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CLIMATE CONVERSATION

On the 13th January, Global Gardens Project hosted a ‘Climate Conversation' event at Waterloo Tea on Whitchurch Road. This blog presents an overview of what was discussed. You can also listen to our podcast about it here.


This event was part of a series of events happening across Wales, funded by the Welsh Government as part of Wales Climate week.


The Welsh Government’s aim of funding these events is to “involve members of the public in exploring the links between solutions for tackling climate change and the cost-of-living crisis” and to “deepen collective understanding of the barriers faced by industry and business, regions, communities and households across Wales, action already being undertaken to address them and other solutions needed in the future.”


30 people attended our event, including five facilitators. After an introduction tot the format, people joined break out groups of 6-8 to discuss and then a group representative shared key points back to the wider group.

Conversations at our event were focussed around responding to three key questions, based on guidance from the Welsh Government:


Q1: What are the major challenges we face as a local community (e.g. defining local the community as Gabalfa and/or Cardiff) in reducing emissions and realising net zero whilst making our communities better places to live?


Q2: How do we reduce emissions, make it fair for you and ensure better places to live and work?


Q3: How can the Welsh Government involve you in action on climate change fairly?


Each question was discussed in break-out groups, supported by a facilitator.


Discussions were steered according to these three principles (drawn from the People’s Assembly: How to run a People’s Assembly Guide).


Radical Inclusivity. We want all voices to be heard. This means creating a space where everyone feels safe and able to participate, the quieter and louder voices and different identities and abilities.


Active listening. When someone else is talking this means putting aside the need to calculate a response and giving your attention fully to them.


Trust. Trust yourself when you speak, trust others, and trust in the process that you have all agreed to engage in


Participants were invited to note any key responses to the questions on ‘post-its’, which were then discussed in break-out groups and summarised to the wider group. Post-its were stuck on to flip-chart paper, collated by facilitators and typed up.



Findings

Challenges we face as a community

Q1: What are the major challenges we face as a local community (e.g. defining local the community as Gabalfa and/or Cardiff) in reducing emissions and realising net zero whilst making our communities better places to live?


In response to the first question, groups discussed five main thematic challenges: transport, food, communities, housing and energy.

A number of key points were highlighted:


  1. The need for government support for more local food production including access to land and infrastructure.

  2. The need for reliable, affordable public transport options.

  3. The need for an improved cycle network across the city that includes better designed cycle lanes and lock-up points, including routes that sync up with public transport options.

  4. The need to bring more people into the space of climate action through accessible, engaging communication and engagement.

  5. The support of community-based initiatives.


There was also a sense that Welsh Government needs to broaden its definition of the challenges we face in the midst of the climate crisis - moving from beyond just carbon emissions and realising net-zero, to a more holistic understanding of ‘just transition’ that takes into account biodiversity, planetary boundaries and social justice.


The changes we would like to see

Q2. How do we reduce emissions, make it fair for you and ensure better places to live and work?


Groups discussed five key themes: sustainable and active travel; localising food systems; sustainable housing and renewable energy (including for rental accommodation; active support of sustainable community housing and One Planet Development initiatives); local, sharing economies, and; green education, skills and careers.


We also considered some blue-sky ideas ranging from creating a Universal Basic Income to rethinking what work means and introducing a four-day working week.



How would we like to be involved?

Q3. How can the Welsh Government involve you in action on climate change fairly?


In response to the final question, we discussed how we would like to be more involved at the local level - ranging from Citizen's Assemblies (which have decision-making powers) to citizen's jury. We also noted the need for more information around local AMs and councillors and the actions they have been taken, as well as the need for local authorities to better understand the challenges communities face. People further suggested the need for more financial commitment to climate action at multiple scales of government from local to national and the need for climate officers in all local authorities.


There was also discussion around the themes of public sector accountability and financing climate action; inclusivity and reaching the harder to reach. Conversations touched on the need to bridge divides between communities and to create multigenerational spaces for deliberation.


Read more about the responses in our Climate Conversation Document here!


Listen to find out more!

Lucy Smith has also created a podcast about the event which you can listen to here.

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