Community capacity-building for a just transition in Ireland

Training, mentoring, and connecting communities for a more sustainable future


Empowering communities in the transition to a climate-proofed economy and resilient society.

EMERGE is a community capacity-building programme to support Ireland’s transition to a lower carbon economy.

Urban Foresight developed the programme and is leading its delivery. Our work is focused on communities in eight counties in the Midlands region of the Republic of Ireland.

EMERGE is rooted in the idea of a ‘just transition.’ It aims to ensure that the benefits of moving to a climate-proofed economy are widely shared and that support is provided to communities that could be adversely affected by this change.

Specialist training and mentoring is helping communities to have agency over the region’s sustainable future. This is helping them to capitalise on the new opportunities created by climate action and ensuring that no community is left behind.

EMERGE is designed to provide guidance to expand potential choices and pathways, build communities of practice, and signpost relevant opportunities.

It is open to anyone that wants to contribute to building a brighter future for the impacted communities in the region. This includes individuals, community and voluntary organisations, local authorities, employers, and statutory bodies. It is also designed to be inclusive, connecting to people with different backgrounds, education, identities, and heritage.

Several strategies are being used to provide the training, mentoring, and capacity-building. This includes webinars, face-to-face dialogues, and mentoring workshops.

Community activation planning toolkits have also been developed to turn ideas into projects and actions. This supports communities that already have plans in place and provides guidance on translating this into community-led projects and actions.

The programme has required extensive partnership working across the public, private, and third sectors. It also benefited from a strong delivery partnership between Urban Foresight, the Eastern and Midlands Climate Action Regional Office, and The Wheel, which is Ireland’s national association of charities, community groups and social enterprises.

EMERGE has provided deep insights on the technical and non-technical barriers to delivering climate action projects at the community level.


Image credit: Neil Thomas