It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change is having and will continue to have a profound effect on all aspects of human life. What is also becoming clearer is that these effects will be felt most deeply by those who are living in poverty and with social exclusion and inequality.
These are the people and communities that are traditionally least responsible for climate change but they are also the people and communities with the least ability to adapt and respond to the effects of climate change.
The approach taken in this report was designed to build a process of engagement between the community sector and the issue of climate change. It included: 1) desk research and literature review; and participative workshops based around discussions of different socio-economic scenarios (developed for this process) associated with climate change in Ireland.
This report argues that the community sector has a unique contribution to make in relation to climate change in Ireland.
It outlines a three-fold argument directed at the community sector outlining why it needs to engage in climate change in terms of:
1) raising awareness within communities;
2) up-skilling of the communities with which it works
3) ensuring that policy development in this area takes account of the fact that climate change policies are likely to have a disproportionate impact on those already struggling with poverty and disadvantage.
The report outlines the relatively new area of climate justice and suggests that this is a useful framework within which to progress the climate change agenda within the sector and it also outlines the key international and policy instruments governing the Irish response to climate change, arguing that the integration of social policies with environmental policies is clearly an aspiration in Irish sustainable development policy but that this gap presents a significant opportunity for the community sector to articulate concrete proposals for how social/environmental synergies may be developed.
The report presents a number of strategies that might be used to encourage the community sector to engage with climate change, both within their own communities and in wider policy development arenas.
Click here for the full report: CCRP Final Report