Climate Emergency Centres A Transformative Way How Climate Emergency Centres are nurturing community-led climate resilience and adaptation
Since July 2018 when Adur District Council in West Sussex declared a climate emergency, over 300 councils have followed suit (see www.climateemergency.uk). But many have stalled there, lacking the funds, capacity, imagination or resources to take practical next steps. This has left a hole. Polls and surveys show there is a growing awareness of the seriousness of the crisis we face. It is present and real and people are impatient to experience change, as well as be involved in driving transformation forwards. Communities want to see what can be achieved, what their actions can help to create. They are left looking for blueprints for initiatives that they can adapt.
The Climate Emergency Centre (CEC) project was set up in response, to provide a template for groups wanting to start their own projects. It embodies and puts into action the theories and ideas of the Transformative Adaptation collective (see recent issues of PM), providing positive action.
CECs are focused on building solutions, adaptation and resilience to the multiple environmental and social crises created by our current system. The same system underlies the causes of both the social and environmental crises. With this in mind, environmental and social justice groups are encouraged to come together so they can work in the same space, cross-pollinate, learn and grow together.
The three principles at the heart of the CECs are:
1. A solution focus – for people and planet 2. A local and inclusive focus on meeting community needs 3. A wider network for mutual support and cooperation. The website https://climateemergencycentre.co.uk links to the CEC Handbook, and a 10-step process to get a community space running. Initially, those interested are advised to put out a call to prospective members. Newly established groups are then advised to split into four working groups: applying to become a legal entity; building a relationship with the local council; finding a building and liaising with building owners; and outreaching to other groups/individuals. New groups can join a Telegram chat group that meets online on a weekly basis to provide mutual support and advice. Our YouTube channel hosts themed issue 110 winter 2021