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Disability and Climate Change

Connecting the dots for effective advocacy

In 2021 Climate Justice Union in partnership with People with Disabilities WA were successful in securing a small grant from the Climate Action Network Australia to identify the links and connections between Disability and Climate Change. 

Why we did the project?

Climate change is an important issue to deal with, however we do not really know a lot about how it will affect people with disabilities in WA and what people with disabilities understand about climate change and their lives.

We know that climate change impacts people disproportionately (people who are already vulnerable/marginalised will be impacted earlier and harder than others) and we know that those who are most impacted are often not involved in the design of advocacy and policy.

People with disabilities are often ‘left behind’ during extreme events and their priorities and needs are rarely understood or integrated into our climate advocacy.

We are also aware that much of the work in the Climate movement excludes people with lived experience of disabilities. Conversations about climate change and climate action rarely link with disability rights or with disabled people’s priorities.

Meanwhile, many people with disabilities are often unaware of how climate change may impact their lives / is impacting their lives.

This project has enabled CJU to develop an advocacy agenda that prioritizes disability rights and climate action. We are also working with policy makers and organisations to incorporate these priorities (and working processes) into their work.

The Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is an advisory body who guide the development of CJU's disability work. The Steering Committee is not a legally responsible body and members are not expected to undertake administrative or operational tasks. The steering committee is made up of people with diverse disabilities and cultural backgrounds. CJU are indebted to their work and the guidance they have provided. 

Whilst this was originally designed as a 12 month program it is clear that 'crip time' requires different timelines. 

The purpose of the Steering Committee Group is:

  • Provide advice to CJU on CJU's programs and disability programs of work.
  • Support CJU in being inclusive and accessible, and holding CJU to account to practice this in all areas of work.
  • Contribute ideas and expertise, especially in terms of advocacy priorities and workshop design and questions.

Call: +61406722066

ABN: 23767498078

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We acknowledge that we begin our work as The Climate Justice Union on the Boodja (land) of the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We honour the Wadjuk people and their kin in other Nations and Country across these lands and waters, who have always cared for this place and all who lived here.

We acknowledge First Nations Elders past and present, and acknowledge that those of us living here, who came from across the seas, live on land that was taken, stolen. We acknowledge the responsibility that comes with this understanding and that we personally and collectively benefit from this theft.

As such, we all have a responsibility to decolonise ourselves, our lives and work, and to heal the harm these oppressive systems have inflicted.

Click here to read our full acknowledgements

We are a community union and do not cover you in your workplace. All Climate Justice Union members are also encouraged to join the relevant industrial union. Click here to find your industrial Union.

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