We believe that the third sector needs to understand the predicted impacts of climate change and adapt to be resilient to these changes, empower people to play their part in creating sustainable communities and take action to help reduce our impact on the planet.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges
facing the world. It is not simply an environmental problem: it has
implications for the wellbeing of people here in Wales, and across
the world. The third sector in its entirety has huge potential to
tackle both the causes and consequences of climate change. It is
uniquely placed to reach and support people to take action and be
resilient, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable to the
impacts of climate change. Climate change also offers opportunities
to shape how we live and the public services we receive- the third
sector can embrace and influence these changes to improve our
wellbeing and communities.
What we want
We will promote the third sector in Wales to be
fully engaged as a key stakeholder in tackling climate change. We
seek to influence the Climate Change Commission, the Welsh
Government and other key delivery partners to influence policy
making, be given access to decision making, be provided with
appropriate support to take action in a way that is meaningful and
deliver sustainable communities and services. We will help the
third sector to understand why climate change is important to
consider and support it to take action.
What we're doing
As a member of the Climate Change Commission, WCVA has a
responsibility to encourage non environmental organisations to
consider their own impact on climate change, find ways of reducing
this and become resilient to its impacts. We are committed to
providing information and support to help other organisations
reduce their carbon emissions and to consider the implications of
climate change for their organisation, their beneficiaries and
work. We are also exploring how we can tap into community level
activity to embrace more sustainable lifestyles and develop
community led or partnership responses to the challenges of
environmental issues and climate change.
At the Commission's June 2015 meeting, members discussed a range
of issues including the Environment (Wales) Bill that will soon
pass through the Welsh Government. The Bill contains statutory
targets for climate change and commits the Welsh Government to a
target of achievingat leastan 80 per cent reduction in emissions
against 1990 levels by 2050.
The aim is to help stabilise the rise in the global climate to
no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The
Bill also requires the Welsh Government to set five-yearly carbon
budgets to regulate the amount of emissions it produces in each
period to help ensure that this target is reached.
This follows almost complete consensus from the scientific
community worldwide that the global climate is changing, and that
these changes are inextricably linked to the release of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, from a range of sources
including industry, agriculture and transport.
A two degree difference may not sound like much, but such a
change in the overall global climate will produce enormous impacts,
including sea level rises, changes in global crop production and
extreme weather events - some of which have already been
experienced in Wales.
The climate has already warmed by around 0.85 degrees above the
pre-industrial average according to the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, the world's leading research body on climate change
issues, and current patterns show that global emissions are still
rising rather than decreasing.
This is not to say however that the transition to a low-carbon
world is impossible. The Centre for Alternative Technology in
Machynlleth has researched more than 70 initiatives from around the
world that have already achieved low-carbon or no-carbon living at
city, region, and country-wide levels. The research,Who's getting
ready for zero?is due to be published shortly in the run-up to the
UN's next international conference on climate change in Paris in
We have produced two reports as a member of the Climate Change
Commission exploring what support the third sector needs to take
These fed into the Climate Change Commission's 2nd Annual report.
We have also recently attended the Commission's 33rd
meeting, where the Minister for Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant,
outlined his aspirations for Wales to become a net carbon zero
Information and support to take
To help the sector we have developed and
identified the following information and support:
Change Information Sheets: These provide an introduction
to the key concepts and issues of climate change, they explain how
it impacts on your area of work and your beneficiaries and what you
can do to take action on climate change.
Welsh Government's Third Sector Business Case for
Climate Change: This will help your organisation understand why
you should take action and offer strategies to mainstream climate
change action through your organisation and your
management and carbon reduction information sheets: These will
help you to reduce your carbon footprint and environmental
The Pathfinder Project was a Welsh Government funded
programme to support communities to take action on climate change.
Community groups and other stakeholder who have an interest in
community based projects related to climate change (adaptation /
mitigation) around the themes of energy, food, transport and water
can click here to
go to Cynnal Cymru's dedicated webpage where you can find links to
the publicly available outputs of the project
Case studies of non environmental organisations taking action
to help you learn from others. Click on each
organisation to read their case study. Also see below for a video
of organisations who, as part of the Climate Change Leadership
Group, have integrated climate change impacts into their
organisation and their work.
More detail on how we have been reducing our own carbon
footprint can be found by clicking here.
Renew Wales is a practitioner-led programme to help Welsh
communities tackle the impact of climate change. The Development
Trusts Association Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology and
other key partners and practitioners across the country are leading
Renew Wales will help 200 communities across Wales take action
and respond to climate change through advice, training, mentoring
and technical support from other experienced community
If your group would like to benefit from free training,
mentoring and advice from an experienced community practitioner -
or would like to become part of a supportive network of people and
organisations - please get in touch and get involved. www.renewwales.org.uk
Other related areas of work - Sustainable
We currently working on the Wales
Sustainable Development Bill - ensuring third sector
perspectives are reflected in the final bill, specifically on
engagement of the sector and how best to achieve sustainable
We have developed two briefings on the Bill which can be
WCVA is part of the Third Sector Alliance. This is a cross
sector group working together to promote the need for an effective
Bill which has positive impact on the needs of future generations
as well as those of today.
The Alliance has recently published Shaping the future an alternative
proposal to the Welsh Government's Sustainable Development Bill.
The document calls for the Welsh Government's legislation to
include a definition, a duty on government and public bodies to
achieve sustainable development, and a strong and independent
Please contact Clare
Sain-ley-Berry if you would like to know more about our
work on Climate Change or our related work.