1 Proceedings of the Round Table THREE KEY QUESTIONS ON CULTURE, CULTURAL HERITAGE AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Proceedings of the Round Table THREE KEY QUESTIONS ON CULTURE, CULTURAL HERITAGE AND CLIMATE CHANGE
2022 Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali Via del Collegio Romano 27 00186 Rome (Italy) www.fondazionescuolapatrimonio.it Printed Edition ISBN 979-12-80311-10-8 Online Digital Edition ISBN 979-12-80311-11-5 DOI 10.53125/9791280311115 The online digital edition is published in Open Access. The contents of the present work are released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International license (CC BY-SA 3.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/it/deed.en). You are allowed to use and share the contents by any means and format, as well as transform them, for any purpose including commercial; as long as you give appropriate credit to the author(s), provide a link to the license, indicate if changes were made, and distribute the adapted material under the same license as the original. The Creative Commons license does not apply to the images featured on pages 81 and 88.
Three Key Questions on Culture, Cultural Heritage and Climate Change Proceedings of the Round Table January 17, 2022 Edited by Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali Concept and Development Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali Editorial Office Francesca Neri Francesca Pajno Agnieszka Śmigiel Editing Chiara Braidotti Proofreading Work in English Graphic Design and Layout Sara Annunziata – ziggydesign Acknowledgments Ministry of Culture – Secretariat General, Department for International Relations Giuliana De Francesco Europa Nostra Photo Credits All the pictures are courtesy of the institutions responsible for the projects referred to in each project sheet. We would like to express our gratitude to all the project teams and coordinators for their collaboration.
6 FOREWORD Alessandra Vittorini 7 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS Marcello Minuti Paolo Verdone Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović 13 THE FRAMEWORK: URBAN AGENDA FOR THE EU Giuliana De Francesco 18 THE THREE KEY QUESTIONS Andrew Potts Speakers 29 DISCUSSION ON INDIVIDUAL OR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY Rodney Harrison Alessandra Bonazza Alison Tickell Stefano Della Torre Toon Maassen Marco Scotini 34 DISCUSSION ON THE “LOSS AND DAMAGE” APPROACH Stefano Della Torre Alison Tickell Alessandra Bonazza Rodney Harrison Marco Scotini Toon Maassen 39 DISCUSSION ON COGNITIVE OR EMOTIONAL SPHERE Marco Scotini Stefano Della Torre Alison Tickell Toon Maassen Alessandra Bonazza Rodney Harrison 44 CLOSING REMARKS Paolo Vitti 48 PROJECTS’ SELECTION Introduction Projects
6 Foreword I am very pleased to present the proceedings of the round table Three Key Questions on Culture, Cultural Heritage and Climate Change, organised by the Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali in January 2022. The contributions made by the speakers on the possibility of fighting climate change in the urban environment while preserving cultural heritage are of general interest and we now make them available to a large public through this publication. The volume presents the round table transcript and, to enrich the proceedings, a section dedicated to projects which concretely explore viable instruments to tackle climate change. The round table approached both the theoretical and the experimental aspects of climate action, and the discussion set out to stimulate a dialogue among experts with different backgrounds addressing distinct professional domains. The theme of what strategies culture professionals and institutions can develop to counter climate change is urgent and critical and needs to be integrated into all the activities of educational institutions. We hope the reflections gathered in this publication will contribute to open the debate on effective ways to talk about this issue, empowering people and institutions in the fight against climate change. Alessandra Vittorini Director, Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali
8 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS Three Key Questions on Culture, Cultural Heritage and Climate Change is a round table aiming at throwing a little drop in the wide ocean of climate change. The Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, has carried out a challenging project concerning these themes. The project was about the feasibility of setting up an Observatory on climate change and cultural heritage in the urban context. This project is one of the initiatives included in the Urban Agenda for the EU, promoted by the European Commission. I would like to outline three simple reasons why the Fondazione is highly committed to these themes. First of all, I wish to stress that in this kind of policy a gap can be found between theory/strategies on one side and daily practice on the other side. We think that training and dissemination are fundamental for bridging this huge gap. The second reason is that, in our opinion, this gap can only be bridged through cooperation: connections are very important in this perspective and today we are here to try to put together various perspectives that deal with culture and climate change (researchers, pilot actions, activists, artists, etc.). Finally, we think that dealing with climate change and cultural activities requires transversal competencies and not only specialisms. Therefore, the Fondazione – as an educational institute dedicated to people operating in managing culture – is deeply committed to enabling and training transversal competences. We think that the new complex challenges regarding cultural heritage can be faced only by professionals with a profile rich in transversal, horizontal and specialised skills. In this context, the round table revolves around three questions on how to talk about the climate crisis and culture, as the understanding of this issue is crucial to move from theoretical strategies to daily practices. The round table sets out to discuss the ways in which culture professionals should act in order to contribute to the topic: is it an individual or a collective responsibility? Should they act in a cognitive or in an effective way? Do they acknowledge any alternatives to “loss and damage”1? The Three Key Questions on Culture, Cultural Heritage and Climate Change round table’s recording is available on the Fondazione’s web learning platform, where one can find a rich catalogue of lectures, conferences and other educational material. “The Culture/Cultural Heritage and Climate Change Knowledge Base”2 offers the first deliverables of our project, together with a rich source of data and information about culture and climate change, such as policies, programmes, projects, etc.
9 Finally, I wish to thank Francesca Neri, Head of the Innovative Project Area and chair of this round table; Paolo Verdone (Director of International Relations) and Giuliana De Francesco (Head of Unit, Coordination of European and International Affairs) from the Secretariat General of the Ministry of Culture; Paolo Vitti and Andrew Potts, who addressed the fundamental scientific aspects of the project, Agnieszka Śmigiel and Francesca Pajno, who researched the topic with a deep sense of responsibility and passion, and Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, from Europa Nostra, for their support. Marcello Minuti General Coordinator, Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali 1“Loss and Damage” is one of the key concepts of the Paris Agreement (Art. 8), reviewed and applied as one of the four categories in the 2019 ICOMOS report The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action. For the work under the Urban Agenda for the EU, these four categories have been adopted as the main framework and guidelines for classifying content related to climate change and culture in the urban context. The concept was presented again as one of the themes for discussion between the experts at the round table. The expression “loss and damage” is used, with lower case “l” and “d”, to describe the manifestation of climate change impacts which are not or cannot be avoided by adaptation and mitigation efforts (i.e., reducing emissions), whereas “Loss and Damage,” with capital “L” and “D”, is used to describe policies and plans that are used to address loss and damage, such as those that are negotiated at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 2 The database is available on the Fondazione’s website: < https://www.fondazionescuolapatrimonio. it/innovazione-e-sperimentazione/the-culture-cultural-heritage-and-climate-change-knowledgebase/ > accessed 25 October 2022.
10 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS We all know what an active role culture, cultural heritage and the arts can play in climate action, contributing to the success of policies and strategies and addressing climate change on all levels. Creative imageries drive desires and narratives, while artistic performances find their way into people’s emotions, shaping the perception of reality. Therefore, they can motivate action and behavioural changes regarding climate change. The relationship between culture/cultural heritage and climate change is bidirectional: cultural heritage must be protected from climate change and, at the same time, it can help in addressing it. In fact, cultural heritage is able to provide solutions for mitigation and adaptation and can contribute to the achievement of ambitious political goals, such as those set by the European Green Deal, as the Europa Nostra’s European Cultural Heritage Green Paper brilliantly demonstrated. At a global-policy level, the first ever G20 meeting of the Ministers of Culture, which was held in Rome under the Italian presidency in July 2021, issued an official declaration recognising, among other issues, the importance of addressing climate change through culture. The Rome Declaration of the G20 Ministers of Culture also underlined the role of culture and creativity as drivers for sustainable development, able to foster the resilience of our society committed to further pursuing the G20 cooperation on culture. Now is the time to speed up the participation of cultural communities in climate action: we all know that community involvement is always a key factor for the success of policies. Therefore, I strongly believe that this round table will contribute to shedding light on the potential that culture and cultural heritage can unleash for successfully addressing climate change, stressing how contributions coming from different contexts, projects, and initiatives can become valuable input to policy developments at local, national, as well as European and international level. Paolo Verdone Director of International Relations, Secretariat General, Ministry of Culture
11 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS This very important round table discusses the vital relationship between culture, cultural heritage, and climate change. After the opening words of Marcello Minuti and Paolo Verdone, I am delighted to see that we are all on the same page: we are all very much aware that we have an extremely important topic to discuss and that we must urgently bridge the serious gap between strategic policy orientation and practice. Fortunately, thanks to our common endeavours, we have achieved recognition of the strategic relationship between climate action and cultural heritage at all levels of policy, but we now need to put this policy into practice. As a representative of Europa Nostra, the European voice of civil society committed to cultural heritage, I am therefore delighted to see that we have started working closer together to bridge these gaps. Our joint aim is to bring together, in a transversal and multidisciplinary way, all the various stakeholders, know-hows and disciplines, and to have citizens, civil society organisations, and inhabitants and their communities in the cities involved in this fundamental transformation of our lives, our way of thinking, and our mindset. This was also a key message from our important document, the European Cultural Heritage Green Paper produced by Europa Nostra in collaboration with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and Climate Heritage Network, with the support of the European Investment Bank Institute, presented in March 2021. I hope you would agree with me that 2021 was a year of policy breakthrough at a European level, a year when true momentum was created. Combined with the positive drive created by the New European Bauhaus initiative, the aforementioned Green Paper that we have produced as well as the ongoing work of the European Urban Agenda programme, we now know that we cannot achieve the European Green Deal if we do not put culture and cultural heritage at the heart of that green transformation of our society and of our economy. Let me remind you that only three years ago, when the European Green Deal was adopted in 2019, culture was not mentioned in its fundamental document. Then, we all joined forces, combining our voices and our knowledge to fill that very serious gap. Fortunately, we were helped in this process by the launch of the New European Bauhaus, with the President of the European Commission stressing that this initiative will help give a “soul” to the European Green Deal. Now we face the incredible challenge to put all this knowledge and forces together and, in terms of cooperation, I wish to pay tribute to our Italian hosts. I, as a non-Italian, want to applaud Italy’s leadership in this context, for your country plays – and has been playing for some time now – an extremely important role in promoting the vital intersection between cultural heritage and climate action.
12 This was clearly demonstrated in 2021, when Italy was the chair of the Ministers of Culture G20 and the historic Rome Declaration was adopted in the Colosseum, and when it also played an important role within the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow. At COP26, there was a never-before-seen number of culture and cultural heritage voices represented in various side events. In Glasgow, Europa Nostra also accepted the role of co-chair for Europe of the Climate Heritage Network, showing that the commitment we took to this topic would not end with the publication of our Green Paper earlier that year; this publication has rather been the beginning of our much stronger involvement and close cooperation with multiple partners, from the European Union to members of the European Parliament, to the research community and of course to public authorities at all levels, from local and regional to European and global. Indeed, we have a great challenge ahead of us and we stand ready to contribute to a collective mobilisation bearing in mind our shared responsibility for the future of both our cultural heritage and our planet. I already said that we wish to pay tribute to Italy. It is not a mere coincidence that Europa Nostra is represented at this round table also by Professor Paolo Vitti, eminent Italian member of our Board who contributed – on behalf of Europa Nostra – to the work of the Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali. Let me also applaud the work that the Fondazione has done in compiling a relevant knowledge base on the topic and producing an important report that will underpin the work of the European Union for the creation of an Observatory on the relationship between culture, cultural heritage, and climate action in the urban framework. Let me end by stressing that Europa Nostra and I are truly delighted to be part of this mobilisation: time is running, and we cannot afford fragmentation and duplication of efforts. Europa Nostra is committed to working together with the Fondazione and many other partners in Italy and in Europe. We very much look forward to bringing all the partners together in this process, including civil society, and you can count on Europa Nostra to be a very active player in this fundamental transformation of our way of life and our way of thinking for the benefit of ensuring a more sustainable and more inclusive future for our Europe and our Planet. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović Secretary General, Europa Nostra
THE FRAMEWORK: URBAN AGENDA FOR THE EU
14 THE FRAMEWORK: URBAN AGENDA FOR THE EU Giuliana De Francesco Head of Unit Coordination of European and International Affairs, Secretariat General, Ministry of Culture The Policy Framework The idea of the Urban Agenda for the EU sets out from the premise that cities are the main actors in facing the challenges of our time: two-thirds of Europeans live in cities, cities are the engines of the European economy; they are the places where challenges meet with opportunities. Bringing cities closer to the European Union policy level would improve the effectiveness of the institution’s action, tighten the relationship with its citizens and empower its cities. The UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2015, one year before the Pact of Amsterdam launched the Urban Agenda for the EU. It identified 17 interrelated goals to be pursued with a holistic and cross-domain approach to promote the well-being of people, the planet, peace, and prosperity. In the same year, 2015, the Paris Agreement was adopted, a UN legally binding international treaty on climate change which came into force in 2016; through it, 196 State parties committed to ambitious efforts to limit global warming and greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and in any case by mid-century. The implementation of the Paris Agreement requires deep economic and social transformation for member States. A direct inspiration for the Urban Agenda for the EU was the New Urban Agenda, adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III, 2016), representing a shared vision for a better and more sustainable future, the key to which lies in urbanisation, that, if well-planned and well-managed, can contribute significantly to sustainable development. The main development strategy in the European Union was then Europe 2020, a strategy aimed at reaching smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by 2020. Only in 2019 would the von der Leyen Commission launch the Green Deal for Europe, embracing the Paris Agreement and its goals. The Urban Agenda for the EU The Urban Agenda for the EU was launched in May 2016 by the Pact of Amsterdam with the aims of unlocking the potential of cities, strengthening the urban dimension in European Union’s law and decision-making processes while facilitating internal cooperation at
15 national, regional, and local levels. The Urban Agenda partnerships introduced informal multi-level cooperation as a new working method, focusing on strong partnerships on urban matters across all government levels and promoting cooperation between cities, regions, member States and the European level. The European Commission takes an active part in partnerships, sometimes with more than one Directorate-General, as in our case; other European Union bodies are involved, too. The three key objectives of the Urban Agenda are achieving: “Better regulation”, improving policy and law-making and implementation of regulations; “Better funding”, improving the European Union funding mechanisms; “Better knowledge”, improving data availability and knowledge sharing, key to the development of effective policies and projects in our knowledge society. The Partnership on Culture/Cultural Heritage of the Urban Agenda for the EU The Partnership on Culture/Cultural Heritage is one of 14 partnerships of the Urban Agenda. The call for partners was launched in mid-2018, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and the partnership kicked-off in 2019, jointly coordinated by Germany (Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community) and Italy (The Territorial Cohesion Agency together with the Ministry of Culture). The Partnership on Culture/Cultural Heritage is particularly broad, counting around 30 members (whereas an average partnership is composed of 20 to 25 members) which indicates the relevance of the Partnership’s topic for our cities and society. Partners include member States, regions, cities, the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, the European Investment Bank, and several stakeholders, research, civil society, and professional organisations at the European level. The theme of the Partnership embraces culture and cultural heritage in their entirety, dealing with creativity, tangible and intangible heritage, and landscape in their social, economic and environmental dimensions and interconnections. The main output of each Urban Agenda partnership is an Action Plan, which describes pilot actions whose implementation begins during the last year of the partnership. The Action Plan of the Partnership on Culture/Cultural Heritage was agreed in 2020 and is composed of 11 interlinked “Actions.” They contribute to 5 integrated and mutually related strategies dealing with cultural services, cultural tourism,
16 THE FRAMEWORK: URBAN AGENDA FOR THE EU resilience, transformation and adaptive reuse of cultural heritage and the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to urban regeneration. Action 9: Towards an Observatory on Culture/Cultural Heritage and Climate Change Action 9 addresses culture and cultural heritage in relation to climate change in the urban framework, in the perspective of the establishment of a European Observatory on the matter. The action is led by the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali. Members of this Action reflect the composition of the partnership and include cities, regions, the European Commission, JRC - Joint Research Centre, URBACT, ICLEI; the two European coordinators support the activities. In the year 2020, when the Action Plan was developed, we were confronted not only with clear information on the risks caused by climate change for people and the environment in various areas of our planet, but also with increasing evidence of how climate change could affect cultural heritage via floods, fires, drought, coastal erosion, humidity, parasites etc. A main source of inspiration for the Action were SDGs 11 and 13 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The European Green Deal had just been launched in December 2019 as an ambitious sustainable growth strategy: we realised that it did not explicitly mention culture and cultural heritage. However, we were convinced that culture and cultural heritage were not only deeply affected by climate change but could also contribute to addressing it by providing solutions, inspiration and behavioural change: the Europa Nostra Green Paper later effectively demonstrated the articulation of cultural heritage with the Green Deal. The Action was aimed, therefore, at analysing the feasibility and usefulness of a think-thank organisation, or a formally established Observatory, aimed at contributing to achieving that culture and cultural heritage benefit by the instruments put in place by the European Green Deal; preventing risks of possible cultural heritage loss in the renovation wave needed to achieve energy efficiency; exploring the potential of culture and cultural heritage in supporting climate action and transitions to sustainable development; and to promoting the adoption by urban authorities of integrated adaptation plans that include culture and cultural heritage.
17 The first activity performed by the Action was mapping the context. With the substantial support of the Fondazione, a knowledge base was put together including 140 policies, 40 programmes, 150 projects, more than 200 actors and 200 papers. The categories adopted by the knowledge base follow climate action categories, inspired by the approach of the 2019 ICOMOS report The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action. Alongside Paolo Vitti, architect and professor at the Notre Dame University (Indiana), Andrew Potts, Coordinator of the ICOMOS Working Group on climate change and heritage, was principal advisor to the Action. Another activity was aimed at identifying the possible objectives, functions and target public of the Observatory and starting to build the network. Here, I would like to thank Agnieszka Śmigiel and Francesca Pajno, together with Francesca Neri from the Fondazione, for their dedication and the high level of professionalism with which they conducted more than 30 interviews with key actors in this thematic area of culture/cultural heritage in relation to climate change. We are gathering rich, inspiring and important feedback from this exercise. Today’s round table is also inspired by input gathered from the interviews. Just to mention some of the feedback gathered which is relevant to the further development of the Action, more than 70% of respondents find an Observatory on culture and climate change useful. According to the opinions expressed by the majority of the experts interviewed, primary functions of such an Observatory should be: capacity building, networking, creating connections across all government levels and various sectorial communities; pooling various sources of data and information; bringing together the local and the global level by transferring input gathered by local initiatives to policymakers at higher level. The main target audience should be policymakers in the first place, then experts and civil society organisations. The functions of the Observatory might include organising workshops and conferences and providing further exchange opportunities. These and all other outcomes will be discussed further with the Partnership.
THE THREE KEY QUESTIONS
19 THE THREE KEY QUESTIONS Andrew Potts Coordinator, Climate Heritage Network Secretariat It is with great pleasure that I recommend to you these proceedings of the debate held on January 17, 2022, on key topics on culture/cultural heritage and climate change. Frankly, I am delighted by the simple fact that cutting edge climate change questions (three in fact!) were debated at all in a cultural policy context, and even more delighted by the calibre and richness of that debate. Writing, as I am, in 2022, I see no need to repeat yet again the dire warnings about the unfolding climate crisis. For years, 350 parts per million (ppm) had been judged the upper safe limited of global warming-causing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. When concentrations reached 415 ppm in 2020, it prompted the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to declare a climate emergency. And now concentrations are above 420, pushing the atmosphere further into territory not seen for millions of years. We risk this decade overshooting the Paris Agreement’s goal of holding global warming to below 1.5°C, with irreversible adverse impacts,1 including those to culture and heritage. A warning I would like to repeat, however, regards the persistent failure of culture and heritage leaders and institutions to adequately take on board this unfolding climate crisis. It was in 2018 that the world’s leading climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), concluded that avoiding the worst impacts of climate change by limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid and farreaching transitions in the way we use land, buildings, cities and more. The next year, Professor Toshiyuki Kono, President of ICOMOS, wrote: It would be foolish to imagine the practice of heritage remaining static while the world goes through the rapid and far-reaching transitions discussed in the IPCC’s recent Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.2 And yet, business as usual persists with many cultural institutions, ministries, public bodies, and NGOs. There are impressive counterexamples, but too often these exceptions prove the rule. One consequence of this failure is the under-developed nature of the climate discourse within many cultural policy and practice arenas. Climate science is constantly evolving. Urgent debates rage about
20 the ethics, politics, and strategy of climate action. Too often, these topics do not register in the culture sector. To be effective and relevant, cultural policy and practice must treat these topics as the core cultural concerns that they are, and become accustomed to engaging with them. This is precisely what the Three Key Questions debate does. Urban Context It is worth noting that this debate arose in the context of urban policy. In particular, it was conceived with reference to Action 9 (Observatory on culture/cultural heritage and climate change in the urban framework) of the Partnership on Culture/Cultural Heritage Action Plan set up under the 2016 Urban Agenda for the EU. The Urban Agenda for the EU is a multi-level working method promoting cooperation among stakeholders in order to stimulate growth, liveability, and innovation in the cities of Europe and to identify and successfully tackle social challenges. The Partnership’s Action Plan aims to create an “integrated and coherent” approach to using culture and cultural heritage to develop urban development policies, with a focus on better regulation, funding and knowledge. It should perhaps come as no surprise that an urban framework would emerge as a driver of considering climate change and culture/ cultural heritage. With more than two-thirds of Europeans living in cities, climate adaptation and mitigation at the city level will make crucial contributions to tackling climate change. The urban context also presents steep challenges as cities are on the frontlines of issues such as inequality and the need for transparent institutions. As cultural expressions themselves, cities are also arguably one of humanity’s greatest inventions for crafting solutions for the future. From historical times to the present, they bring creative people together. Consistent with the importance attached to the cities-climate nexus, the world’s leading climate science body – the abovementioned IPCC – is preparing a special report on cities as part of its forthcoming 7th Assessment Report cycle. An International Co-Sponsored Meeting on Culture, Heritage and Climate Change convened by the IPCC, UNESCO and ICOMOS in December 2021 expressly addressed synergies and gaps concerning the intersection of culture and heritage and climate change in urban areas. Overall, the evidence considered pointed to the need for new partnerships, connections and research supporting a larger role for culture and heritage in climate change science of cities.
21 THE THREE KEY QUESTIONS Individual or Collective Responsibility? The first question debated in these proceedings probed the continuum from individual to collective responsibility. It re-centred in the cultural policy context a debate raging throughout the climate change discourse which asks whether an emphasis on individual responsibility and small actions in fighting climate change can actually undermine momentum for needed, far reaching systems change. Should we, for example, be appealing to individuals to order fewer burgers or be focusing on the contemporary agri-business systems that displace traditional diets and local gastronomy with increasingly meat intensive options? The Three Key Questions debate illuminates the usefulness of culture as a lens for understanding the broader question. Cultural value orientations are an aspect of the cultural system of societies; basic values are an aspect of the personality system of individuals. Distinguishing the two makes it possible to examine influences of the normative culture of societies on the values of their members.3 The cultural lens, then, helps reveal the unhelpfulness of the personal action versus political action binary and instead asks how we can employ them together to attain a much richer understanding of human behaviour. Achieving that understanding matters. Recent climate science establishes that changes to underlying social and cultural norms, while more difficult to accomplish than transitory behavioural changes, are likely to be more durable and to support a wider range of low-carbon lifestyles.4 The debate also implicates the appropriate scope of climate action from cultural institutions. Should cultural institutions focus primarily on their own carbon footprints or something more? To my way of thinking, focusing exclusively on which lightbulbs a museum uses or whether a heritage site snack bar offers plastic straws is a cramped and selfdefeating vision of the power of culture as a societal force. At the same time, though, this type of internal action can help build institutional competence and a sense of connectedness5 – not to mention reflecting organisational integrity. Such individual action can (and should) in turn embolden and inform broader engagement by cultural institutions. The “Loss and Damage” approach With death and destruction linked to climate change mounting around the world, the issue of climate change-induced loss and damage is increasingly occupying a central role in the climate debate. Climate change is the result of centuries of industrialisation, globalisation and colonialism, processes that made rich countries rich. But its effects are
22 being experienced disproportionately by the countries that contributed least to causing it – making them poorer and even more vulnerable. This clash of interests played out at COP26 where least developed nations demanded a new financing facility for loss and damage as matter of climate justice. Industrialised countries refused and the final COP26 text called merely for a “dialogue” to discuss “arrangements.” Small island nations vowed to return to COP27 in Egypt in November 2022 to press their demands. Culture and heritage modulate the recognition, identification, and valuation of the scope and scale of losses and damages in complex ways. The possibility of valuing losses and damages to culture and heritage themselves has important implications for the legal and political Loss and Damage debate. The experience of losses and damages of cultural resources may intersect not only with the recognition of loss but also with human agency to respond to loss, influencing the measurers adopted to cope and rebuild. Despite the growing centrality of the loss and damage topic, correlations between it and culture and heritage are under-explored, making the spotlighting of loss and damage in the Three Key Questions debate particularly welcome. Several dimensions of this complex topic stand out. Equity, justice, and inclusive decision-making also come across strongly in the discussion of loss and damage and culture and heritage. As discussed in the debate, priorities must be established to determine which sites can be protected in situ and those in which alternate forms of documentation or memorialisation should be carried out. As The Future of Our Pasts notes, there is a danger that climate action may be undertaken in ways that perpetuate existing inequalities. There is also danger that climate impacts and response may be overly “expert/ scientific-driven” choices, imposed upon communities. Where loss is inevitable, anchor points for cultural memory must be found and new cultural techniques for living with and learning from loss deployed. Another issue the debate raises is the need to better link heritage safeguarding (i.e. resisting loss and damage) to action on decarbonisation. Greater rates of global warming mean greater rates of loss and damage to culture and heritage. Climate science tells us that most adaptation needs will be lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared to 2°C. In situ conservation of many heritage places will simply not be possible at higher rates of warming. The current draft of the new UNESCO World Heritage Policy on climate change makes this connection when it provides:
23 THE THREE KEY QUESTIONS The implementation of a precautionary approach that pursues pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C, with no or limited overshoot, is the most effective approach for the protection, conservation and management of the cultural and natural heritage6. And yet, while it is common for culture advocates to decry loss of culture to climate impacts, it is not equally common to find culture advocates on the vanguard of championing the transformations needed to avoid the worst of this loss by holding global warming to 1.5°C. This must change. The prospect of loss and damage to cultural heritage from climate action, indeed the very discontinuity and culture disruption that transformative climate action itself portends, can also challenge notions of continuity, preservation, and safeguarding that suffuse aspects of cultural policy. The loss and damage to cultural heritage as a result of maladaptation and mal-mitigation is a real possibility, as for example from the siting of renewable energy infrastructure in cultural landscapes. The European Cultural Heritage Green Paper, another input to the Three Key Questions debate, explored the need for methodologies that prioritise finding “win-win” climate action and culture safeguarding outcomes. It is also the case that some aspects of culture are part of the problem of climate change, for example lifestyles and values deeply entangled with fossil fuels and extractive/colonial systems. The expertise of cultural actors is needed to support transformation of these “petrocultures” and related “carbonscapes.” The Provocation7 of the Climate Heritage Network prepared in advance of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development – MONDIACULT 2022 explores this “heritage of the Anthropocene” and asks whether the methodologies developed to document and interpret the heritage of the North Atlantic slave trade (e.g., the slave markets and other places it has marked on our landscape) hold relevant analogies. Cognitive or Emotional Sphere? More than six years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the world remains dangerously off course to meeting its targets. The build-up of CO2 continues to grow, as does the amount of heat being added to the oceans and atmosphere. This in turn means faster melting ice caps and raising sea levels, as well as even more destructive extreme weather events. Notwithstanding all the talk and real work on decarbonisation and climate action, we have not yet bent the emissions curb.
24 The reasons for this failure are of transcendent importance. The Three Key Questions debate brings this issue home to the cultural sphere, asking whether the greatest contributions to tackling climate change lie in data or imaginaries. In an influential article8 released just before the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference on the Parties (COP26), authors Isak Stoddard, Kevin Anderson et al. lay the blame for the failure to bend the emissions curb in part on a system of climate planning dominated by technocratic forms of modelling and cost-benefit analyses which tend to exclude social, political, and ethical issues. They locate this shortcoming in the context of a pervasive failure in industrial, modern societies to imagine desirable ways of living not wedded to the carbon economy. In its newly launched three-year Action Plan,9 the Climate Heritage Network (CHN), a global network whose members are committed to mobilising arts, culture, and heritage to address climate change, responded expressly to this provocation. The CHN Action Plan centres a “Theory of Change” which posits that it is culture – from arts to heritage – that can enable transformative climate action by empowering people to imagine and realise low-carbon, just, climate resilient futures. In traditional climate planning, culture (if it is considered at all) is often assigned a pedagogical role, helping to broadly communicate complex climate data. In the CHN telling (and as explored in the Three Key Questions debate), the role of cultural and cultural institutions is much more central. Culture helps to interrogate, to shape, and to reshape epistemological systems that inform our engagement with data and, more broadly, with the fundamental task of imagining sustainable forms of living. The Action Plan means to realise this potential by prioritising approaches that engage with art, culture and heritage that points the way to circular, regenerative ways of living, or that challenge and interpret elements of culture that have helped cause the climate emergency. The former includes: • Traditional knowledge, buildings, and landscapes that pre-date (or work independently of) the fossil fuel era can point the way to post-carbon living. • The worldviews held by Indigenous Peoples and local communities never co-opted by modern take-make-waste
25 THE THREE KEY QUESTIONS approaches, offering counterpoints to unsustainable paradigms of “progress”. • Artistic, creative and imaginative tools support transformative reinterpretation of today’s carbonscapes and their accompanying mindsets. None of this is to disparage the role of data – both data for informing the management of cultural heritage in the face of climate change and also the data collected about climate change via heritage science (including citizen science). Rather, it is to say that the power of culture to help people imagine and realise climate resilient futures may be uniquely crucial to effective climate action, an urgently important potentiality that cultural operators must not fail to fully explore in its many dimensions. Conclusion The three questions addressed in these proceedings connect to “wicked problems” that are being debated across every sector in an almost infinite variety of contexts. By furthering the internalisation of such question into the cultural context, this debate makes a valuable contribution to cultural, climate and urban policy alike. I am pleased to offer my warm congratulations to the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali, and to comment these proceedings to the reader’s attention.
26 1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Summary for Policymakers, in Id., Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2022). 2 ICOMOS Climate Change and Cultural Heritage Working Group, The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action (Paris: ICOMOS, 2019). 3 S.H. Schwartz, Values: Cultural and Individual, in F.J.R. van de Vijver, A. Chasiotis, and S.M. Breugelmans (eds.), Fundamental Questions in Cross-cultural Psychology (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 463–493. 4 S. Capstick, et al., Bridging the Gap – the Role of Equitable Low-carbon Lifestyles, in United Nations Environment Programme, The Emissions Gap Report 2018. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi. 75, as cited in A. Potts, “The Role of Culture in Climate Resilient Development”, UCLG Committee on Culture Reports, no 10, and Climate Heritage Network (Working Group 5), Barcelona, 5 November 2021. 5 K. Green, et al., Climate Change Needs Behavior Change: Making the Case for Behavioral Solutions to Reduce Global Warming (Arlington, VA: Rare, 2018). 6 Thought the failure of the General Conference of the World Heritage Committee to act on the draft has put a cloud over this accomplishment. 7 ResiliArt x Mondiacult Event, Can Cultural Infrastructures Be Drivers of People-centred Climate Action? A Provocation (Climate Heritage Network, 2022). 8 K. Anderson, et al., “Three Decades of Climate Mitigation: Why Haven’t We Bent the Global Emissions Curve?”, in Annual Review of Environment and Resources 46:1, 2021: 653-689, accessed 20 February 2022. 9 Climate Heritage Network, Empowering People to Imagine and Realise Climate Resilient Futures Through Culture – from Arts to Heritage (CHN, 2022).
27 THE THREE KEY QUESTIONS Speakers Alessandra Bonazza Alessandra Bonazza holds a PhD in Earth Science. Since 2004, she has been a researcher at the Italian Institute of Atmosphere and Climate Science, National Research Council (ISAC – CNR) where she leads the unit Impacts on Environment, Cultural Heritage and Human Health. Her research was funded by the European project Noah’s Ark, Europa Nostra Grand Prize Award in 2009. Alessandra Bonazza also teaches “Environmental impact on materials, deterioration, and ageing” at the University of Bologna. Currently, she coordinates the project Interreg Central Europe STRENCH – STRENgthening resilience of Cultural Heritage at risk in a changing environment through proactive transnational cooperation (2020 – 2022). — Stefano Della Torre Stefano Della Torre is the President of the SIRA – Società Italiana per il Restauro dell’Architettura. Since 2001, he has been Full Professor of Architectural Restoration at the Politecnico di Milano. He was a consultant for Lombardia Regional Government and Cariplo Foundation, focusing on policies for planned conservation of built cultural heritage. He serves as coordinator of the Cultural Heritage sector of Programma nazionale della ricerca 2021-27. He is the author of nearly four hundred publications. Rodney Harrison Rodney Harrison is Professor of Heritage Studies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He has professional experience teaching and researching natural and cultural heritage conservation, management and preservation in the UK, Europe, Australia, North America and South America. He has coordinated or participated in a number of large research projects, including: Heritage Futures, Reimagining Museums for Climate Action, Landscape Futures and the Challenge of Change: Towards Integrated Cultural/Natural Heritage Decision Making. He is the (co) author or (co)editor of twenty books and guest edited journal volumes and almost a hundred peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, some of which have been translated into Chinese, Italian, Polish and Portuguese language versions. His most recent books include Reimagining Museums for Climate Action, Heritage Futures and Deterritorializing the Future: Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene. — Toon Maassen Toon Maassen is one of the founders of De Ceuvel, an urban multifunctional playground for innovation, experimentation, and creativity with the aim to make sustainability tangible, accessible and fun. De Ceuvel was born from the idea of a group of architects, winner of a call for bids to turn the site into a regenerative urban oasis in the former shipyard in Amsterdam North. Toon Maassen holds a Master’s Degree in Physics and Sustainability and led TV programmes for children on sustainability, setting out to join his passion for art and the fight against climate crisis.
28 Marco Scotini Marco Scotini is the artistic director of FM – Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea and director of the Visual Art and Curatorial Studies Department at NABA, Milan. He is the programme coordinator for Parco Arte Vivente (PAV) in Turin, and he has worked with many international institutions (Biennale di Venezia, Biennale di Praga, Van Abbemuseum, Museo Reina Sofía, Bangkok Art Biennale, Castello di Rivoli, MIT) as a curator. He has been working on contemporary ecology, environmental and climate ecology, and social and cultural ecology. As the curator of many exhibitions in the ecological field for the Parco Arte Vivente, he starts artistic practices for a bottom-up ecological transition. In 2018, he was curator for the Yinchuan Biennale, aimed at answering the question “What is ecology today?” — Alison Tickell Alison Tickell is the founder of Julie’s Bicycle, a non-profit organisation focusing on the ecosystem of culture as a central, vital driver in the fight against climate change. Alison Tickell works with the full ecosystem, from funding, procurement, infrastructure, and logistics to government ministries and funders, as well as the cultural practice itself: the artists and the stories they tell. Over the past thirteen years, she has found a truly unique approach to tackling climate change by leveraging this major industry for international policy shift, creating tens of millions in energy savings and utilising the unique outreach of cultural producers to change mindsets and behaviours, with a strategy fully prepared for the urgency of the moment.
DISCUSSION ON INDIVIDUAL OR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY The main focus of this round table is how we construct a discourse about climate action and climate change. Researching this field, we perceived a strong polarisation: while some actors propose communication focused on individual responsibility, others insist on the role of collective agency. What approach do you think is more effective?
30 DISCUSSION ON INDIVIDUAL OR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY Rodney Harrison I am going to answer this question by introducing the project Reimagining Museums for Climate Action*. Reimagining Museums for Climate Action began life as an ideas’ competition where we invited members of the public, anyone who is not really involved in the museum sector ordinarily, to tell us how they think museums would need to change to help them – both as individuals and as collectives – to take the kinds of climate action they might wish to take. We launched the project in May 2020 for International Museums’ Day, and we received around 250 proposals from 50 different countries. We worked with a shortlist of 80 people and collectives that developed proposals to put together a website and an exhibition which we curated for COP26 in Glasgow, at the Glasgow Science Centre. We have also produced a book and a toolkit for museums out of this work. The project was led by myself and my colleague Colin Sterling from the University of Amsterdam, working in close partnership with Henry McGhie from Curating Tomorrow. The project was developed to address the part of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that has to do with the responsibility of institutions and educators to facilitate public participation in climate action, generally known as Action for Climate Empowerment, or ACE. The Glasgow Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment particularly emphasises the role of museums and other cultural institutions (also universities) in facilitating action for climate, as did the previous one, known as the Doha Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (see further discussion in Henry McGhie’s book Action for Climate Empowerment. A guide for galleries, libraries, museums and archives). What emerged in the competition is that many participants focused on the need to communicate and facilitate the understanding of the impacts of climate change on individuals and communities across the globe to motivate collective action for climate. This action must take on board the perspectives of a range of different actors and constituents, not just those of human beings but also of non-human actors and agents. The competition invited us and the participants to think about how climate change affects individuals and collectives in different places around the world and how we can understand the experiences of climate change whilst also speculating on how climate will affect humans and non-humans in the future. In answer to the question, I do not see it as particularly helpful to place individual and collective action in opposition to one another, but, instead, I would like to emphasise that these different forms of action are not mutually exclusive; cultural institutions have this responsibility to facilitate individual as well as collective climate action. Alessandra Bonazza Surely both individual and collective involvement and responsibility should be taken into consideration and one approach should not exclude the other. Awareness-raising and active citizen involvement are very important processes that can contribute to putting cultural heritage at the centre of attention in the fight against climate change. Regeneration, safeguarding and protecting cultural heritage have only recently been recognised as fundamental actions for increasing society’s resilience to climate change. As a researcher, I see the communication of the results as a key step and I believe that in communicating outcomes we need to work on the communication process itself; I think that what is needed is a co-creative approach (and this is what we