YFS has joined Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and other community sector organisations in signing the Community Sector Climate Change Declaration.
Rapidly worsening climate change is hurting our communities. People experiencing financial or social disadvantage are impacted by climate change first, worst, and longest because they have access to fewer resources to cope, adapt and recover.
At YFS we have seen first-hand the impact that climate change is having on our clients. From our Pacific Islanders clients whose families are becoming climate refugees, to those impacted by the bushfires in the Scenic Rim in Summer 2019/2020, to the floods following cyclone Debbie in 2017.
Climate change has a greater impact on people experiencing disadvantage. Most YFS clients are from limited-income households and do not have the resources to insure or protect themselves from impacts of climate change. Many find it hard to pay their energy bills and are unable to improve energy efficiency in their homes, either because they can’t afford to, or are unable to because they rent.
We have been doing our bit for many years with YFS’ Substation33 social enterprise which specialises in electronic waste collection and processing, diverting e-waste from landfill. Through innovative projects like solar trailers, flooded road warning signs and supporting the PowerWells solar homes systems we’re finding innovative ways to repurpose e-waste while supporting people to learn new skills and transition to employment. We’d like to see more opportunities for initiatives like this in the new energy economy.
This is why YFS supports a fair, fast, and inclusive plan to address climate change and create opportunities for more affordable and healthier energy use, and housing suited to a changing climate, while providing access to jobs in the new energy economy for all.