South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Museums Association releases statement on tackling the climate crisis as a sector

The Museums Association has today announced its approach to campaigning for museums to be more environmentally sustainable and address the climate crisis.


Their statement says that as a sector 'we are in a unique position to use our collections to demonstrate the facts of global heating and environmental destruction and to work with audiences to raise awareness and bring about change.


We know that many museums are already doing this work, but we also know that there is much more to do.'


The statement calls for museums to:

  • Get your museum in order: make sure that your organisation’s footprint is as low as it can go, and commit to targets for reducing energy consumption, waste, travel and carbon use. There are lots of tools to help you do this, this is just one: https://juliesbicycle.com/reporting/
  • Raise awareness: use your collections, programmes, exhibitions and learning and engagement work to discuss the climate crisis and encourage audiences to think about what they can do to make a difference.
  • Champion change: work with community and environmental organisations to implement greener polices in your local area.

It goes on to urge funders to include environmental sustainability in their strategies for museums and to make it a requirement of funding that environmental targets are set, monitored and met. It also calls for agencies and strategic bodies to take the lead to 'bring about change at a policy and practice level'.


Claire Dixon, Chair, South West Fed said: "The South West Fed fully supports todays statement from the Museums Association. It's crucial that the our sector plays a role in helping to raise awareness of the climate emergency and engage people in the discussion. Thanks to people power and activism, much of the public have heard that the population needs to act, but many people will be looking to further understand the issue - we as a sector can help that.


"We also need to set an example and make sure we are doing everything we can to be sustainable and adopt best practice. That is why we have chosen the theme of our conference this year to be a topic that helps colleagues in museums and the wider heritage sector learn best practise and gain ideas on how they can raise awareness and inspire change through interpretation and curation."


The full statement from the Museums Association can be read here: https://www.museumsassociation.org/campaigns/clima...


If you would like to attend the South West Fed Conference, 'Interpreting, Curating and Combatting the Climate Emergency' this July, information is available here: https://www.swfed.org.uk/about-us/meetings/2020-co...