Main content


Cultural Heritage is a Climate Action Issue


On 24 and 25 October, Icon will participate in a launch event in Edinburgh for the new Climate Heritage Network, which will be devoted to “urgently mobilizing” the cultural heritage sector for climate action across the globe.

Chief Executive Sara Crofts is a member of the Steering Committee that has been guiding the network’s launch and will attend the two-day program to mark the establishment of this important group. The program intends to encourage and expedite the ambitions of heritage organizations to help communities to deliver on the aims of the Paris Agreement - the global consensus on how to move forward on climate action. This is based on the network’s core argument that “cultural heritage is a climate action issue” and that “climate action is a cultural heritage issue.” 

The new network will be a voluntary support membership organization comprising arts, culture and heritage governmental boards, offices, ministries as well as NGOs, universities, businesses and other organizations. It maintains that the skills and expertise of actors and advocates in arts, culture and heritage have not yet been fully mobilized on climate change issues, despite the deep connections between climate change and culture. By providing support on strategic topics, the network will help these actors to maximise their potential for climate action. 

One of the areas of support will be in assisting heritage bodies to be full partners in the design, planning and execution of their communities’ climate action strategies. This is particularly welcomed by Icon as as we have recently taken an active role in aiming to shape the UK’s national climate change adaptation programmes by commenting on draft plans. We have advocated the value of conservation to communicating and understanding the impacts of climate change and called for holistic approaches to adaptation programmes that draw on the strengths of the cultural heritage sector. The network will also consider issues such as reducing the carbon footprint of the historic environment, planning for loss and damage, heritage adaptation and using heritage in climate science and communication. 

Find out more about the network and how to join the movement here.

You can also read about Icon’s recent activities to fight climate change here


Image: Creative Commons



The views expressed in these comments are the views of the individual and do not reflect the views of The Institute of Conservation. Any comments containing inappropriate language or copyright material will be removed.

Twitter feed Follow us


View all

2018 ICON Book & Paper Group AGM live recording


The Anna Plowden Trust - a brief introduction


Plowden Scholar Puneeta Sharma 2013: Assistant Drawings Conservator, Royal Collection Trust


Focus on Continuing Professional Development grants: the Scottish Conservation Studio


Plowden Scholar 2002 Tom Küpper: Head of Glazing, Lincoln Cathedral


Reasons for Cleaning Stone War Memorials