Over the past years, IFLA has been working to raise awareness within the library field on Action for Climate Empowerment – and we have seen some real progress! For the first time, contributions both from IFLA and generally from the library field were included in the summary report on ACE implementation, which informed the deliberations at COP28.

Looking ahead at 2024, libraries are encouraged to get more meaningfully involved in reporting on their climate action and making connections beyond the field. Here are some ideas for actions to bring your climate empowerment work to the next level.

Action 1: Follow up on COP28 Recommendations

IFLA once again brought library voices to the UN Climate Change Conferences during COP28 in Dubai, UAE in December 2023. We bought together perspectives from across the culture sector to discuss what is needed to maintain and grow culture-based greening education in support of ACE goals.

The discussion resulted in a number of recommendations both for institutions like libraries and for policymakers. Take these into consideration in your project planning and in your advocacy.

What can you do now?

Read the full report from IFLA’s work at COP28 here:

Culture Greening Communities Brief

COP28, held in Dubai, UAE in 2023, placed a focus on the role of education in addressing the climate emergency. IFLA hosted a side event in the Greening Education Hub that highlighted the role of culture ingreening education, especially following a community-based, lifelong learning approach. This b...

Is your library active in enabling climate communication, education, access to information, and public participation? Learn more about Action for Climate Empowerment here.

Contact your national ACE Focal Point and let them know you are interested in participating in your country’s ACE strategies. You can refer to the key messages shared at this COP28 side event.

Learn more about UNESCO’s Greening Education Partnership and consider how you might get involved.

Action 2: Help IFLA measure library impact

In order to share the impact libraries are making on climate empowerment and advocate for sustainable support, we must build a solid evidence base with measurable metrics.

IFLA and MECCE are soon launching a first edition of the climate communication and education library indicators that we began developing during 2023.

What can you do now?

In 2024, we need your help to add your country to the global data platform!

Take stock of how your library is enabling climate empowerment and participate in the survey today. Share the Library Association survey with your national association and request that they participate as well.

Action 3: Expand your ACE activities and share results

There have been many great ideas for the role of libraries in climate empowerment collected during the past years. Start by revisiting ideas generated during IFLA’s climate session at WLIC 2023.

COP28 enabled IFLA to participate in multisectoral conversations and identify emerging priorities where libraries might make an impact. Future activities could include collecting information on:

  • how Indigenous librarianship helps share, record, and apply knowledge (including that transmitted orally) in support of climate action
  • ways in which libraries are localising data for disaster risk reduction, translating data on hazards to locally-informed threats and enabling public outreach
  • how libraries address climate data gaps, highlighting citizen science, open science principles and the role of libraries in making climate research available for all
  • the roles of specialised libraries, including academic and research libraries, parliamentary libraries, and science libraries

If you engage in activities within these areas, let IFLA know! We would be excited to work with you to highlight your results.

Action 4: Make connections beyond the library field

Addressing the climate emergency will take everyone working together. Libraries will only be able to reach their potential in empowering climate action if they are seen as partners.

Luckily, the more involved the library field becomes in climate action, the more evidence we can bring to power our advocacy and initiate such connections.

Connect with the culture sector

Reaching out to local partners in the culture sector could be a good starting point. Look for ways to increase knowledge exchange and cooperation between cultural institutions, including between museums, libraries, and other knowledge holders.

Connect with national ACE contacts

Contact your national ACE Focal Point, share IFLA’s report from COP28 and express interest in getting involved in climate empowerment in your country.

Connect with national policymakers

Libraries were named among essential partners with whom Parties are encouraged to partner on culture-based climate action in the Emirates Declaration on Culture-Based Climate Action. As another key outcome of COP28, Parties further signed a Common Agenda on Education and Climate Change, which includes a community-based, lifelong learning pillar.

The following Parties have endorsed both the declarations on culture-based climate action and a common agenda on education: Cyprus, France, Ghana, Iceland, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Tonga, and the United Arab Emirates.

These declarations are a great starting point for establishing contact with your National Focal Point, thanking them for showing leadership in placing culture and education at the heart of climate action, and expressing the dedication of the library field in supporting these goals. You can find the list of National UNFCCC Focal Points here.

Key Dates for Climate Action in 2024

3-13 Jun – Bonn Climate Change Conference and ACE Dialogues: As a halfway point between COPs, Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet to discuss implementation of the convention and set the agenda for COP29. This will also be the occasion of the third annual Action for Climate Empowerment dialogues, and a good opportunity to reach out to your ACE Focal Point and share how libraries help enable climate action.

5 June – World Environment Day: this year, IFLA will look to deepen further our engagement with the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in November, as well as work with the global network of climate empowerment leads to mobilise (and seek recognition and support for) libraries to help build climate action at the level of individuals and communities. World Environment Day is a great opportunity to underline this work.

11-24 Nov – UN Climate Change Conference (COP29): To be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, COP29 will once again bring together climate ministers, governments, and civil society organisation to set global goals for mitigating the climate crisis. Building on progress over the past years, this will present new opportunities to further recognition for culture, and libraries, in empowering climate action and realising just, low-carbon, and resilient futures.

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