Take part in a Global survey: climate change activities in museums & museum networks 2016-19

On 23 September, global leaders meet at the UN General Assembly with the aim of increasing ambition to address climate change in support of the Paris Agreement, so that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 45% over the next decade, to net zero emissions by 2050. What has this got to do with museums? Well quite a lot actually, as museums and other cultural and educational institutions are recognised in the workplan for the Paris Agreement, it’s just that not many of them realise this. So, how are museums contributing to the Paris Agreement? How can they contribute?

I’ve put together a questionnaire that aims to help museums and museum workers understand how they have contributed, or could contribute to the Paris Agreement (at least the educational and public engagement elements of it). This will help inform a submission to review progress for part of the Paris Agreement (to be carried out next year). The survey consists of 40 short questions, and is open to all museums, museum workers and museum networks everywhere around the world. The wider the range of perspectives gathered, the better, from big and small museums, well funded and not well funded, and of all kinds. It is an opportunity to share your story, and build confidence about museums and the Paris Agreement. It is an opportunity to include your figures of numbers of events and participants in a global stocktake.

Please take part in the survey, which can be found here: Global survey: climate change activities in museums & museum networks 2016-19


Around the world, in local communities, in networks and together, many museums are already contributing to climate change education, empowerment and action, contributing to the aims of the Paris Agreement. Many museums don’t even realise they are doing this, or don’t have opportunities to share their work in this area. Others want to do more but are not sure how. This short questionnaire aims to help them to do so, by gathering individual experiences to understand museums’ collective impact. This questionnaire follows on from 3 presentations at the UN Climate Change Action for Climate Empowerment Dialogues in 2017-19, on the ways museums are supporting climate change education, empowerment and action. It is an opportunity for you to share your story.

In June 2019, governments who are signatories to the Paris Agreement (2015) repeated the importance of education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international co-operation around climate change. These 6 areas are referred to as Action for Climate Empowerment. Governments also recognized the key role that a broad range of specific stakeholders, including cultural institutions and museums, play in Action for Climate Empowerment.

A review will be carried out by the governments that are signatories of the Paris Agreement in 2020 to examine progress with Action for Climate Empowerment and the Doha Work Programme (2012-20, which focused on public education and involvement), to share information on activities and results, best practices, lessons learned and emerging gaps and needs, as well as recommendations and views on future work to enhance Action for Climate Empowerment.

The questionnaire (link above) is intended to:
1. Raise awareness of the Doha Work Programme and Action for Climate Empowerment among museums so that

2. Museums and their partners are more empowered to connect their work with its aims, for mutual and collective benefit, and

3. To gather information that can contribute to a submission to the review of the Doha Work Programme, to be submitted by February 2020, so that

4. Countries (Parties) who set the future work programme are aware of the potential and contribution of museums to Action for Climate Empowerment

There are c.55,000 museums in the world, and over a million museum workers, reaching many millions of people each year. Climate change has multiple impacts and will be felt everywhere, so is relevant to all museums and all kinds of museums. Museums also have a great deal to offer. Playing a part in the Paris Agreement gives museums a great opportunity to contribute very concretely to a key challenge facing society and the environment.

This questionnaire is for museum workers, museums and museum networks. Only one response is required per institution/network for gathering figures to collate, but it should be of interest to lots of people in museums. Some information may be shared as part of an open-access report, presentation and/or in publications.

Please take part in the survey, which can be found here: Global survey: climate change activities in museums & museum networks 2016-19

You might also be interested in this free guide I put together for museums, on how they can connect their work with, and contribute to, the Sustainable Development Goals

Published by Henry McGhie

I have set up Curating Tomorrow as a new business. I know that lots of people, organisations and networks care about the communities they are based in, broader social issues and the natural environment. Curating Tomorrow takes museum-based skills of curating, and applies them to the wider world. It is about helping people and organisations move farther, faster, together to build a better world.

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