Vulnerable people and climate change
Some people are likely to be more at risk from climate change than others. NCVO has worked with a range of voluntary organisations (VCOs) to respond to this challenge.
NCVO ran a two year project (2011-2013) to help VCOs supporting potentially vulnerable people in England to explore the implications of climate change for their work and beneficiaries. We worked with organisations supporting:
- older people in London
- disabled people and those with mental health needs in London
- black and minority ethnic communities in Greater Manchester
- people on low incomes in Hull and Portsmouth.
- investigated the implications of climate change trends
- considered how to respond to these emerging challenges
- helped service users to understand the particular risks they may face from climate change
- taking action
- shared experiences with others in their field.
The project concluded with a final sharing workshop for all participants and a policy event at which some of the VCOs involved gave their perspectives on the implications of climate change for vulnerable groups to key decision makers.
The findings from each sub-sectoral workstream are featured in a series of mini reports for VCOs working in each field:
- Climate Change and Older People's Organisations [PDF, 400KB]
- Climate Change and Disability Organisations [PDF, 415KB]
- Climate Change and BME Organisations [PDF, 415KB]
- Climate Change and Low Incomes [PDF, 410KB]
The reports summarise the key impacts climate change is likely to have on these organisations' beneficiary groups and features some examples of how the VCOs responded to these insights. The full list of implications from the participants' initial brainstorms are available here:
- Implications for older people's organisations [Word 75KB]
- Implications for disability organisations [Word 85KB]
- Implications for BME organisations [Word 55KB]
- Implications for organisations supporting people on low incomes [Word 85KB]
Here are some of the key materials we developed for project participants:
- Climate change and your organisation discussion booklet [PDF 370KB]
- Climate change engagement resources for service users [PDF 205KB]
The organisations involved in the project found many creative ways to discuss climate change with some of their beneficiaries. IMPACT Theatre service users and staff even wrote and performed a climate change song!
Read the blog
You can read morea about how the project progessed on the NCVO climate change project blog.
More risks for vulnerable groups?
There is growing evidence that certain groups of people in the UK will be more at risk from climate change effects, including:
- those who are less mobile
- people with existing health problems
- those on a low income
- older people.
Research suggests that groups like these are less likely than other individuals to have the capacity to respond to climate change trends. Learn more from:
- The Roundtable on Climate Change and Poverty in the UK led by the new economics foundation and Oxfam
- ‘A rapid and just transition to a low carbon economy’, in Making Good Society, a major part of the Carnegie UK Trust’s Commission of Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland
- The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Climate Change and Social Justice programme.
Find out more
This initiative built on the successes of The Big Response pilot project. It was supported by the City of London Corporation's City Bridge Trust, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Environment Agency.
Read more about NCVO's work on climate change.
Advice and support
- Funding and finance
- Coping with cuts
- Addressing needs
- Managing change
- Planning for the future
- Involving people
- Public Service Delivery
- Governance and leadership
- Compact Advocacy programme
- Campaigning and influencing policy
- Collaborative working
- ICT (information and communication technology)
- Climate change
- People, HR and employment