At COP28 participants unanimously adopted the Emirates Declaration on Culture-Based Climate Action.
“Group of Friends of Culture-Based Climate Action” Launched at COP 28

History was made at COP 28 with the launch of Group of Friends of Culture-Based Climate Action. “We argue that we will only achieve the results outlined in the Paris Agreement if we include culture, arts, heritage and creative industries as part of the response, generating conditions to transform thoughts into action”, explained H.E. Margareth Menezes, Brazil Minister of Culture.

A decade of campaigning for the arts, heritage and creative industries to be at the heart of climate action has led to the establishment at COP 28 of the 'Group of Friends of Culture-Based Climate Action at the COP28.' This announcement was made exactly one month after the launch of the Global Call to put Culture at the Heart of Climate Action, when the first ministerial meeting on this topic was convened and chaired by the Ministers of Culture of the UAE and Brazil. At COP28 participants unanimously adopted the Emirates Declaration on Culture-Based Climate Action. This visionary Declaration paves the way for the adoption of a Joint Work Decision on Culture-Based Climate Action at COP 29, and subsequently to a related action plan ahead of COP 30 in Brazil. 

Family photo taken after the Ministerial meeting held on Dec 8 at COP28, including the two Co-Chairs, H.E. Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture of the UAE and H.E. Margareth Menezes, Minister of Culture of Brazil, representatives of governments, international organizations and a large delegation of civil society led by HRH Princess Dana of Jordan, as Special Envoy of the Climate Heritage Network

‘’This is an absolutely pivotal step towards the full integration of culture and heritage in the climate agenda to achieve transformative and meaningful action and realize a just, equitable, inclusive and diverse climate resilient future…for years, a growing coalition of cultural leaders and advocates, as well as civil society organizations from throughout the world have been committed to this goal…I am proud to work with so many partners through the Climate Heritage Network’’ stated HRH Princess Dana Firas of Jordan, Climate Heritage Network Special Envoy.

Over 30 Ministers or government representatives and a large delegation of committed cultural advocates, such as UNESCO, ALECSO, ICESCO, the European Union represented by the European Commission, ALIPH (International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas), Brazil Climate Action Hub, British Council, Europa Nostra/European Heritage Hub, International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), International Council of Museums, (ICOM), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), International Peace Institute, Julie’s Bicycle, People’s Palace Projects, Petra National Trust, Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Alliance (SEACHA), and World Monuments Fund (WMF) from across the Globe attended the historic inaugural meeting,  recognizing the key role of  culture for transformative climate action. The event was live streamed.

“Today we need to create a path for integrating culture into climate policy for the future, as well as raise awareness of culture’s transformative powers to change behavior and imagine its ability to unlock creative solutions that can engage all members of society across all sectors”, said H.E. Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, UAE Minister of Culture.

The Global Call to Action campaign is a civil society contribution to an initiative funded by the UAE Ministry of Culture in partnership with the ALIPH Foundation which supports a coalition of cultural heritage, the arts and creative sectors - and has been initiated with the backing of founding signatories. The Global Campaign is for everyone who cares about empowering cultural voices, actors and sectors in the fight against climate change. Everyone is invited to add their voice and share the campaign with their communities and networks. The Global Call already has 1500 signatories and counting, including organizations with large membership or networks representing many thousands of other organizations and their communities. 

The management of the Global Call campaign is being undertaken in the framework of the Climate Heritage Network Culture at COP28 Working Group, under the leadership of Julie’s Bicycle. Europa Nostra/European Heritage Hub provides the secretariat for this CHN Working Group. These organizations have played a leading role in organizing the Global Call to Action and worked closely with the UAE Ministry of Culture to prepare this most successful ministerial meeting.  

“We are not going to solve climate change with the same values that caused climate change. Those knowledge systems that provide the way forward are very often stewarded by indigenous communities” said Andrew Potts of Climate Heritage Network.

The Climate Heritage Network (CHN) is a voluntary, mutual support network of government agencies, NGOs, universities, businesses, and other organizations committed to tackling climate change and achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. Mobilized in 2018 during the Global Climate Action Summit and launched in 2019, the Climate Heritage Network works to re-orient climate policy, planning, and action at all levels to account for dimensions of culture - from arts to heritage.


The best of Tired Earth delivered to your inbox

Sign up for more inspiring photos, stories, and special offers from Tired Earth