€15m Government commitment needed to mobilise communities on Climate Action
1 Euro Per Person Per Year would ensure success
Local education, awareness and action needed to secure support for climate measures
The Government should commit €5m a year for the next three years (total commitment €15m) to support measures which engage local communities on the need for climate action, including protection from severe weather.
The Community Foundation for Ireland is making a submission to Government saying that community engagement, education and awareness would help ensure people’s support for the wider €500m Climate Action Fund and its major infrastructure projects.
The submission says that an investment of just €1 per citizen per year would also encourage extra support from philanthropy – including legacies, family donations and the private sector.
The Community Foundation, which has provided over €50m to communities across Ireland over the past two-decades is seeking the following two actions:
Establish a Climate Justice Fund (€1.25 million per annum)
This fund would be used to foster local dialogue, increase awareness and support key activities that will promote a just transition.
Based on the Mary Robinson Foundation’s definition of Climate justice, which links human rights and development to achieve a human-centred approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable people and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts equitably and fairly.
The Climate Justice Fund would encourage and support the development of new solutions to local social issues that arise during the period of transition to a resource efficient economy and society.
Climate Justice projects are being seen as crucial to ensuring a just transition, with states such as Scotland establishing a specific Climate Justice Fund to support such work.
Establish a Climate Friendly Communities Fund (€3.75 million per annum)
Thriving communities rely not only on people but also on a number of aspects such as a healthy biosphere, sustainable/circular economies as well as innovative community initiatives that support more vulnerable members.
The Climate Friendly Communities Fund, managed by The Community Foundation for Ireland, would encourage and support the development of solutions to social to issues that arise in communities across Ireland during the period of transition to a resource efficient economy and society.
Types of projects which could be developed include community energy projects, sustainable shopping as well as the development of pollination corridors.
Publishing the submission Denise Charlton, CEO of The Community Foundation for Ireland, said:
“Again this summer we are seeing the impact of Global climate change on our communities. A season which started with the threat of drought is ending with high winds, torrential rains and August storms with flooding and extensive structural damage.
The debate about whether action is needed is over. Now we must work to try and ensure that the plans in place to help our communities, counties and our country become successfully sustainable are delivered.
Ensuring community education, awareness and support is key to achieving this. For a relatively small investment this localised engagement could create a wider understanding of why the radical changes being proposed by Government are needed.
At The Community Foundation for Ireland we know the impacts local initiatives can have. We know how mobilising a community can make all the difference. For our part we are willing to offer the Government our expertise in knowledge on how this can be achieved.”