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Bristol’s pioneering community-led climate action receives £2.5 million boost

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We are pleased to announce that the Bristol Community Climate Action Project has received a major boost through a £2.48 million grant from the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. This significant investment highlights the important role communities can play in achieving the city’s climate ambitions, whilst also improving the quality of life for local people.

The lottery award will support an ambitious, three-year city-wide programme which builds on the innovative approach to community-led climate action pioneered by Bristol Green Capital Partnership over the last two years, in collaboration with six diverse community organisations across the city – ACH, Ambition Lawrence Weston, Bristol Disability Equality Forum, Eastside Community Trust, Heart of BS13 and Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust – and supported by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Bristol City Council.

“We are delighted that this investment will enable Bristol’s diverse communities to turn their climate plans into action and empower more communities to lead climate action locally.CCA community partners

During the pandemic, Bristol’s community organisations proved how crucial they are when a city needs to respond to a crisis. The climate crisis is no exception. Bristol needs it diverse and dynamic community organisations to be at the heart of the city’s systemic transition to net zero” Amy Harrison, Head of Community Partnerships, Bristol Green Capital Partnership

The exciting next phase of the Bristol Community Climate Action project will include:

  • taking local and citywide climate action – through six innovative community-led live projects, in parallel with a strategic citywide project taking a community-led approach to accessible, sustainable transport in collaboration with Sustrans
  • championing community leadership on climate – by establishing a new Community Leadership Panel on Climate and Just Transition for the city with the support of Praxis
  • empowering other communities in Bristol to lead climate action – through a learning and peer mentoring programme to support and inspire twelve new community organisations to co-produce climate action plans with and for their communities
  • communicating creatively about climate and nature with citizens – through a series of neighbourhood and citywide engagement events and creative commissions
  • creating a framework to translate citywide strategies into neighbourhood reality – by working collectively with strategic city leaders and community partners to develop a unique Bristol approach to community Ieadership on climate.

The first phase of the Bristol Community Climate Action Project saw six community organisations co-produce the city’s first community climate action plans. These ambitious plans were developed by neighbourhoods experiencing inequality and disadvantage, along with the communities of Disabled people and Refugees in the city. Leading climate action at a community level provides opportunities to improve the lives of local people and ensure the needs of Bristol’s diverse communities are better represented as the city feels the effects of the cost-of-living and energy crises.

“In setting our ambition to make Bristol a carbon neutral and climate resilient city by 2030, we have been clear that environmental and social justice must be delivered hand in hand. That means empowering our diverse communities to take a leading role in Bristol’s response to the climate emergency. Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s work has been crucial in achieving this, partnering with six communities across Bristol to develop their own Community Climate Action Plans. This allows communities to shape climate action so that it brings the social benefits they want to see – employment, improved health and wellbeing, and enriched local environments.

This project puts the expertise, experience and ambition of Bristol’s communities, in all their diversity, at the centre of our climate action. I’m delighted that the National Lottery Climate Action Fund have given us the green light to continue to work with communities to turn their ambitious climate action plans into action.” Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

Phase two of the Bristol Community Climate Action project will include six innovative community-led projects responding to a climate related priority identified by each community partner in their climate action plans:

  • ACH will create a new climate learning programme to train refugees and vulnerable migrants about green jobs and the skills and knowledge needed to access them, whilst also establishing a pipeline into skilled employment opportunities
  • Ambition Lawrence Weston will regenerate local green spaces to maximise growing opportunities, giving residents the opportunity and skills to grow and cook their own sustainable fruit and vegetables, reducing food miles, enabling access to lower cost, healthier food options and improving biodiversity locally
  • Bristol Disability Equality Forum (BDEF) will create a Repair and Engagement Hub which willBristol Disability Equality Forum climate rally lower emissions and waste from disability aids, enable access to cheaper aids and repairs, divert unneeded equipment from landfill and relieve some of the financial pressures faced by Disabled people. It will be a new social enterprise run by and for Disabled people.
  • Heart of BS13 will reduce carbon emissions from ineffective waste disposal in the community, by pioneering a closed-loop household food waste collection system and attracting green economic development to the area
  • Eastside Community Trust will work with Bristol Energy Network to reduce carbon emissions from energy use in homes and community buildings, while improving the resilience of local households and organisations to more extreme temperatures and rising energy prices.
  • Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust will work with Avon Wildlife Trust and Bristol City Council to rewild Lockleaze for 14,000 local residents, transforming Lockleaze’s 41 acres of greens and grass verges to encourage wildlife and support nature recovery with the support of a ‘Community Ecologist’.

‘We are pioneering the way to show that all community work is climate work. We are becoming experts in climate work because the benefits of things like warmer homes, cleaner air, better public transport, access to green jobs and nature are invaluable to our local residents.” Donna Sealey, Ambition Lawrence Weston

To find out more about how Bristol communities are leading fast and fair climate action in the city, visit the Bristol Community Climate Action Project; download Bristol’s first community climate action plans; read the project Insights Report or watch the Youtube playlist.

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