• The United Arab Emirates and Brazil lead the launch of a new Group of Friends of Culture-Based Climate Action at the UNFCCC
  • Libraries have been named among essential partners with whom Parties are encouraged to partner on culture-based climate action.
  • A second declaration has set a Common Agenda on Education and Climate Change, which will include a scaling-up of effort to green communities through education.

On 8 December 2023, a coalition of UN Member States came together at COP28 in Dubai, UAE for the first ever high-level ministerial dialogue on culture-based climate action to be hosted at a UN Climate Change Conference.

This coalition, chaired by the United Arab Emirates and Brazil, has made history with the adoption of the Emirates Declaration on Culture-Based Climate Action and the launch of the new Group of Friends of Culture-Based Climate Action at the UNFCCC.

Answering the Global Call

IFLA has called for these actions as a founding signatory of the global call to put culture at the heart of climate action, and by involving libraries around the world in this call to action. We welcome the launch of this group of friends and the intentions for next-steps outlines by ministers in the Emirates Declaration.

In particular, we are thrilled to see that libraries have been acknowledged as essential partners with whom Parties are encouraged to partner in order to drive forward action to meaningfully integrate culture into climate action and climate change policy.

States have declared their intention to work collaboratively to scale up culture and heritage-based strategies for enhancing resilience and adaptation capacity. They will maximise climate, social, and environmental co-benefits including social cohesion, education, and intercultural dialogue and target research and innovation that values diverse knowledge systems through this workstream.

This is a very positive step towards a broader up-scaling of culture’s role in climate action, as it is an important first-step towards a Joint Work Decision on culture and climate action. IFLA celebrates the inclusion of libraries in this movement.

Find out more about the goals of the Group of Friends in the official press release.

A Common Agenda on Education and Climate Change

Parties have further  pledged to scale-up their efforts on climate education.

Ministers came together at the first annual high-level meeting of the Greening Education Partnership, organized by UNESCO and the UAE Ministry of Education, which has resulted in the Declaration on the Common Agenda for Education and Climate Change.Room of the high-level GEP session

Parties agreed to frame work around the four pillars of Greening Education: Greening schools, Greening curriculum, Greening teacher training and capacities, and Greening communities.

States committed to targeted actions in the areas of adaptation, mitigations, and investment across these pillars of action. Specific actions include:

  • integrating education into national adaptation strategies
  • supporting all learners to develop adequate knowledge, skills, values and attitudes
  • reporting on education in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
  • supporting investment in education.

As IFLA is an active member of the working group for Greening Communities, we will scale-up advocacy efforts to those countries who have made these commitments to highlight the crucial role of libraries in these commitments areas.

We celebrate the Parties that have endorsed both the declarations on culture-based climate action and a common agenda on education.

Thank you to Cyprus, France, Ghana, Iceland, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Tonga, and the United Arab Emirates for showing leadership in placing culture and education at the heart of climate action.

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