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COP 26: Climate Change and Climate Justice – community work issues

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Climate Change and Climate Justice – community work issuesA briefing from Community Work Ireland

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 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.

COP26 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. The conferences are attended by world leaders, ministers, and negotiators but also by representatives from civil society, business, international organizations, and the media. There have been calls for COP26 to be postponed given that some of the countries most affected are also those with lowest vaccination levels against COVID19, which essentially means that their voice will not be heard. The UK Government have made it clear that the COP will be totally in person or postponed, and as of now maintains this position. However, if Scottish and UK COVID numbers rise considerably that might force a change. This arrangement also makes participation by civil society from the global south, including potential participants from places most likely to and already experiencing the immediate brunt of climate change, very difficult.

Read more about COP26, the impact of the Paris agreement and the impacts of climate change at communty and global level in the report here:

COP26

You can also view a Powerpoint presentation here:

COP26 Powerpoint presentation

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