On Saturday, January 25th 2020, over 120 people attended Wexford Local Development’s 2020 Community Conference in the Irish National Opera House, Wexford. We posed the question Are We There Yet? in relation to Community Actions for Climate Justice.
We have set up this section of our website as an ongoing resource to those who attended & those who are interested in becoming involved in local community actions for climate justice. We will be constantly updating our information and resources on this topic throughout 2020 and beyond. We start with presentations from the event and information on existing local projects. Scroll down for the full set of resources.
The aim of our event was to start a conversation at local level about climate justice in Co Wexford – looking at ways communities in Co Wexford can act collectively to address the climate crisis while ensuring those who will be impacted the most are:
- involved in and aware of efforts locally, nationally and globally
- listened to and understood during the transition to a sustainable future
- supported to make the transition
- empowered to take collective action
The audience included communities from around Wexford, young people from second level schools across the county, local elected representatives, general election candidates, environmental activists and professionals, community workers and representatives from marginalised communities – including travellers, asylum seekers and people living in disadvantaged rural and urban communities.
Issues raised included air quality, pollution & waste, Enniscorthy got a particular mention; flooding, Wexford is a vulnerable coastal county with two large rivers; biodiversity, we have unique assets such as the slob-lands; inter-generational solidarity, older people were born into an era with less waste while younger people are more aware of current solutions; energy poverty, the prohibitive costs of retro-fitting older housing & community buildings; transport, being a rural county; food poverty, sourcing local food is often more expensive; democracy, how do young people who are not yet old enough to vote get their issues across to decision makers & mental health, the climate crisis, carbon taxes and the costs of adaption are sources of stress and anxiety to many of us.
The big question raised was what can we actually do as communities in Co. Wexford & can we make a difference?
Are We There Yet? – Absolutely not but we have started a conversation together that hopefully will lead to actions.
Event Programme: Summary Programme_Are We There Yet_Community Actions For Climate Justice (PDF Download)
Presentations & Associated Information:
Micheal Wall, Chairman of Wexford Local Development – Welcome Address
Dr Conor Murphy, Maynooth University – Our Changing Climate (PDF Download)
Grace O’Sullivan, MEP – European Parliament profile & European Green Deal
Ann Irwin, Community Work Ireland – (PowerPoint Download) Community Work Ireland_Climate Justice Presentation
What Climate Change Means To Me – (PDF Download) Statements from young people representing secondary schools across Co Wexford
Feedback from workshops (coming soon)
Community Project Showcase:
Kilanerin Ballyfad Sustainable Energy Community Co. Wexford
Yola Farm & Family Centre Tagoat, Co. Wexford
The WARM Project (WLD) Green Street, Wexford
Seal Rescue Ireland, Courtown, Co. Wexford
Community Work Ireland Briefing Paper – The Urgent Case For Climate Justice (PDF Download)
Wexford Local Development adopted sustainable design principles for this event. We swapped printed material for digital means of communication and drastically reduced the use of paper. The caterers used reusable tableware and attendees to enjoyed a vegan lunch comprising, where possible, locally produced produce. All follow-up materials made available digitally on www.wld.ie
Are We There Yet? is a series of events focusing on equality and social inclusion which is a horizontal theme of the Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme (SICAP)