Injustices of climate change

Posted on Feb 20 2015 - 9:50am by John Peters
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Regional social enterprise, Sustainability East, in partnership with Climate UK  and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, recently hosted a workshop in Cambridge to launch a powerful new website and mapping tool called

Climate change has been cited as the biggest threat to public health this century.

Climate change has been cited as the biggest threat to public health this century.

Climate Just, to analyse climate impacts, flood risk and fuel poverty at a neighbourhood level.

Bringing together over 30 delegates from a variety of sectors including water companies, local authorities, academia, health trusts, insurance and the third sector the event enabled attendees to preview the mapping tool that is available today (Wednesday 4 February 2015) and can be  accessed at www.climatejust.org.uk

The mapping software can be used to identify areas at risk from flooding or fuel poverty, allowing for the application of intricate localised detail, in order to provide users with valuable data and material that can be used to help address issues surrounding social vulnerability to climate change, and climate justice at a local level.

Climate change has been cited as the biggest threat to public health this century.  Reinforced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment report, which highlights that risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development.  In order to tackle climate change and its effects on society as a whole, decisions for the future need addressing now.

The Climate Just website aims to help local authorities and other organisations working on climate change, or working with vulnerable communities, to respond to this challenge.  It works by highlighting which people and places are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, including flooding and extreme heat, and actions that can be taken to respond.

It also provides a wealth of free resources, including:

  • information on which people and places are most vulnerable to climate impacts;
  • maps that identify areas of social vulnerability, exposure to flooding and heat and overall climate disadvantage in the local area;
  • information about who is most at risk of fuel poverty and how to tackle this;
  • case studies showing how different organisations are responding to climate change;
  • tools, reports and presentations to help take action.

Emma Davies, Senior Sustainability Officer (Design and Construction) at Cambridge City Council who attended the event and previewed the website commented: “As with all Sustainability East events I found the Climate Just workshop very engaging and informative, and this new resource will prove very useful in helping to bring the issue of climate justice to the forefront.”

David Webb, Director of Sustainability East added: “As evidence for the impacts of Climate Change grow, policy responses at all levels need to be well considered and fair.  We are thrilled to have been involved in this event and the launch of this valuable website which will help our partners to respond to vulnerability as a result of climate change in our area.”

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