26.03.24 Community

New Climate and Disability programme launched

Bristol Climate & Nature Partnership is pleased to announce the launch of an innovative, wide-ranging climate and disability programme as part of the Community Climate Action Project.

Diverse community leadership is at the heart of the Community Climate Action Project, which in 2022 launched the UK’s first community climate action plan made with, by and for a local community of Disabled people. Disabled people will be disproportionally impacted by the effects of the climate and nature crisis globally and yet they have been largely excluded from strategic climate action and planning. This has not only meant that climate action has often created new barriers for Disabled people, but the climate movement has missed out the expertise and wisdom that Disabled people can bring. Bristol recently committed to a just transition to net zero and the climate and disability programme will support this commitment by working directly with Disabled people on local climate action.

“Climate change is impacting people and communities across the world in ways that make new barriers and new risks to health. The political and economic systems that are causing climate change also make barriers that exclude Disabled people. Disabled people often know best how to live in and find their way through such a world. Yet they are mostly left out and ignored when it comes to action and planning on climate change.”

Dr Sarah Bell, University of Exeter, Sensing Climate Project

Running until 2025, the climate and disability programme forms part of the Community Climate Action Project supported by the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. It builds on the pioneering work of members of Bristol Disability Equality Forum and will include a regular Forum bringing together local Disabled people with an interest in climate action, along with strategic roundtable events in collaboration with the Sensing Climate Project to influence and shape climate and disability related policy and planning.

The programme will partner with the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) on a disability and energy research programme; create a new Inclusive Transport Champion role in partnership with Sustrans; commission two Disabled creatives to coproduce new climate themed work and bring key insights to the Community Leadership Panel on Climate and Just Transition.

The climate and disability programme will be coordinated by Bristol Climate & Nature Partnership and new climate and disability associate Dr Emma Geen, in collaboration with CSE, Sustrans and Dr Sarah Bell, lead of the Sensing Climate project. Local Disabled people’s organisations will be commissioned to deliver communication campaigns and a food and nature themed project.

“The changes our city makes to tackle climate change could make serious new barriers for Disabled people if we are ignored. Yet if we are included, and the work designed around our needs, the changes could be the biggest opportunity to make Bristol accessible in our lifetimes. So I’m delighted to be back on the project and look forward to working with the passion and expertise of Bristol’s community of Disabled people on the issue.”

Dr Emma Geen, Climate and Disability Programme Associate

If you are interested and would like to get involved, sign up to the Partnership to stay up-to-date.

Check out the jargon buster for an explanation of some of the words that might be new to you.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Bristol Community Climate Action Project has received £2,492,820.00 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK.


Find out more about the Community Climate Action Project

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