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#ACEVOClimate: August 2021 update

In this blog, ACEVO’s policy officer Maisie Hulbert gathers recent tools, resources and initiatives to support civil society leaders take an ambitious role in tackling climate breakdown.

A narrated version of this blog is available at the bottom of the page

The big climate news this month was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) latest report, assessing the latest science, implications and risks, and mitigation measures associated with climate change. The report found that the impacts of climate change are already being felt, and that human actions, in particular carbon dioxide emissions, are a key driver in global heating and associated impacts.  Strong, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gases will help stabilise the planet and ensure global heating does not continue to increase. Read the full report and the press release.

After the disappointing commitments made at the G7 summit, we now look ahead to COP26 in November. We need to see those attending the summit show more ambitious climate leadership on the international political stage to limit global heating and the devastating impacts of it which we are already seeing. However, we need to see this leadership across society, and charities have a unique opportunity to reach into the communities and places we work with and act to make this world safer and sustainable.

Charity leaders: if you have started this journey and want to share your learning and progress, or if you don’t know where to start and need to pick up tips and tricks from others, please do sign up to our climate and environmental leadership principles. This might sound daunting but by working together we can paint a positive, action-driven picture of what a more climate-conscious sector could look like. To sign up to the principles:

  • You don’t need to have ticked every box! This journey looks different for every charity. The most important thing is starting somewhere, so whatever that is – changing your electricity supplier; asking a question about your pensions; stopping printing board agendas – signing up to the principles will help provide a framework for further steps you may want to take. A reminder that all charity leaders can sign up – this is not restricted to ACEVO members
  • We have resources ready to use, including our brand new environmental policy template (member-only content), which I really hope will support you to start considering your organisation’s approach. We also have 10 starter questions to help you identify quick wins vs longer term work, and some working from home tips. Please do make use of these but also let us know what is missing and what you need – we would love to hear from you directly about the next templates or tools we should be drafting.
  • ACEVO members: you can share your thoughts in the ACEVO Community. Ask climate/environmental questions, share ideas and promote understanding of and interest in this area. We can all do something, and if we all act together we can have a far greater impact as a sector.

Great Big Green Week

Great Big Green Week is happening from 18-26 September.  Here’s what we will be doing at ACEVO:

  • We will be opening calls for case studies to platform positive climate action within the charity sector, and from the start of GBGW our environmental resources will be open access to anyone within the sector wanting to use them. We hope that this will drive engagement with our case studies (if you’ve started thinking about the climate where you work, please do get ready to submit something!) as well as more signatories to our leadership principles.
  • Keep an eye out for Twitter takeovers throughout the week – make sure you follow @ACEVO
  • Centre for Alternative Technology is running a webinar on 22 September at 7:30pm with climate scientist Kevin Anderson, exploring what needs to happen at COP26 to create meaningful change, as well as an overview of the brilliant Zero Carbon Britain programme. Book now if you want to find out more about the COP26 summit and what success might look like.
  • A reminder that you can check out events in your area here:

Further resources

  • If you want to know what civil society organisations want to see from COP26, then have a look at the Glasgow Action Plan from Bond, the Climate Coalition, and CAN-UK. It sets out clearly 6 points as the COP26 Action Plan which they ask governments to commit to. Take a look if you want to be aware of some key policy asks, and the change they will make, in advance of COP26.
  • This great blog from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland outlines some of the hugely important ways volunteering is supporting action around COP26.
  • Oxfam’s new report Confronting carbon inequality finds that the richest people in the world are responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the 3.1 billion people who made up the poorest half of humanity. Climate breakdown will affect everyone but it will not affect everyone equally; targeting global inequality and the climate crisis are closely linked. Read the report to find out more.
  • This blog from Peter Gilheaney at Forster Communications highlights how we can match our method to our vision, and be visible as organisations when taking on broad societal challenges like climate breakdown. 24 of the top 50 charities have published a plan of how they will achieve their climate targets.
  • Emma Gibson from our member working group has written a blog on what her organisation is doing in response to the crisis: contacting their landlord and pensions provider, joining the Cycle to Work scheme, and starting with a light touch sustainability audit. These are great examples of steps we can take as organisations start this journey – have a look at our resources for ideas on how to implement some of these steps yourself.
  • And finally a reminder of my favourite resource from last month: the Environmental Funders Network released this brilliant pack called Acting on the climate crisis: why, how and the role of philanthropy which is relevant to all organisations.

Thanks for reading – see you next month, make sure to engage with events and learning throughout Great Big Green Week! Get in touch with any thoughts or resources for next month’s roundup. I am always keen to hear from you, so thank you to the members who have sent me resources – please always feel free to email me

Narrated by a member of the ACEVO staff

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