Climate Change Not Among UK Civil Society's Top Priorities, Study Finds

A group of humanitarian and environmental organizations in Australia take their advocacy campaign against climate change underwater. In the U.K., most civil society organizations do not regard addressing climate change as connected and relevant to their core missions, according to a new report. Photo by: 350.org

Most civil society organizations in the United Kingdom do not see addressing climate change as connected and relevant to their core missions, according to a report by a U.K.-based think tank.

Green Alliance, which focuses on mobilizing political support for global environmental issues, is urging civil society organizations to recognize the importance of climate change work to their mission. This is the first step to mainstreaming climate change action throughout civil society, the organization argues.

The report gives several recommendations towards putting climate change at the heart of the CSOs’ operations, including improving the leadership capabilities of umbrella networks and forging new partnerships across various parts of civil society.

CSOs need to be better informed of the impact of climate change on their projects and their beneficiaries, Green Alliance notes.

“It [climate change] has the potential to roll back progress on a wide range of goals, including efforts to tackle poverty and inequalities and to protect the vulnerable. Once the links are made, the power of civil society organizations to influence decision makers with compelling new perspectives will be invaluable in securing more rapid and ambitious progress on climate change,” a spokesperson for the organization said, according to Civil Society.co.uk.

Green Alliance’s report, dubbed “New Times, New Connections,” comprises interviews and desk-based research involving 222 U.K.-based civil society organizations engaged in works other than environment issues.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.