sets out the disproportionate impact of the climate emergency on women and how we can move towards a green and caring economy.


The climate emergency requires urgent action to transform our economy and society. Although climate change will impact on everyone on the planet, we know it is women who will experience the most acute effects. The climate emergency disproportionately impacts women because on average they are poorer than men, they have less savings, they are less financially resilient, and they often bear the brunt of economic crises compared to men. The climate emergency therefore amplifies and exacerbates existing gender inequalities. This briefing highlights key findings and recommendations from the work of the Women’s Budget Group across several public sector areas on the intersection of climate change and gender.


  • Prioritise public investments in decarbonisation and social infrastructure, particularly in the care sector, which can create more green jobs and reduce emissions compared to traditional industries like construction.
  • Phase out fossil fuel subsidies and redirect funds towards renewable energy and green infrastructure.
  • Introduce progressive taxation to fund climate initiatives and support social infrastructure, including health, care and education.
  • Focus on housing as a key vehicle for climate action, promoting energy efficiency and social housing development to reduce emissions and improve living conditions. Implement a retrofitting plan to improve energy efficiency in existing homes and buildings.
  • Expand public investment in renewable energy projects and green technologies. Introduce energy subsidies to support vulnerable households. Reform energy pricing to incentivise saving and transition away from fossil fuels.
  • Invest in sustainable, accessible and affordable public transport infrastructure, particularly in underserved communities. Promote active green travel options like cycling and walking through infrastructure improvements and education. Address safety and accessibility concerns for women, disabled individuals, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in transport planning.
  • Promote a green and caring labour market through equitable job creation, reskilling initiatives, and improved working conditions aligned with environmental sustainability and gender equality.

Addressing the climate emergency through a gender lens is crucial for building a fair and sustainable future. The UK must lead by example, acknowledging its historical responsibility and supporting global efforts towards climate justice through equitable policies and international cooperation.