Stuff: Earth Hub to become Nelson's headquarters for climate change action

Check out the media coverage from Stuff ahead of our Launch night! - Amy Ridout

It's been a seafarer's chapel, a haberdashery and a cafe. Now, a historic building near Nelson's port will become a focal point for local climate change action.

Earth Hub opens next week in the restored chapel at 235 Haven Road, the former site of The Chapel Cafe. The new space will be a community hub for people and groups concerned about climate change, environmental issues and future resilience.

"We are living in very important times," said Jose Cano, Earth Hub's director and founder.

"This is a place open to anyone to meet, share knowledge and to act on it. We want to have conversations about what we can do as a community."

Cano likes the idea that the restored building, which was "falling apart" when he bought it, will once again be used as a communal space.

"It has been a community building before, I am returning it to what it was."

As well as providing a home for groups like Extinction Rebellion and Action Climate, the hub will host workshops on anything from making climate change submissions to local government, to the lost art of preserving produce. 

When people think about climate change, many focus on sea level rises, he said.

"But that will be much later. Extreme weather events are going to be more prevalent."

Recently, we've seen damage wrought by Cyclone Gita, the Tasman drought, and the Pigeon Valley fires.

"We have to be ready as a community for these events; it's not something the Government or the council will take care of."

Meeting others with a similar mindset can counter the feeling that climate change is overwhelming and frightening.

"Meeting in person creates community. We think we are alone, but then you come here and we have 30 people with brilliant ideas and wanting to act, it gives you strength."

Cano, who is originally from Valencia in Spain, took an interest in climate change when he worked for a non-profit organisation in Thailand. As he travelled and saw the environmental degradation, he realised that to help people, you needed to focus on climate and ecology.

"Otherwise there is nothing for people; you have to provide people with a future.

"I have a daughter, one day she might look me in the eye and say, Dad, what did you do? Drink some beers and deny the reality? No, I acted. I want to make my daughter and all young people proud."

Earth Hub opens on July 18. To book a place at the launch or to explore future workshops and events, visit their website