The Festival of Change at the 2019 MA conference in Brighton focused on the climate emergency

Covid-19 cultural renewal strategy must tackle climate emergency

The MA endorses the campaign for a just and green cultural recovery
At the Museums Association (MA), we are dedicated to campaigning for museums to be more environmentally sustainable and address the climate emergency.

As the museum and heritage sector looks towards rebuilding after the Covid-19 crisis, we endorse the campaign led by the environmental charity, Julie’s Bicycle, for a just and green cultural recovery.

We’ve added our name to a letter urging the secretary of state for culture to “commit to a rapid, just and green cultural recovery combining targeted public investment, clear policy signals, and implementation of Climate Change Act obligations extended to the Cultural Renewal strategy”.

The letter states: “What we decide now will create the sustainable foundations for the future; we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a resilient recovery plan that is fair and tackles the climate and ecological crisis with urgency. We cannot let this opportunity pass us by.” 

The campaign asks that: 

1. The Cultural Renewal Task Force prioritise a rapid, just and green recovery, with designated representation on every sub-group. A just transition must be woven into all themes to ensure that those who have been left out, and the freelance creative workforce are taken fully into account.

2. The recommendation from the Committee on Climate Change that legally binding “net-zero policy [is] embedded across all levels and departments of government” is adopted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the UK put in place policies to meet its current fourth and fifth carbon budgets which we are currently not on track to meet. 

3. Public cultural compliancy and funding requirements are aligned to net zero requirements and promote biodiversity, and that larger organisations adopt explicit science-based net zero pathways. 

4. Any national green recovery plan is sector-specific to include the creative and cultural sector, with a focus on inclusion, place-making and communities, including strong incentives for space for nature. 

5. Specific R&D funds are designated for the creative and cultural community to benefit from interdisciplinary knowledge and partnerships which result in fit-for-purpose and future-proofed cultural services and products. 

6. A cross-cutting government task force on Green Creative Skills and Curriculum Reform is created, with representation from Department for Education, Department for Enterprise, Innovation and Skills, and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs encompassing environmental and cultural expertise to prepare the future cultural workforce adequately.  


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07.07.2020, 19:38
If you really are dedicated to doing your bit for the climate emergency, can you ensure that all Museums Association events and the conference have 100% vegan food at them? 15% of global CO2 Emissions come from animal agriculture, more than all forms of transport put together. If us bunch of priveleged affluent metropolitan white middle class people can't get it right, then God help everyone else.
09.07.2020, 22:50
Hi. We've committed to vegetarian food for all our events and meetings for some time, including at our last annual conference. We've lots of other climate related actions we are working on too. Not perfect by any means, but we are working to make a difference in as many areas as possible. Not all of our staff or members are white, middle class, or metropolitan.
26.06.2020, 16:02
Good to see a clear link made to addressing racism, diversity, inclusion and inequality as part of a green cultural recovery- no recovery without this and actions will speak louder than words.