Climate Change and Climate Justice – Community Work Issues
It is now largely accepted that climate change is having and will continue to have a profound effect on all aspects of human life. What is also now accepted 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 the 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 community sector has a unique contribution to make in relation to climate justice in Ireland in terms of raising awareness within communities, up-skilling of the communities with which it works and 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.
One of the values underpinning community work as outlined in The All-Ireland Standards for Community Work is Social Justice and Sustainable Development. Understanding climate justice and the impact that climate change is having and will continue to have on the most marginalised communities here and across the globe is critical. To do this, community workers need to engage with policy in relation to climate change.
Community Work now needs put climate change firmly and clearly alongside our central and well-articulated local, national and global concern with poverty, discrimination against minorities and marginalised peoples and the intersections of both with women’s and children’s rights, gender discrimination and the rights of disabled people. This in effect means a paradigm shift so that all Community Work practice, policy, advocacy and education incorporates this dimension not as an add, on but as a core and key foundation of the discipline. Understanding climate justice and the impact that climate change is having and will continue to have on the most marginalised communities here and across the globe is critical. To do this, community workers need to engage with policy in relation to climate change.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties. COP26 is the next annual UN climate change conference, and the summit will be attended by the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994.
The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, will take place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, UK.
COP26 is a critical summit for global climate action. To have a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, global emissions must halve by 2030 and reach ‘net-zero’ by 2050.
CWI Members’ Meeting
The decisions made at COP26 are likely to have a significant impact on the communities that we work with. CWI will hold a Members’ Meeting under the auspices of the CWI Climate Justice Working Group on October 27th at 12pm for community workers interested in finding out more and discussing the implications for COP for these communities. We would love for you to get involved in the discussion.