GOVERNMENT is being asked to invest €1 per person per year to ensure communities in Limerick are fully engaged on the issue of climate action.
The call is being made in a submission by The Community Foundation for Ireland which warns that the national €500m Climate Action Plan will not succeed unless there is better engagement, awareness and education with people in Limerick and across the country.
The Foundation says Limerick risks being impacted by severe weather events unless policymakers begin the process of listening to the concerns, the ideas and the initiatives of communities. It is proposing an annual investment by Government of €5m a year over the next three years.
Part of the funding would see the development of community energy projects, sustainable shopping and nature projects in Limerick.
The Community Foundation for Ireland has translated almost €60m in gifts, donations and legacies into grants for local areas over the past 20-years
The submission to Ministers seeks two actions:
- Establish a Climate Friendly Communities Fund (€3.75 million per annum)
Thriving communities rely not only on people but also on a number of aspects such as a healthy biosphere, sustainable/circular economies as well as innovative community initiatives that support more vulnerable members.
The Climate Friendly Communities Fund, managed by The Community Foundation for Ireland, would encourage and support the development of solutions to social to issues that arise in communities across Ireland during the period of transition to a resource efficient economy and society.
Types of projects which could be developed include community energy projects, sustainable shopping as well as the development of pollination corridors.
- Establish a Climate Justice Fund(€1.25 million per annum)
This fund would be used to foster local dialogue, increase awareness and support key activities that will promote a just transition.
Based on the Mary Robinson Foundation’s definition of Climate justice, which links human rights and development to achieve a human-centred approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable people and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts equitably and fairly.
The Climate Justice Fund would encourage and support the development of new solutions to local social issues that arise during the period of transition to a resource efficient economy and society.
Climate Justice projects are being seen as crucial to ensuring a just transition, with states such as Scotland establishing a specific Climate Justice Fund to support such work.
Publishing the submission Denise Charlton, CEO of The Community Foundation for Ireland, said:
“Again this summer we are seeing the impact of Global climate change on Limerick’s communities. A season which started with the threat of drought is ending with high winds, torrential rains and August storms with flooding and extensive structural damage.
The debate about whether action is needed is over. Now we must work to try and ensure that the plans in place to help our communities, counties and our country become successfully sustainable are delivered.
Ensuring community education, awareness and support is key to achieving this. For a relatively small investment this localised engagement could create a wider understanding of why the radical changes being proposed by Government are needed.
At The Community Foundation for Ireland we know the impacts local initiatives can have. We know how mobilising a community can make all the difference. For our part we are willing to offer the Government our expertise in knowledge on how this can be achieved.”