Support communities to become aware, collectively explore and act on the impacts of climate change in pursuit of climate justice

Business Sectors (Suites): Community Development
Developed by: CLD Standards Council Scotland
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


This standard is about how community workers create the conditions for participation and empowerment of communities in pursuit of climate justice and/or take action which helps mitigate the climate emergency. This applies the existing values, knowledge-base and skill-set of community development to an issue which is a threat to all life on earth and especially those communities already disadvantaged in other ways.

This could include

  • raising awareness of the extent to which climate change affects people, wildlife and places where they live e.g. food costs, changing weather patterns, sea level rise or inland flooding.
  • taking effective actions to mitigate the effects of these e.g. flood prevention or other forms of climate adaption.
  • taking preventative action to reduce the impact of climate change such as recycling, upcycling, or reducing food or energy waste to limit carbon emissions
  • participating in wider networks and campaigns at scales necessary to effect change.
  • promoting debate and collective action to create just transitions which prevent the impact of climate change falling disproportionately on those already disadvantaged in communities e.g. alternative work opportunities in places dependent on polluting industries, taking action on transport issues or air pollution.

The community development standards are arranged in six key areas:

  1. Understand and practise community development
  2. Understand and engage with communities
  3. Group work and collective action
  4. Collaboration and cross-sectoral working
  5. Community learning for social change
  6. Governance and organisational development

This standard is within Key Area Five.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. raise awareness of the causes, impact of and solutions to the climate emergency including:

    1. understanding of what climate injustice is
    2. how it links to other inequality and oppression locally and globally
    3. how environmental injustice disproportionately impacts those already marginalised, disadvantaged communities/groups and wildlife.
    4. awareness of environmental human rights debates, and developments, including political and economic choices underpinning the crisis
    5. understanding the need for climate-related behavioural change by all, but especially those whose actions are most polluting
  2. develop relevant knowledge of current local, national and international climate policy

  3. identify, engage with and analyse climate justice issues in both practice and policy
  4. access partnerships, alliances and coalitions in pursuit of wider structural change to achieve climate justice aims
  5. help make just transition contribution locally to low carbon services in practical ways, which could include developing energy efficient services such as electric community transport; local green energy production or ways to reduce food waste by distribution of surplus food to those who need it.
  6. communicate climate-related issues in a clear and accessible manner
  7. prepare and implement climate justice policies, procedures and action plans in organisations and with communities.

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how your values, attitudes and beliefs regarding ecology and sustainability inform your practice
  2. the main climate policy issues and where to access more knowledge
  3. how to promote critical engagement with key climate and environmental discourses and their implications for communities, with an emphasis on environmental justice
  4. environmental justice as a foundational concept which links environmental issues with human rights, equality and anti-poverty
  5. the key networks and alliances active in this area in your practice context who could help communities develop their understanding of the issues and any choices that might flow from this.
  6. how to use core communication, engagement, and groupwork skills, tools and approaches to build capacity and support transition efforts in local communities


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge


Community development is underpinned by a set of values which distinguish it from other, sometimes related, activities in the community. These values are at the core of community development and underpin each of the standards. The values are;

  1. Social justice and equality
  2. Anti-discrimination
  3. Community empowerment
  4. Collective action
  5. Working and learning together

     The following examples illustrate how each of the community development values might inform practice in this standard. These statements are not part of assessment requirements.

  6. the role of learning in changing people's social, economic and political situation is recognised and explored

  7. time is taken to build trust within the learning group so that people feel confident to share experiences and learn from those of others
  8. learning methods are used to enable people to develop the confidence and skills to be able to represent themselves and their interests
  9. participants are involved in sharing their views and experiences of learning and contributing ideas for improving the experience for the benefit of others
  10. participants are encouraged and supported to identify further opportunities for their own development





Bring allies together, for a common purpose, and particular objectives but have little in the way of formal or informal contractual arrangements between participants.

Collective action

Working together with others to achieve a common aim.


A process where people gain control (eg confidence, knowledge, skills, resources) to affect decisions impacting on their communities.


Any collection of people in the community, voluntary, public and private sectors and any hybrid configuration across these sectors. It refers to community groups, charities, community and social enterprises, statutory agencies, businesses.


The work a community development practitioner may undertake to ensure the group can pursue its aims. The types of activities may include: providing information, moral and motivational encouragement, researching particular topics, identifying sources of help, listening to group members' ideas and thought processes and reflecting them back, facilitating decision-making, acting as an advocate, coach, mentor, critical friend.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2028





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Community Voluntary Workers, Community Activator

SOC Code


community development; community development practitioner; community development practice; community development values; community development research; community development consultation; community development groups; community development methods