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The Inevitable Clash: How Economic Struggles Impact Students and the Environment

As the UK continues to grapple with economic struggles, the impacts on students and the environment have been particularly pronounced in 2023. With tuition fees increasing, living costs skyrocketing, and environmental regulations becoming stricter, the UK is facing an inevitable clash between economic interests, student welfare, and environmental protection. In this brief, we will explore the various ways in which economic struggles have affected students and the environment in the UK and how these issues are likely to continue to cause tension in the coming years.

Economy vs environment

The UK’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions has been weakened due to the increased burning of fossil fuels for energy production. This has led to a rapid increase in air pollution, with many of the UK’s major cities now exceeding the WHO's recommended safe levels. Additionally, the rise in consumerism has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of waste produced, with many landfills reaching capacity in 2021. The UK Government has taken steps to address these issues, such as introducing a plastic bag tax and banning the sale of single-use plastic items. However, these measures are not enough to address the long-term environmental damage caused by economic growth.

It is clear that for the UK economy to remain strong and sustainable, the Government must take a more holistic approach to balance economic growth and environmental conservation. This may involve the introduction of tougher regulations on businesses, such as the introduction of carbon taxes and mandatory energy efficiency standards. It must also include incentives to encourage businesses to invest in renewable energy sources. Only by taking a more proactive approach to tackling the environment-economy balance can the UK ensure that its economic growth is sustainable and that the environment is protected for generations to come.

One way the UK government has taken action is through 0 CO2 emission modes of public transport around city centres. However, with the UK facing over 2 Billion pounds worth of debt according to the ONS in 2022, it will be harder to invest in effective methods to combat climate change like these. Therefore relying on the UK's battle with climate change.

Economy vs students

The economic crisis in the UK has led to an unprecedented strain on its students, who make up a great portion of the nation's population. With rising tuition fees, low wages, and the sudden lack of support from the government, many students are struggling to make ends meet. The lack of financial stability has taken a toll on the mental well-being of students. One of the most limiting factors of the economy is the lack of job creation. With limited positions available in the UK, students are facing stiff competition for limited employment opportunities. Numerous graduates are unable to find employment in their chosen field and are left with few prospects to begin starting their careers.

According to ITV, the economic crisis has exacerbated existing mental health issues and has caused students to become increasingly isolated and lonely. Even for those with a supportive family, the constant psychological exertion of financial struggles becomes too much for them to bear. The UK government must recognise the immense stress students are facing, both financially and mentally, and take immediate steps to provide better mental health support for students. By providing students with better access to support, the UK can take a meaningful step towards curbing the mental health issues that have been compounded by the economic crisis.

The solution

For a Better Future for ALL - For a Greener and Fairer World

The Friends of the Earth is an international charity dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural environment. As part of their overall mission, the Friends of the Earth strive to empower people to make a positive change for the benefit of both people and the planet.

In this time of economic crisis, the Friends of the Earth can play a vital role in assisting people by providing environmentally friendly products and services. The range of environmentally friendly products and services the Friends of the Earth can provide include measures to reduce household energy usage and waste, support for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, one-off initiatives to reduce water, energy and food wastage, and even campaigns to support sustainable fishing practices.

These practices help combat the economic crisis therefore for not only students but for everyone in the UK whilst also keeping the environment in mind but this can not be done without YOUR help. Donating to these practices is one of the most important ways to help create a sustainable future. YOUR support can make a huge difference, so please consider donating today!


  • With the economy on the brink, the environment and students begin to suffer more and more.

  • The constant battle is placing more and more strain on the government with demands on all 3 aspects.

  • This brief looks at how a charity called The Friends of the Earth can help with this issue.


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