STATEMENT: Make community action part of climate plans

There is much to welcome in the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, particularly the emphasis on creating green jobs in areas of country being hit hardest by the economic consequences of the pandemic. For this to be a real revolution, however, we need to invest in local climate action in our communities as well as the infrastructure we need for a net-zero future.

In particular this means addressing the inequity at the heart of the climate and nature crises. We know that the negative effects of climate change and environmental damage impact first and worst on those who have the least power in society and who contribute least to pollution. The work to decarbonise our economy must tackle, rather than entrench, this inequality and provide a springboard for better work and healthier, happier lives in the places that need it most.

This means:

  • ensuring that work to improve the energy efficiency of buildings is accompanied by programmes of personal advice and support to tackle fuel poverty
  • creating more and better green spaces which are accessible to those people in our communities who currently miss out on the restorative benefits of nature
  • ensuring new green jobs are accessible to those currently struggling in the labour market and embedding carbon literacy as a core skill in all professions
  • supporting community organisations so that they can engage a wide cross-section of people in improving local environments, campaigning for change and promoting individual awareness and responsibility.

We look forward to working with the government, local authorities, businesses and communities to facilitate and support the pro-environmental community action that this plan needs to succeed. We know that creating a society of sustainable communities is a long-term mission. The pandemic has given us a glimpse of what’s possible but also highlighted the need to address the deep-seated inequalities in our society.  Through working together and listening to one another, we can create a future where every neighbourhood is fairer, healthier and greener.

Read our policy position on climate and nature