A Green and Caring Economy: a feminist vision for tackling the climate crisis and transforming the economy
Date Posted: Tuesday 8th November 2022
The Women’s Budget Group (WBG) and Wen (Women’s Environmental Network) have today published a new report, the UK’s first Feminist Green New Deal: A Green and Caring Economy.
Women and girls are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which amplify and interact with existing gender inequalities. And yet, policies to prevent and cope with the impacts of climate change rarely consider the gendered nature of these impacts. For example, women often have the primary responsibility for feeding their families and so are being disproportionately hit by rising food and fuel prices or by leaving marginalised groups out of new job opportunities such as in renewable energy. Caring jobs are existing low-carbon jobs that we should invest in and expand.
The average job in health and care produces 26 times less greenhouse gas than a manufacturing job, over 200 times less than an agriculture jobs and nearly 1,500 times less than a job in oil and gas. During COP27 and against a backdrop of international agreement on the need for urgent societal transformation, this report provides a roadmap to a sustainable and equal UK economy.
Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director of the Women’s Budget Group said:
“The energy and cost of living crises we are living through have evidenced in the UK what we have seen globally for years: those who can least afford it bear the highest costs of our broken economy.
“Our current economic system has always relied on the exploitation of the earth’s resources, which aren’t factored into costs and so seemingly only add to ever-growing profits.
“Unpaid and under-paid care work performed largely by women has also been exploited and relied upon to prop up the formal economy and line shareholder’s pockets, leaving women more vulnerable to poverty and to the effects of climate crisis. Neither can continue.
“It is clear that we urgently need to transform the way we live, work, eat, care, travel and shop. Care and wellbeing are the driving force of a Green and Caring Economy, which turns traditional economic orthodoxy – which never worked for women or other marginalised groups – on its head. It also provides policies to make us all happier, healthier, more equal and at the same time sustain the planet.”
Kate Metcalf, Co-Director of Wen said
“Transitioning to a low carbon economy must include the needs of everyone. Through the Feminist Green New Deal project, we have spoken to women and other marginalised groups across the UK to find out what changes they would like to see. A new approach, with equality at its heart, to improve people’s health, wellbeing as well as protect the planet is needed. And the Feminist Green New Deal can deliver this”
A video released on the same day imagines a day in the life of a woman in the Green and Caring Economy illustrating the interrelated solutions to inequality and the climate crisis.