The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November 2021.

Although the start of COP26 is mere weeks away, IFLA has long been engaging with our network, as well as international partners, on the role of libraries and cultural institutions in climate action.

Climate Heritage Network

As a founding member of the Climate Heritage Network, IFLA has had an active role in the Madrid-to-Glasgow Arts, Culture, and Heritage Climate Action Plan – which strives to raise the profile of the arts, culture and heritage in international climate action processes during the period between COP25 (Chile/Spain, 2019) and COP26.  A large portion of IFLA’s activity included involvement in the working group on climate action communication and advocacy.

Now it is every librarian’s turn to be advocates!

During the coming month, we invite you to boldly tell the stories of how libraries help empower their communities to take climate action through enabling education, public participation, knowledge-building on sustainable practices, and more. Share your stories and say that, when it comes to tackling the climate emergency, count cultural heritage – and libraries – in!

Libraries Sustain

To inform this action, revisit the Keynote Speech delivered by Andrew Potts, coordinator of the Secretariat of the Climate Heritage Network, during WLIC 2021.

Within the “Libraries Sustain” thematic track of the Congress, this speech stressed that, in light of the report Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, the necessity for Climate Action has never been greater. Beyond this – he stressed the critical need to prioritise the cultural dimensions of this work.

“Climate change as an anthropogenic problem – meaning caused by people – and anthropogenic problems need human solutions. And what is cultural heritage, if not a great accumulation of human experience and solutions?”

Libraries have a role to play. Documentary heritage, information, libraries and information science, traditional wisdom and knowledge all offer immense potential to support transformative action and just transitions by communities towards low carbon climate resilience futures.

In this address, IFLA’s global community was invited to join Climate Heritage Network in its mission by planning programming on climate change in the run up to and during COP26.

Get Involved!

Action #1: Revisit the full transcript as you begin preparing for COP26:  Libraries Sustain: Transcript of Andrew Potts’ keynote speech at WLIC 2021

Action #2: Share stories that raise awareness of how libraries have already been helping their communities understand climate change and take positive action.

Tell us about your experiences:

Follow IFLA online and on social media during COP26 for more.