NEMO report on museums and climate change

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The Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) new report on museums and climate change provides recommendations for including museums in the sustainable transition of Europe. This report reflects the status quo of European museums in the climate crisis. To help tap the full potential of museums as contributors and allies in the sustainable transition of Europe, the report includes seven key recommendations for policy makers and the sector.

NEMO writes that to develop the full potential of museums, it is key to understand where they most need support, and where their power and opportunity lie. Therefore, the network circulated a survey from April to June 2022 that 578 museums from 38 European countries answered. The survey data and the final report show that, if prioritized and supported adequately, museums can be powerful partners in the sustainable, just and green transformation of Europe.

NEMO urges policy makers to consider the seven recommendations to create conditions for museums where they can contribute to fighting climate change while reducing their negative impact on the environment. Climate change will transform our world dramatically, and every sector, including museums, must collectively advocate and adapt to this unequalled challenge.

In short, NEMO calls upon policy makers and the sector to consider these seven recommendations that have been derived from the survey data:

  1. Policy Coherence: Increase communication between governing and funding bodies and museums, encourage cooperation and develop cohesive, comprehensive frameworks for museum work.
  2. Relevance: Acknowledge and support the potential of museums as allies to help the public better understand climate change and become active.
  3. Infrastructure: Facilitate funds for investments in the infrastructure of museums, so that buildings can be maintained in a more energy-efficient, ecological and sustainable manner. Financial support should be streamlined and coupled with financial relief in consideration of the current energy crisis impacting museums across Europe.
  4. Frameworks and Guidance: Ensure that guidelines, standards and reporting requirements reflect all aspects of museum work and are aligned to support sustainable goals.
  5. Risk Awareness: Invest in future citizens’ sustained access to European shared heritage by funding and encouraging risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation for museums.
  6. Alliances: Fund global, cross-sector, climate-focused networks and umbrella organisations that address and enable mutual sharing of skills, knowledge, and expertise – supporting and empowering the sector to address climate change.
  7. Skills and Training: Allocate financial support to upskill and train staff to contribute to the museums’ sustainable transition and to support society’s just transition.

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