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Climate anxiety is on the rise – but is that a good thing?
23rd June 2023

In today’s ever-more environmentally conscious world, it’s probably no surprise that so many people are increasingly worried about the environment. It’s particularly clear to see in younger generations, who will have longer to live in a world full of catastrophic climate events that are only growing in frequency and ferocity. This summer alone, we’ve already seen plenty of major climate events that are all key concerns in themselves – the lengthy heatwaves in Europe for example, or the wildfires causing surreal orange skies over New York.

It all serves to illustrate how climate change is not a distant and obscure concern anymore – the effects are real, and being felt right now. That’s having an understandably dramatic effect on people’s behaviour, and in turn, affecting their purchasing decisions. Specifically, more and more customers are re-considering their options when it comes to companies they choose buy from, which has made CSR and ESG a bigger priority for businesses than ever.

(Investing in eco-friendly energy alternatives like commercial solar panels is not only a great way to demonstrate to your commitment to mitigating your carbon footprint, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of climate anxiety and how it’s affecting the customer mindset when it comes to spending.)

Now, while this rise in climate-related anxiety is certainly a cause to be taken seriously – is it an objectively bad thing? Well, as it goes the answer is slightly more complicated than a simple yes or no. While anxiety of any kind can be awful for those experiencing it, and we don’t dispute that, climate anxiety, in particular, does seem to have some interesting effects on people – and not all of them are as negative as you might think.

What is climate anxiety?

To put it simply, climate anxiety is a sense of distress, fear or worry that’s linked to the effects of climate change. And, while many people in the UK are able to cope relatively easily with this steady thrum of worry, for young people especially, that worry can be a lot more intense. In fact, Save the Children found that 70% of the world’s children are worried about the planet they will inherit. So, while it’s not considered a diagnosable condition, mental health experts recognise that the culmination of mental health and climate change – two of the greatest crises of our time – is cause for concern.

Why is there a rise in climate anxiety, and is it a bad thing?

As we’ve touched on above, it’s really not that surprising that climate anxiety is on the rise. When the news is almost always negative, and weather-based disasters like floods and wildfires get worse on a seemingly yearly basis – it can be frightening, particularly so for the younger people who stand to be most affected by the outcomes of climate change. But experts have suggested that while climate anxiety doesn’t feel great for us, it could actually be good news for the planet.

The first-ever study of UK adults and climate anxiety finds that while the overall scores of climate anxiety were relatively low, climate change worry is widespread, with almost half (46.2%) of participants being very or extremely worried about climate change. This study also highlights that a fear for the future could be the ideal motivator when it comes to triggering a necessary switch from our carbon-heavy lifestyles to more eco-conscious ones.

In other words, it could spark more determined efforts from the general public and businesses, and when combined with the UK’s pledge to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050, that could set the world on a pathway to a cleaner, brighter and most importantly, greener future. Especially when renewable power like commercial solar panels and wind farms are finally kicking fossil fuels to the curb!

As we touched on earlier, climate worry and climate anxiety are going to have a major impact on customers and their buying habits for the foreseeable future – potentially even forever. This means they’re more likely to expect more from you as a business in terms of sustainability, so if you want to stay competitive, you’ll need to ensure that customers can see you doing your part to mitigate climate change. Changing supply chains and exploiting reuse opportunities from waste are both great ways to accomplish this, but they’re long-term goals. One way to effect change immediately is by creating your own clean energy through commercial solar panels. And that’s where we come in.

If you’re thinking of installing some solar panels for your own business, or if you’ve got any questions, you can count on us to have all the answers you need – our experts have over 30 years of combined experience, having helped SMEs and large corporations across a wide variety of sectors transform their business’ energy supply.

Each of our installations is bespoke, tailoring your solution on your specific energy profile, helping us to maximise carbon reductions and saving you thousands in energy bills. Feel free to look at our case studies for just a few examples of businesses which have reaped huge rewards from solar, such as Boeing and Irish Water. To find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 421 489!

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