UK Faces ‘Major Barriers’ to Net Zero Future Due to Expert Shortage and Low Pay


The UK’s environment sector is facing a number of challenges when it comes to reaching net zero. According to a survey conducted by trade union Prospect, over 500 members who work in the climate-and-environment sector have reported shortages, a lack of qualified personnel and low pay as major obstacles.

10 out of every 100 workers reported a decrease in expert staff in the last year, whilst 35% said their workload had increased significantly. In the comments provided by more than 100 respondents, one wrote “I really like the people I work with and the value of the work I do, but I could be paid four times as much for my skills in a different industry – one that is bad or indifferent to the environment. We can’t solve environmental problems or net zero unless we have people to do the work.”

Furthermore, the reduction of expertise has resulted in important tasks being given to inexperienced workers. Low pay is a major issue in the industry, with 38% of respondents earning less than $38,000 per year, despite many jobs requiring a high level of skill and 20% of those surveyed having a PhD.

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