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Overview

The Climate and Environment Alliance was formed in September 2023 and is made up of a diverse range of 62 (and growing) organisations from across Cornwall. These VCSE organisations are often placed based collectives and work within their specific communities, on a range of challenges such as carbon, litter picking, energy or nature recovery. There is also a collection of larger organisations that work across the whole of Cornwall on either general or specific projects to protect nature and build climate resilience. The alliance has a selection of public sector partners within it, with the remit that the ratio is always strongly in favour of the VCSE. We do find that this mix of partners allows open, powerful and collaborative discussion, and movement on our objectives. This diversity of voices is appreciated by both the alliance and its public sector partners- to have this direct interaction between policy makers and the sector, we’ve found, is of great benefit to both.

As an alliance, the Climate and Environment group have worked hard to pin down what collaborative action looks look in practise and have mapped out a range of objective to work towards for the next year (insert image of objectives here).

With organisations such as Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Surfers against Sewage, Volunteer Cornwall and the Eden Project working alongside local place-based Clean Ocean Sailing, The Seal Sanctuary, PL24 and BF Adventure, it has been a steep learning curve about what we have collective capacity and power to have impact on for Cornwall. Collectively our strength is in the knowledge we hold, so one of our primary objectives is to take that learning and utilise it to support the wider VCSE sector to build resilience and become more sustainable as individual organisations. Weve also worked alongside partners in the development of the Climate Commision for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to shape what future Cornwall looks like in this space.

Vision

To support the VCSE sector to adapt, mitigate and build resilience.

Objectives

The Alliance has spent significant time creating an Objective list for the year ahead, 2024. Its key targets are as follows:

  • Declare a Climate and Nature emergency as the VCSE Sector. This has been codesigned with all alliances and is now live on our website – please sign up here
  • Collect baseline data from VCSE organisations including information on: Energy, Banking, Pensions, Waste, Transport, Technology and Policies. This survey is now live – please take the time to fill it in here
  • Workshops to research best practice in our sector: Happening throughout April and May in Hayle, Camelford, Truro and Liskeard
  • Create a ‘How to Guide’ to support VCSE colleagues and organisations to take positive action to build climate resilience, using the baseline data subject areas
  • Case studies on best practice from our organisations within the Climate and Environment alliance
  • Launch of the ‘How to Guide’ and Event led by the Climate and Environment alliance to share knowledge across the VCSE
Kirstie Edwards, Engagement Officer

Membership

Chair

Peter Lefort- Greener Futures

Vice-Chair

TBC

VSF engagement support

Kirstie Edwards, Engagement Officer: [email protected]

Members

62

CEA Organisation Spotlight

Clean Ocean Sailing

Clean Ocean Sailing (COS) is an award-winning volunteer organisation taking direct action to improve the marine environment around Cornwall. COS conducts carbon neutral sailing clean-up expeditions around Cornwall and Isles of Scilly aboard a 117-year old sailing vessel to an otherwise inaccessible coastline.

In doing so, COS contributes to the creation of a circular economy around marine plastics, striving to raise awareness about the Ocean Crisis and its consequences for local, national and global communities. Clean Ocean Sailing are determined to tackle the root causes of ocean biodiversity loss, pollution and climate change through coastal clean-up missions.

We work with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. So far, we have recovered over 55 tons of marine waste. Our central message is to Rethink, Reduce, Recover, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle the marine plastic devastating our marine environment. COS activities are achievable by all, encouraging people from every walk of life to join in and empowering them to make a difference.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a charity that rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline.Each pup season (September – March), the Sanctuary rehabilitates more 70 seal pups that have been rescued for various reasons, from malnourishment to being separated from their mum. Alongside this, the Sanctuary provides a permanent home to animals that need special care from our team of marine animal experts, including Common and Grey Seals and Icelandic rescue Puffins. We are also a part of a collaborative rehabilitation project with the Beaver Trust.

One Bag Beach Clean

A community beach clean group set up in 2018. We clean the beaches, lanes and car parks mainly around the Helford River
Collaborating with other local organisations such as The National Trust, The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Clean Ocean Sailing. In 2022 we collected 147.2 kg rubbish, we recycle as much as possible.

Plastic Free Helford River

Part of the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community network, together we are tackling avoidable single-use plastic, from the beach all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it. PFHR currently has 40 local businesses, organisations and schools signed up.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Commision

The Climate and Environment alliance has been part of the development group for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Commision. This working group has been made up of colleagues from Higher Education, Cornwall Council, Health, Business, Technology, Science and the VCSE to create this new and crucial function for Cornwall. Once the Commission is established the alliance will serve a vital function moving forwards, sharing the voice of the voluntary and community sector to the commissioners, ensuring that community voices are heard and represented within this strategic partner.

Climate Vision

Climate Vision, our local specialists in flood risk management have put together 10 pledges to focus Individuals and organisations to think about their personal impact and offers support to make positive change. They also offer support to create emergency flood plans for organisations, building and sites across Cornwall.

Volunteer Cornwall

Volunteer Cornwall has an incredible selection of useful tool on their website, from policies and case studies, to advice for how to get started. This work is framed via the lens of health and climate, but much of the information can be utilised in homes and organisations of any sector.

Read more

Cornwall Community Levelling Up Programme (CLUP)

Cornwall Community Levelling Up Programme (CLUP) has commissioned some research into impact measurement tools for organisations, homes and businesses in Cornwall. These cover food, waste, energy, water, digital impact amongst others. There is also a great tool called ‘C40 Toolkit for equitable impacts’ which looks beyond carbon impacts to social and equity impacts on communities, that are often trickier to measure.

MotherTree's Carbon Emissions Bank League Table

Banking and investment in pensions are one of the highest carbon impactful choices that individuals and organisations make, yet it is a minefield trying to find the information to make robust well researched choices as to where your organisation banks. Mother tree provides support, up to date data and active measurement on all UK Top banks, so finance officers can make informed decisions as to where to invest their funds.

Resources for vulnerable groups

We know that vulnerable groups are more effected by climate change than anyone else in our communities. Please read on for more evidence-based detail on the impacts of specific groups such as young people, those with disabilities, ethnic minorities and elderly people

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Climate and environment – practical advice and support for VCSE

Practical advice and support for VCSE organisations specific to the climate and environment theme.