During the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), to be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November 2022, IFLA invites the global library field to call for recognition of libraries as partners in climate education, public awareness, training, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation – the elements of action for climate empowerment (ACE). 

Libraries and Climate Empowerment

Libraries have a unique position with their communities, urban spaces, schools, and universities. They are able to reach people of all demographics, championing universal access to information, countering disinformation, and enabling public participation.

They are hubs of lifelong learning, complementing formal education systems. They act as models of behaviours and lead by example. The documentary heritage collections they preserve and provide access to offer insight into historic trends, inform climate research, and spark imagination that leads to innovation

Join your voice and pledge your commitment to continuing to advance the role of libraries in empowering their communities to take climate action, and call on policymakers to recognise the role of libraries and library associations in reaching climate empowerment goals.

Sign the Pledge Here.

How can Libraries Help Implement the Glasgow Work Programme on ACE?

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) recognised the need for greater action on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), and so launched the Glasgow Work Programme on ACE. This 10-year plan calls for action within the following four priority areas to target all ACE elements: policy coherence; coordinated action; tools and support; and monitoring, evaluating and reporting. Find out more here: Libraries and the Glasgow Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment

Priority 1: Policy Coherence

Libraries can be well placed to contribute to national plans, strategies, and actions as a vector through which to realise the six elements of ACE. The participation of libraries in the creation of strategies to implement ACE can help ensure that all members of society, included marginalised people, Indigenous peoples, youth, and women, are included.

Example: La Médiathèque de la Canopée, Paris, France has been involved in working groups through the Paris Académie du Climat as part of the Paris Climate Plan, the goal of which is aligned with France’s commitment to implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Priority 2: Coordinated Action

Libraries contribute to knowledge-sharing and the fostering of local networks of climate action. The involvement of library experts, practitioners and stakeholders is beneficial in elaborating coordination action with a range of stakeholders.

Example: The Hangzhou Public Library’s Environment Branch offers a means by which the library can coordinate with wider environmental protection efforts in the city of Hangzhou, China.

Priority 3: Tools and Support

Libraries create and enhance access to tools and support for climate education, public awareness, training, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation.

Example: The National Library of Scotland  works in partnership with a range of stakeholders to connect their special collections to climate change research and education, including drawing on their digitised historic map collection as climate knowledge.

Priority 4: Monitoring, evaluating, and reporting

Libraries can contribute to and enhance efforts to monitor, evaluate, and report on local and national efforts to enable climate education, public awareness, training, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation.

Example: IFLA’s annual Green Library Award, operated by IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability, and Libraries Professional Section and supported by De Gruyter Publishing, is a means by which libraries are encouraged to communicate their commitment to environmental sustainability. It raises awareness of the leadership of libraries in environmental education and social responsibility and helps amplify their impact to a wider audience.

Why Sign the Pledge?

Do your library’s or library association’s programmes, events, and collections help support climate education, public awareness, training, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation? Have you carried out activities that align with the four priority areas of the Glasgow Work Programme on ACE

Then we invite you to add your voice to help strengthen our call to policymakers to count libraries in during and after COP27 as partners in implementing action for climate empowerment. With your permission, this will fuel future communications on the dedication of libraries around the world to empowering their communities to take climate action.

Where do we go from here?

At the international level, IFLA is amplifying the impact libraries are making on climate action. We will be hosting several side events during COP27, together with the Climate Heritage Network, on the role of cultural actors, including libraries, in enabling inclusive action for climate empowerment.

These events will contribute to a greater understanding of how libraries and other cultural actors and institutions can address challenges and support solutions towards more comprehensive and inclusive ACE implementation. Input gathered through these events, and through your participation, will contribute to a report on the role of culture in ACE implementation to further support IFLA’s advocacy in the follow-up from COP27.

You can help take action!

  1. Find out more about ACE: Libraries and the Glasgow Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment Policy Brief
  2. Reflect on your library’s climate action activities and resources. Do they help address the four Priority Areas of the Glasgow Work Programme on ACE? Summarise how and share this with IFLA!
  3. Contact your national ACE Focal Point. Let them know that you are committed to helping further Action for Climate Empowerment by sharing that you have signed this pledge. Request more information on strategies to implement ACE, share information on your activities, and express interest in getting involved in partnerships. Find your national ACE Focal Point here.
  4. Subscribe to the Action for Climate Empowerment Newsletter to stay up to date with news, opportunities, events, and knowledge products related to ACE: subscribe here.

IFLA contact: Claire McGuire: [email protected]