‘If climate action is left as an individual journey then people will become more and more isolated. It’s only through the sense that we might be able to tackle it in a more shared way that we can solve it.’
Community Climate Coach: Gavin Harte, Program Manager and Trainer
Project: Communities 4 Climate Action
Location: County Kildare, County Wexford, and County Cavan, Ireland
Funding: Local Development Companies, through the EU LEADER programme
Local context: These counties are very rural and sparsely populated. Tourism and farming are the main industries.
Goals: To deliver climate action training, to build community resilience, and to prime communities and individuals to access further funding opportunities.
Process: This free 8-week course is aimed at people, groups and organisations who want to help their communities become climate smart and avail of LEADER funding for local sustainability projects. The course includes a full day local orientation session, a field trip to Cloughjordan Ecovillage and 6 modules – Climate Action, Community Resilience, Managing Energy & Transport, Water & Climate Change, Zero Waste & the Circular Economy and Local Food & Sustainable Land Use.
Insights: At this stage in my life, I’m reluctant to the idea that you can actually change people. I think it’s the individuals themselves who are coming to the course because they want to do something; in essence, it’s a voluntary engagement. People come, they get involved, and I think the course is well suited to assisting people on that personal journey. What we offer is a skilled team of trainers who have deep knowledge and understanding of the subject, which is then well communicated. The approach is very much around assisting the person on their own personal journey and us being supportive to that.