Ireland Climate Action Project to Drive Community Input
Two contrasting communities, Phibsborough in Dublin and the village of Ardara in west Donegal are partnering in a new project to embrace climate action and support local development. The people’s transition project created by TASC intends to get community groups to collaborate on local climate change solutions and enabling a better and healthier living standard.
Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, we are all looking for a decent standard of living and to be part of a prosperous community, according to the TASC Climate Justice Centre. TASC believes that including people in decisions and working together to find solutions, driving positive change, as a result, encourages broader participation.
TASC explain that people want to protect our planet for the future but also have growing concerns over the short term implications of climate change. This means that public spending on climate action needs to be funnelled towards job creation, community support and driving local production opportunities.
The new strategy was explored in an EU report generated by TASC late last year. The findings detailed discussions with food producers, community representative, farmers and fisherman across Ireland, exploring their vision and concerns for the future. The findings suggested that there was little opposition to climate action, but there was notable opposition to our lives being made more difficult.
The general ethos of the project is to enable communities to come together and ensure all members voices are heard and that everyone is included. By listening to the voices of local communities, the response and plan for climate change can be community-driven and the benefits are shared further. While the challenges between the two regions vary, the village of Ardara still has a focus on generating support and people working together to provide the best interests for their community. People want this sense of community to continue beyond Covid and to apply this collaboration to climate action.
Aine Macken-Walsh of Teagasc explains that food producers such as farmers and fishers had concerns surrounding climate change but also feared being sidelined in the process of change. Walsh explains that they view themselves as separate from the bigger solution, but in reality, if they were given the opportunity to contribute further to local projects, it would increase their potential success in rural and coastal regions.
Aine O’Gorman of Stop Climate Chaos and leader of the One Future Campaign for quicker and fairer climate action believe people desire more local action and greater access to policies. This project would allow other communities to develop, sharing their knowledge and expertise.
The TASC model enables communities to have more say and plan their shift to a low carbon economy while maintaining the community at the core. Pilot projects are due to commence in both locations later this year, with plans for community mapping and consultation to determine key priorities in each region. Reports will then be generated to assess the needs and opportunities in each location and define the key and costed climate solutions that can be created locally.