The global Climate Heritage Network, which Europa Nostra co-chairs, launches new Action Plan 2022-2024
The Climate Heritage Network (CHN) is a global network of more than 250 member organisations committed to supporting communities in achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement by scaling up culture-based and heritage-led climate action. It gathers organisations, charities, government bodies, universities, cultural and heritage institutions as well as creative industries from around the world. Since November 2021, Europa Nostra has acted as the Regional Co-Chair of the Climate Heritage Network for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, covering the wider Europe.
The new CHN Action Plan (2022-2024) promotes the theory that change happens by unlocking the power of culture to empower people to imagine and realise low-carbon, just, climate resilient futures.
To achieve this, it urges cultural voices to challenge the ‘petrocultures’ and ‘carbonscapes’ that are the heritage of the Anthropocene, while championing those elements of culture that are part of the solution to climate change. These include lessons of historic and traditional buildings and landscapes; the worldviews and cultures of Indigenous Peoples and local communities that offer counterpoints to unsustainable paradigms of ‘progress;’ and artistic, creative and imaginative tools that help people take climate action.
The CHN’s Action Plan is designed to shape change by connecting cultural voices to each other and partners across sectors to transform climate policy, planning, and action at all levels by better taking account of these cultural dimensions, recognising that people and culture are key to climate solutions. Prioritising support for rights-based, place-based, demand-side and people-centred strategies are a key to the Plan.
At the core of the Plan are two goals for 2022-2024:
- Increase the quantity and quality of culture-based climate action at all levels, and
- Transform climate policy by embedding culture and heritage into strategies to realise low-carbon, just and fair, climate resilient living.
In support of these aims, the Action Plan establishes 12 key focus areas, such as Buildings and Infrastructure, Food and Agriculture, Waste and Consumption, and Just Transition. Outputs will promote more sustainable practices such as the adaptive re-use of buildings and use of local sourcing and traditional agricultural knowledge. Network activities will also spotlight the myriad social and cultural dimensions of climate change impacts, including through the Race to Resilience: Culture Campaign being undertaken by the CHN along with the UN High Level Champions for Climate Action.
Looking ahead, the Network will increase its presence at climate change forums, conferences and events, including the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022. The UNESCO Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development (Mondiacult 2022) being held this week in Mexico City is also a focus.
On the day of its launch, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, Europa Nostra Secretary General and Co-Chair of the Climate Heritage Network for Europe, said: “The world is in an urgent race to become climate resilient by 2030. Despite the profound connections between climate change and cultural heritage, there are thousands of professionals, from anthropologists, archaeologists and engineers to urban planners, scientists, and those with indigenous knowledge and local wisdom, whose talents have not yet been mobilised on climate change issues. We hope to change this. The Climate Heritage Network’s new action plan focuses on the practical things we can all do in the cultural and heritage sectors to act with more urgency and achieve meaningful solutions in the face of the climate emergency.”
Since the CHN formed in 2019, increasing numbers of arts and cultural organisations have joined amidst growing concern of climate change and its impacts on places, communities and audiences. Critically, the growth of this Network also reflects growing recognition of the potential power of culture for connecting people with climate issues.
With the launch of its new Action Plan, the CHN aims to provide more practical tools for its members to connect with local communities and diverse stakeholders in climate action. Planned outputs, including training, resources, and knowledge-sharing, will help members play their part in bolster climate planning and action and preventing irreversible losses and damage to the planet, its peoples, their cultures and heritage.
Read full document: