Pioneering community leadership panel on climate launched in Bristol
20th November 2023
A dynamic new panel to develop strategic community influence on important climate and nature planning and decision-making has launched in Bristol.
The Community Leadership Panel on Climate Change and Just Transition, developed as part of the Bristol Community Climate Action Project, is made up of leaders of independent community organisations who bring diverse insights and lived experiences and who can amplify and advocate for the priorities of their communities. The panel will complement other climate expert groups in the city such as the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change, by bringing a climate justice lens to strategic thinking and planning around climate and nature. The panel aims to meet quarterly to review strategic policies and projects and to ensure community perspectives shape and influence local climate decision-making and action early in the process.
The Community Climate Action Project, coordinated by Bristol Green Capital Partnership and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund, aims to put community leadership and just transition at the heart of citywide and local action on climate and inequality. The panel is a new model of community influence, developed in collaboration with Praxis Research and piloted throughout 2023. It aims to help ensure diverse perspectives from Bristol’s communities shape and inform important climate developments in Bristol and to positively influence city decision-making towards a just transition, following Bristol City Council’s declaration.
Head of Community Partnerships at Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Amy Harrison, said, “We’re excited to be launching the panel, believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Community leaders are experts of their place and their lived experience can make climate and nature action an opportunity to improve the lives of local people. The panel brings critical insights which will ensure strategic policies and projects are well informed and prioritise a just transition. As this is a new model we will be reviewing and evolving the panel to ensure it better reflects the diversity of the city’s communities and can support climate action and decision-making more widely in the West of England region.”
Suzanne Wilson, Chief Executive of Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust, one of the members of the panel, said, “I’m pleased to be part of the Community Leadership Panel on Climate Change and Just Transition, and to explore how community experience and insights can be championed and valued in city decision making. Climate action is more effective if it has leadership and support from local communities, and we hope the panel will make this possible and increase the chances of a just transition.”
Panel members are predominately those who have been involved in the first round of the Community Climate Action Project and who have codeveloped community climate action plans with their communities. They are joined by Associate panel members with expertise and lived experience of Disability and race equity. Panel membership is expected to grow as members of the project’s learning and mentoring programme join with an emphasis on ensuring diversity of those currently unrepresented in city decision-making.
Expressions of interest are now open for the February 2024 panel session and those working on strategic climate related policy and projects in the city are encouraged to apply.