Photograph: Britannica/House of Commons

Photograph: Britannica/House of Commons

Energy and climate change organizations notably operate in highly regulated and policy-rich environments, so it goes without saying that as public relations (PR) professionals, we need to understand the impact of policy so that our clients do, too. That way, we can position clients to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate risks and challenges to their operating environment.

In recent years, we’ve seen vitally important climate and tax and incentives policies, such as the IRA in the US and the Green Deal in Europe, provide transformational levels of finance for industries including solar, EVs, wind, hydrogen and storage. Without the certainty of those policies, many technologies would not have experienced the same growth levels or investment, which would have placed them on very different trajectories.

Our role as PR professionals is to ensure that clients are prepared for changes to policy that will directly affect their business and for changes in governments that may upset the status quo or, conversely, bring opportunities that can align with business objectives.

With four billion people going to the polls across the globe in 2024, there is the potential for major changes in administrations and, with that, climate policies that are driving the world towards net zero. As politicians in Europe seek to balance rising inflation, cost of living, and slower growth, there’s the potential for Net Zero to be deprioritized – a picture that is especially true in the UK right now.

Polling shows that the UK voting public wants change and Labour is readying itself for government after more than 14 years in opposition. Alongside this, 75% of UK voters believe that climate change is out of control.

But as the UK battles with high levels of debt, the government is struggling to find public financing for a sector where technology costs are high and early subsidies are required.

But the opportunity remains – the UK is going to need more storage, grid connections and smart systems to balance grid infrastructure as more and more wind and solar power comes online. Now is a key time to connect with policymakers and opposition figures to understand their priorities to deliver clean technologies in the short term and net zero in the long term.

At Mercom, we see the headwinds and we remain steadfast in delivering the right counsel for the current climate. Our team of seasoned communications professionals can help you navigate political change in the UK.