The evidence is clear: man-made emissions are causing dangerous changes in the climate, and the UK is now one of the most nature depleted countries in the world.
Groundwork believes that the needs of local communities must be central to the solutions to both problems. While political leadership is needed, sustainable solutions require the consent and participation of people from all walks of life.
We know that the negative effects of climate change and environmental damage impact first and worst on those who have the least power and who contribute least to pollution. The transition to net-zero carbon emissions must tackle, rather than entrench, this inequality and provide a springboard for better work and healthier, happier lives.
Our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must have environmental commitments at its core. This includes the creation of high-quality green jobs and the promotion of a circular economy. It includes investment in energy efficiency and renewables, high-quality green space accessible to all, improvements to air quality, and better habitats for wildlife.
Delivering a green recovery also means building the resilience of communities to cope with the effects of a changing climate, such as floods and heatwaves. As the COVID-19 pandemic showed, volunteer efforts can help communities plan for and respond to emergencies, bridging the gap between individuals and the emergency services.
Community-led initiatives don’t just meet immediate need – they can build long-term sustainable behaviour change. Evidence from our programmes shows that, with the right support, local community organisations can engage a wide cross-section of people in improving local environments, campaigning for change, and promoting positive choices.
Groundwork is committed to supporting and facilitating pro-environmental community action, and building the social infrastructure it needs to thrive. We know that creating sustainable change is a long-term mission. However, by working together, we can create a future where every neighbourhood is fairer, healthier and greener.
In the lead up to the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow in November 2021, we are calling for communities to be at the heart of the UK’s plans to tackle climate change. Our Local Action, Global Impact campaign shines a light on the ways local people are leading change.
Find out more
Our policy reports on climate and nature:
- Out of Bounds: equity in access to urban nature
- Our Place, Our Planet: helping communities become champions of climate action