Pioneering community leadership panel on climate launched

24 Nov, 2023
A dynamic new panel to develop strategic community influence on important climate and nature planning and decision-making has launched in Bristol.

A dynamic new panel to develop strategic community influence on important climate and nature planning and decision-making has launched in Bristol.

The Community Leadership Panel on Climate Change and Just Transition developed as part of the Bristol Community Climate Action Project, is made up of leaders of independent community organisations who bring diverse insights and lived experiences and who can amplify and advocate for the priorities of their communities. The panel will complement other climate expert groups in the city such as the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change, by bringing a climate justice lens to strategic thinking and planning around climate and nature. The panel aims to meet quarterly to review strategic policies and projects and to ensure community perspectives shape and influence local climate decision-making and action early in the process.

The Community Climate Action Project, coordinated by Bristol Green Capital Partnership and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund, aims to put community leadership and just transition at the heart of citywide and local action on climate and inequality. The panel is a new model of community influence, developed in collaboration with Praxis Research and piloted throughout 2023. It aims to help ensure diverse perspectives from Bristol’s communities shape and inform important climate developments in Bristol and to positively influence city decision-making towards a just transition, following Bristol City Council’s declaration.

“The new Community Leadership Panel on Climate Change and Just Transition looks at polices that the council, and other agencies are developing. It gives an opportunity to share insights about how they may affect different communities across the city, including Easton and Lawrence Hill.

One of the documents we’ve looked at has been Bristol’s Heat Resilience Strategy, an important issue for our area with a young population and lots of dense and crowded housing with low access to gardens and limited space for any new green areas. Another was the West of England Nature Recovery Strategy, looking at how we can create environments for plants and animals to thrive, and ways to allow young people to get into nature more, whilst recognising the importance of the limited existing open space we already have, for play, picnics and relaxing.

Using our community climate action plan, ‘Happy people, healthy planet’ to inform our input to these discussions, and have spoken about the extra support residents might need if they don’t own their homes, how consultations and information needs to be made more accessible, including in a variety of languages, and the enthusiasm local residents have for improving their local area.”

Vic, Eastside Community Trust Community Climate Action project lead and panel member

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