An open letter to the Prime Minister

By Everyone's Environment 25 September 2023

A letter from Everyone’s Environment to the Prime Minister in response to 20 September 2023 announcements on changes to net zero policies.

Dear Prime Minister,

We listened with deep concern to your announcement last week on your new plans on net zero. Whilst we are concerned about how current environmental policies are impacting people from different social groups, your proposed changes to them do not solve the problems that people, particularly those on low incomes, are facing now, and they are not in line with the priorities that they are telling us.

As part of the Everyone’s Environment programme, a coalition of 50 charities and funders, a cross-sector group of charities have published briefings summarising the evidence of environmental change on different people in the UK. Today they have also released results from deliberation groups and surveys with over 750 young people, older people, Disabled people, and people from ethnic minority communities showing how they want government and charities to respond to environmental change.

The results of these conversations show that contrary to your decision to delay environmental policies, young people and older people feel government isn’t doing enough, and all groups we spoke to want to see regulation alongside subsidy. All groups also want government to listen to them more.

Young people want government to prioritise policies on transport and renewables, not weaken commitments as you have suggested. Older people want to see the government drive innovation through investment, particularly in new energy technology, and want more support for low income groups to install insulation and solar panels. People we spoke to from ethnic minority communities want greater regulation and enforcement for private and social landlords, not less, and Disabled people want more support from government to install renewable technologies and insulation.

A previous evidence review from Everyone’s Environment partners showed that low-income
people, the same people that you have said your delays to policies will benefit, are already more likely to experience the worst impacts of environmental change, including poorer health during heatwaves and from breathing in polluted air. They are most likely to benefit from faster net zero policies alongside those aimed at cleaning up our air, so delays to policies will likely make their health worse, and increase the costs to them, the NHS and the wider economy.

You said that you wanted a democratic and properly informed debate on environmental policies. We hope that you therefore listen to the voices of these people and reverse your decision to delay implementation of critical policies to reduce emissions.

As charities and funders that work with and support people from some of the groups most affected by environmental change, we are willing to help facilitate ways for you to hear directly from people on the environmental policy changes they want to see.

You can read all the Everyone’s Environment research on our website:

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss this further. If this is of interest, please contact the Everyone’s Environment team at

Leah Davis – Head of Policy and External Affairs, NPC

Graham Duxbury – Chief Executive, Groundwork UK

Deborah Mccahon – Chief Executive Officer, Woodcraft Folk

Jabeer Butt – Chief Executive, Race Equality Foundation

Kamran Mallick – Chief Executive Officer, Disability Rights UK

Laura Joplin – Head of Impact, Re-engage

Sarah Woolnough – CEO, Asthma + Lung UK

Laura Cockram – Head of Policy and Campaigns, Parkinsons UK

Jo Hobbs – Chief Executive, British Youth Council

Janet Thorne – CEO, REACH volunteering

Jane Ide – Chief Executive, ACEVO

Karen Whitfield – Co-Director, Wales Environment Link

Juliet Michaelson – Co-Director, Possible

Carol Botten – CEO, Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East

Ed Mayo – CEO, Pilotlight

Parisa Wright – Founder & CEO, Greener and Cleaner

Tim Frew – Chief Executive, Youth Link Scotland

Karen Parry – Chief Executive, Inclusion North

Caroline Collier – CEO, Inclusion Barnet

Isabelle Clement MBE – Director, Wheels for Wellbeing

Julie Ratcliffe – Chief Operating Officer, Royal Association for Deaf People

Clare Moody – Co-CEO, Equally Ours

Charles Kwaku-Odoi – Chief Executive, Caribbean & African Health Network

Circle Steele – Chief Executive Officer, Wai Yin Society

Dr Shanon Shah – Director, Faith for the Climate

Maxwell A. Ayamba BEM – Founder/CEO, Sheffield Environmental Movement

Ritah Kambona – Co- Founder and Creative Lead, Yuniya

Sarah Mann – Director, Friends, Families & Traveller


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